When someone is told they are going to need braces, the follow-up question is usually always, how long will I have to wear them? It is a question your orthodontist hears regularly and it is understandable why. While everyone loves the outcome of straight teeth and a stunning smile, few people shout for joy at the idea of actually wearing braces. Thankfully, they are temporary.
So, how long can you expect to wear braces?
Truth is, it can take anywhere from 1 to 3 years for braces to get their job done. But this time frame is not set in stone and can vary due to several factors.
The Condition of Your Teeth
The condition of your teeth plays a big role in determining just how long you may need to wear braces. Some only need minor adjustments and others have severe spaces or crowded teeth. The more work your mouth needs, however, the longer you may be required to wear your braces.
Your bite - the way your top and bottom teeth align - is also important. If things don’t line up as they should, it could cause you issues down the road with your teeth and your jaw. Braces can help realign your bite, whether you have an open bite, deep bite, underbite, or crossbite.
Types of Braces
Different types of braces are available for your teeth - and they may or may not have an impact on how long you can expect to wear braces.
Metal braces are the traditional braces that have been around for many years. Brackets adhere to each tooth and metal wire connects each one. Using a set frequency, your orthodontist will tighten these wires to help your teeth slowly align.
Clear braces are an option for children, teens, and adults. They work just like metal braces but they are not as sturdy. This means they do require a higher level of care.
The typical length of time most people wear both clear and metal braces are 1 to 3 years. Though, because of their strength, it should be noted that metal braces tend to work faster and shorter than other braces options. Review your options with your orthodontist based on your circumstances.
Is it possible to Shorten Your Braces Treatment?
You should never consider not getting braces if your dentist tells you that your teeth may take an extended time to straighten. It is hard to keep teeth healthy when they are not properly aligned, leaving you susceptible to things like cavities and gum disease.
So, can you shorten your braces treatment? Perhaps.
The best thing you can do is to properly care for your teeth and your braces while you have them. Follow the instructions from your orthodontist, which means following proper oral hygiene practices and eating a healthy diet. Of course, it also means avoiding things like sticky, surgery goods, gum, hard/crunchy foods, and the like.
Take good care of your braces and they will take care of you.
Braces for the Win - No Matter the Time
Sometimes life puts us in tough situations so we can grow and shine later. And that is how it works for braces. When you decide to invest in your oral health, you may be required to wear them for a while. It is important to remember that the pros greatly outweigh the cons. In other words, you may have to wear braces for a couple of years -- but you will have a lifetime with an incredible smile.
Smith Orthodontics Can Answer All Your Questions About Braces
Regardless of where you are on your journey to a beautiful smile, Smith Orthodontics can answer all your questions along the way. And, we look forward to having you as a patient.