How Long Do You Have to Wear Braces?

Team Blog Post, Orthodontics

Are you or your child thinking about getting braces? Whether this is a recommendation from your dentist or just something you’ve always wanted to do for yourself, you probably have some questions. One of the most common questions that many potential patients have is: how long do you have to wear braces

Treatment time varies from one patient to another, but here’s a general idea of what you can expect.

Average Treatment Time

The average time in braces ranges from 1-3 years. That’s a pretty wide range, but the reason is that every patient has different needs. Some patients may need less than a year in braces, while others may need more than 3 years to achieve the desired results. Your orthodontist can give you a general estimate of your treatment time after evaluating your teeth and bite, but there are other factors that affect the length of time in braces.

Factors that Affect Length of Wear

There are many different factors that affect the amount of time a patient will need to wear braces, such as: 

  • Your age. The ideal time to get braces is during adolescence because this is a time of growth spurts. While the body is still growing and developing, the bones in the mouth and jaw are more malleable and easy to reshape. The teeth shift more easily into the correct positions and the jaw is able to grow properly during adolescent treatment
  • The extent of the corrections you need. Some patients’ teeth need to be moved further than others to achieve correct alignment. The more extensive corrections you need, the longer you will need to wear braces to complete your needed treatment. 
  • Staying on schedule with appointments. If you want to wear your braces for as short a time as possible, you can do your part by scheduling your appointments on time and showing up to the appointments when you’re supposed to be there. Rescheduling appointments can delay treatment, as well as missing scheduled appointments. 
  • Following your orthodontist’s instructions. Your treatment time will be as short as possible if you follow your dentist’s instructions. This includes avoiding the foods you are told to avoid that could break or bend your braces and delay treatment. It also means wearing your rubber bands if that is part of your treatment. 
  • Earlier treatment. Did you have early orthodontic treatment prior to braces? If so, your time in braces could be shorter. Early intervention strategies can help prepare the mouth for braces and help the teeth to come in properly. It may not prevent the need for braces, but it can shorten treatment time significantly. Examples include palate expanders, tooth extraction, place holders, and more.
  • The type of treatment you choose. There are other options for teeth alignment other than braces. Clear aligner systems like Invisalign have shown to straighten the teeth in a slightly shorter time frame on average.

Retention After Braces

It is important to note that after your braces are removed, it is necessary to wear retainers so that your teeth stay in the correct position. You’ll need to wear your removable retainers according to your orthodontist’s instructions for at least a few years after your braces are removed. If you don’t wear your retainers your teeth could shift back out of alignment, requiring the braces process to start over.

Looking for a Qualified Orthodontist? Visit Dr. Suzanne Stock

Now that you know what to expect in terms of treatment time for braces, it’s time to get a more accurate estimate from a qualified orthodontist. Dr. Suzanne Stock has 4 orthodontic offices in the area for your convenience. Her qualifications and reputation precede her, as well as many satisfied patients. 

Contact Dr. Suzanne Stock today to schedule a complimentary consultation. We look forward to transforming your smile with the orthodontic treatment of your choice.