Taking it Slow: How Long Do I Have to Wear Braces?

While it is a known fact that braces are effective in straightening a crooked smile, not everyone is sold to the idea of getting them on their teeth. Many are worried about how braces will affect their overall appearance, especially because the appliance (wires and brackets) will have to stay in their mouth for several months or even a few years.

If you’re considering braces and have the same concern, you may be wondering how long you need to wear them to have your smile fixed. There is no definite answer, as this will depend on some factors such as your age, the severity of the problem, as well as the type of braces used. Your dental health and hygiene will also play a part, as cavities and gum inflammation can slow the rate of the treatment.

The typical treatment duration

Orthodontists in Oviedo, FL note that the average treatment time is about two years, but this may also be shorter and longer. It is also good to know that there braces and methods that can straighten your teeth faster, but they are not ideal for every patient. You can ask your dentist about them, but do take note that they may also carry additional pain, discomfort, or risks.

The role of your teeth’s alignment

The amount of adjustment needed (based on your teeth’s current alignment) can help predict your treatment duration. If your bite or teeth are severely crooked or misaligned, the treatment will take longer than those that require minor adjustments. The distance that your choppers will need to travel to get in the right position and the available space in your mouth will also play a role.

Why the alignment takes long

While everyone wants to see an immediate result, keep in mind that braces have an important reason for taking it slow in aligning your teeth. This is because your choppers are connected to the jawbone, which is a stable structure. If a stronger force is applied quickly, it is likely for the alignment result to be both unsafe and unstable. A gradual application of consistent pressure is ideal for safe alignment.

There are step/stages

Wearing braces for teeth alignment also involves a few steps. With traditional metal braces, you will have to wear thinner archwires in the first months, which will then be replaced with thicker wires as the treatment progresses. You may also have to wear power chains to close any gaps in your teeth. Each step is vital in getting the desired results.

Focus on the big picture

Dentists explaining with a teeth model

If you only focus on the duration of the treatment and how braces will make you look like, you will only get you frightened about wearing them. What you should concentrate on is the rewards of braces, which include a winning smile and healthier oral health. It is also good to know that as the treatment progresses, you will see changes in your teeth alignment, which will then improve your looks and confidence.

If you’re not happy with how your teeth look, braces can effectively align them and give you a smile you deserve. If you are thinking of wearing them but have concerns about the duration of the treatment, consult an orthodontist. S/he will also let you know your options and offer other recommendations to fix your smile.

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