How long does it take for dental braces to straighten your teeth?
Dental braces have long been recognized as an effective long-term solution for various dental issues such as overbites, underbites, and crooked teeth. That being said, one of the main concerns is the length of treatment.
Having a healthy and radiant smile with bright white teeth is undoubtedly what everyone wants for themselves. However, not everyone is fortunate enough to inherently have these desirable dental traits. In fact, most people do have to employ the help of certain dental treatments like dental braces at some point. According to experts, while dental braces offer various benefits, factors like treatment time and costs always give those seeking this treatment a major headache.
Dental braces – Not just a cosmetic procedure
The treatment involves using various instruments to treat dental defects such as overbites, underbites, diastema, crooked teeth, misalignment, etc. This, in turn, will help patients get their desired bright smile and overall facial charm.
In addition to these cosmetic benefits, the use of dental braces also offers other health benefits as they:
- Support chewing and eating functions: Jaws with crooked teeth will likely interfere with normal eating and chewing functions. If left untreated, this condition may cause headaches, damage your bite, and wear down your teeth.
- Release the pressure on your jaws: Having a protruding upper or lower jaw will cause difficulties in eating and chewing. Moreover, you may accidentally damage the tissues inside your teeth while chewing, damaging your jawbone.
- Promote dental health: Old people with teeth misalignment often have an asymmetrical face. In addition, they may also suffer teeth grinding, erosion, and potentially protrusion. These effects may, in turn, cause loose teeth and eventually, loss of teeth, among other dental issues. For these reasons, dental braces are not only important for your image but also for your own dental health.
The effects of missing teeth on your face may vary, read this article to learn more about those problems.
How long does it take to straighten teeth with braces?
In addition to quality and efficiency, treatment length is also the main concern of many people. In most cases, dental braces may take up to between 18 and 24 months regardless of methods. That being said, in cases that the patient’s jawbone and/or teeth suffer severe defects, the required time for the treatment may take up to 3 years or longer.
In most cases, the treatment can be divided into common stages as follows:
- The first 3 months: Your orthodontist will first perform teeth shaving or extraction if necessary, and subsequently the bonding between your teeth and the dental brackets. In this stage, you will likely have to face a lot of difficulties, but this is also the stage in which the results are the most noticeable.
- From the 6th month to the 9th: Your teeth will continue to gradually move to their intended positions, with all your brackets than in place.
- From the 15th month to the 18th: Your teeth will continue to move and gradually stabilize themselves on your jaw. The duration of this stage varies based on the severity of each case.
- From the 18th month to the 24th: Your teeth should now be firmly settled in place, and your bite should also be accordingly proportionate. Your orthodontist at this stage will help you remove the braces and end the treatment.
Learn more: The process of getting braces
Can braces be removed early?
The braces procedure is completed when the teeth are straight, no longer overbite, overjet, misaligned or distorted. Braces may be removed sooner or later, about 1-2 months compared to the initial estimated time. To remove braces early and still ensure the results after braces, you will have to follow the dentist's regulations so that the teeth will not return to before.
In all cases, you will need to wear the retainer for 1-6 months after removing braces to keep the occlusal and tooth from dislocating.
4 deciding factors of your treatment duration
Dental braces are admittedly a highly complex dental realignment method. Therefore, it is important for orthodontists to thoroughly assess each patient’s clinical conditions to give an informed estimate of their treatment duration. However, in most cases, how long a patient needs to wear their braces tend to be affected by the following factors:
1. The age at which the patient is getting braces
According to orthodontists, how long a patient needs to wear their braces depends significantly on how old the patient is at the time. For children between 8 and 18 years of age, the process of getting dental braces tends to be simple and may take only from 6 to 12 months. This is because children often do not require tooth extraction prior to getting dental braces. Moreover, the overall gum structure of children tends to be softer and easier to adjust.
To determine the treatment duration for adults, orthodontists must base on the following criteria:
- If tooth extraction is not needed: The patient’s teeth are more on the adjustable side. Treatment duration may take from 1 to 2 years
- If tooth extraction is needed: Treatment duration will likely take from 1.5 to 3 years.
2. Dental conditions
The treatment duration of each patient is directly affected by the severity of each case. The more severe your defects are, the longer you will have to wear the braces. To get a proper assessment of your specific case, it is advisable that you check with an orthodontist at an accredited dental clinic.
Additionally, how you eat and clean your teeth will also affect the duration of your treatment. Eating foods that are too hard and not properly cleaning your teeth are both bad habits that may cause your braces to fall out of its intended position and, in the long run, give you unappealing results and/or prolonged treatment duration.
Can overbite happen again after wearing braces? Find out the answer here.
3. Type of brackets
Each type of bracket has its own advantages and disadvantages in terms of treatment duration, cosmetic aspects, and adjustability. Specifically:
- Transparent ceramic/ crystal brackets: These brackets are designed to be less noticeable and, therefore, better in terms of the patient’s appearances throughout the treatment. However, these brackets are less capable of producing the force needed to move the teeth due to the nature of their material. Therefore, braces that use these brackets will likely require more time
- Metal brackets: Braces that use these brackets will require less treatment time than those with transparent brackets. However, the material used to make these brackets are inherently more noticeable, making these braces not as visually appealing.
4. Where you get your braces
To achieve the desired results from your braces, you need patience and the willingness to make an investment. With the soaring needs for dental braces nowadays, several dental clinics are offering affordable and time-efficient packages for dental braces. However, choosing your dental clinic solely based on these factors might ultimately produce unwanted and potentially dangerous results.
Getting your braces at unaccredited dental clinics or by inexperienced orthodontists may result in several complications such as allergic canker sores and having unstable brackets, both of which are severely detrimental to your treatment process. If left untended to, not only will your treatment be unnecessarily prolonged, but your teeth and jawbone may not be able to stabilize at all.
For this reason, it is important that the first thing you do following your decision to pursue dental braces is to find an accredited and established dental clinic that is known to have a team of experienced orthodontists and sufficient equipment and tools. Finding a high-standard dental clinic will not only help you optimize your treatment but also ensure the desired outcome of your dental health and image. Check out The East Rose Dental (Old Rose Dental Clinic) price range for dental braces in this article.
Learn more: 4 things to know before getting dental braces