Orthodontic treatment can be a rewarding step in many individuals’ lives. However, do you really need to wear dental braces for almost three years?
This article covers all the time-related questions you may have about using braces to turn your crooked teeth into a perfectly straight smile.
Key Takeaways: How Long Does It Take To Straighten Teeth?
How Long Do Braces Take to Put On?
Braces are an orthodontic treatment that takes about one or two hours to put on, depending on the severity of the misalignment.
How Fast Do Braces Work?
You may have to wear braces between six months and three years, depending on the type of dental braces and how misaligned your teeth are. The factors that may affect the braces treatment time are described below:
Your Bite and Misalignment Severity
If a patient’s teeth have severe alignment issues, treatment with braces alongside jaw alignment may significantly increase treatment time.
Other severe issues may require tooth extraction, which digital impressions and facial photographs can help an orthodontist identify.
An orthodontist will likely recommend getting treatment as early as possible. Misalignment issues treated in children can mean they need to wear braces for a much shorter time compared to adults.
Type of Braces
The type of braces you choose can also affect treatment time.
Traditional braces involve rubber bands and metal wiring and can take up to three years.
Other treatment options that may take this long include:
- Ceramic braces
- Lingual braces
- Self-ligating brackets
- Clear aligner trays
Clear aligners usually take between six months and a year to move your teeth into the desired position. Although mail-order clear braces are not approved by the American Dental Association, they can be more time and cost-effective for minor adjustment requirements.
It’s also worthwhile to note that Byte aligners are FDA-approved, and well reviewed by users. These clear aligners work in months, with the added advantage that they are barely visible.
Other Orthodontic Devices
Using headgear can apply more pressure on your dental braces to move your teeth into the correct position.
An orthodontist may also recommend palate expanders for children, and along with headgear, they can significantly shorten average treatment times.
Adherence to Treatment
Sticking to your orthodontist’s instructions is essential for successful treatment. Taking good care of your teeth, brushing and flossing regularly, and attending each appointment at the orthodontist can help improve treatment and decrease the necessary treatment time.
How Long Does It Take for Teeth to Move With Braces?
As soon as you start to wear braces, they start pulling your teeth into the right position.
The average treatment times vary according to each patient but range between six months and three years.
How Long Do Braces Take to Close a Gap?
A small gap can take between six and nine months to close. More than one gap may take between one to two years to close completely. These spacing issues are often simpler to rectify in patients.
Clear aligners may also be used instead, depending on the advice of your orthodontist. They can speed up treatment and help close gaps even faster.
What Is the Minimum Time for Braces?
The minimum amount of time typically required to wear braces is six months for a minor adjustment.
What Is the Fastest Way to Straighten Teeth?
Using a combination of orthodontist-installed dental braces, accelerated orthodontics, or clear aligners can help patients significantly shorten treatment time.
Why Does It Take So Much Time To Straighten Your Teeth?
To move your teeth without damaging them, options like traditional metal braces apply a very gentle force to help pull your teeth into the right position.
Treatment instructions may require several follow-up visits with your orthodontist to adjust the dental wire to pull your teeth a little more in the right direction each time.
This relatively complex process is why you may need to wear braces for up to three years.
Tips for Fast Treatment
To help decrease your treatment time, you can try the following methods:
- Whether wearing metal braces or aligners, follow good practices to maintain proper oral hygiene, like brushing and flossing. This can help reduce staining and plaque build-up, which may require trips to the dentist’s office and slow down your progress.
- Avoid eating chewy or hard foods that may get stuck in or damage your braces and require more dentist visits to repair them, especially when wearing traditional braces.
- Always attend your orthodontist’s follow-up appointments to ensure you are following the proper treatment protocol and your teeth are making progress. An orthodontist will also tighten the brackets to apply more pressure over time.
Here are the answers to some frequently asked questions on how long it takes for braces to work.
Do Braces Permanently Straighten Your Teeth?
In most cases, after wearing braces, you will need to use a retainer. A retainer helps your teeth stay in the desired position. Orthodontists suggest using it for at least four months after getting your braces removed to make sure they stay straight. Learn more on how braces work and after-treatment.
How Long Does It Take to Get Braces Off?
For both child and adult patients, the average time of removal is one hour.
What Is the Shortest Time Period for Braces?
The shortest treatment is six months. This is for patients with minor alignment issues who don’t require their teeth to be moved as much.
Why Do Braces Take 2 Years?
Sometimes you’ll be faced with wearing braces for up to two years if you have a severe misalignment. They take this long to work because they only move your teeth by the most gradual steps. Read on to learn how do braces work.
How Long Does It Take To Straighten Teeth With Invisalign?
Invisalign is a clear aligner meant for adult teeth in mild to moderate misalignment. The time of treatment is much shorter with Invisalign, typically averaging around a year to 18 months.
Orthodontists can help you do the imaging and check whether you’re a candidate for Invisalign. Clear aligners are an excellent alternative for people who don’t want constant dentist visits and noticeable orthodontic treatment.
Whether lingual, metal, or ceramic braces, each type of orthodontic treatment has its own treatment duration.
Getting your teeth straightened is a gradual process that needs time to be done correctly. As long as you follow your dentist’s instructions, you’ll get the perfect smile as quickly as possible.