Having a mouth full of metal for an extended period of time is often daunting. However, understanding how long you’ll need to wear braces and what factors affect treatment time can help put your mind at ease.
In this article, we’ll explore the average length of time for wearing braces, the types of braces and their impact on treatment time, tips for shortening your time wearing braces, how to care for your braces during treatment, what to expect after your braces are removed, and the importance of retainer use after braces.
Factors that Affect How Long You Have to Wear Braces
The length of time you’ll need to wear braces can vary depending on several factors. One of the most significant factors is the severity of your orthodontic issue. If you have a more complex case, such as severe overcrowding or a significant overbite, treatment may take longer.
Another factor that impacts treatment time is your age. Children and teenagers may require shorter treatment times since their jawbones are still developing and can be more easily manipulated. Adults, on the other hand, may have more complicated cases that require longer treatment times.
The type of braces you choose also determines how long you’ll need to wear them. Traditional metal braces are the most common type and are typically worn for about two years. However, if you opt for clear or ceramic braces, treatment time may be longer since these materials are less durable than metal. Additionally, if you choose lingual braces (braces placed behind the teeth), treatment time may be extended since they are more difficult to adjust.
Average Length of Time for Wearing Braces
While treatment time can vary depending on individual factors, the average length of time for wearing braces is about two years. This may seem like a long time but remember that the end result will be a beautiful, healthy smile that can last a lifetime. Your orthodontist will provide you with a treatment plan that outlines the estimated length of time for your specific case.
It’s important to note that sticking to your treatment plan is crucial in achieving the best results in the shortest amount of time. This means attending all scheduled appointments and following any instructions provided by your orthodontist, such as wearing elastics or headgear as directed.
Types of Braces and Their Impact on Treatment Time
As mentioned earlier, the type of braces you choose can impact how long you’ll need to wear them. Let’s explore each type of braces and their impact on treatment time:
Traditional Metal Braces
Traditional metal braces are the most common type of braces and are known for their durability and effectiveness. They are typically worn for about two years, but treatment time can vary depending on individual factors.
Clear or ceramic braces are a popular alternative to traditional metal braces since they are less noticeable. However, they are more fragile and can break more easily than metal braces. Treatment time for clear or ceramic braces may be longer since they require more gentle force to move teeth.
Lingual braces are placed behind the teeth, making them nearly invisible. However, they can be more difficult to adjust, which can extend treatment time.
Invisalign is a popular alternative to traditional braces that uses clear, removable aligners to straighten teeth. Treatment time with Invisalign can vary depending on the individual case and how well the patient adheres to wearing the aligners for the recommended time each day.
Tips for Shortening Your Time Wearing Braces
While treatment time can vary depending on individual factors, there are several things you can do to help shorten the amount of time you’ll need to wear braces:
Follow Your Orthodontist’s Instructions
Your orthodontist will provide you with specific instructions on how to care for your braces and what steps you can take to help move your teeth into the correct position. Following these instructions closely can help ensure the best results in the shortest amount of time.
Practice Good Oral Hygiene
Brushing and flossing regularly can help prevent tooth decay and gum disease, which can lengthen treatment time if they occur. Additionally, maintaining good oral hygiene can help ensure that your braces are clean and functioning properly.
Avoid Certain Foods
Hard, sticky, or chewy foods can damage your braces and prolong treatment time. Avoiding these types of foods can help prevent broken brackets or wires and keep treatment on track.
How to Care for Your Braces During Treatment
Caring for your braces during treatment is essential to ensure the best results in the shortest amount of time. Here are some tips for caring for your braces:
Brush and Floss Regularly
Brushing and flossing regularly can help prevent tooth decay and gum disease, which can prolong treatment time if they occur. Use a soft-bristled brush and fluoride toothpaste to brush your teeth and braces gently. Flossing with a floss threader can help clean between teeth and braces.
Use Orthodontic Wax
Orthodontic wax can be used to cover any areas of your braces that are causing discomfort or irritation. Simply apply a small amount of wax to the affected area to help alleviate any pain or discomfort.
Attend Scheduled Appointments
Attending all scheduled appointments with your orthodontist is crucial to achieving the best results in the shortest amount of time. Your orthodontist will monitor your progress and make any necessary adjustments to your treatment plan.
What to Expect After Your Braces are Removed
After removing your braces, you’ll likely be fitted with a retainer to help maintain your new smile. Your orthodontist will provide you with specific instructions on how to care for your retainer and how often to wear it.
It’s important to note that while your braces have been removed, your teeth may still be slightly sensitive or sore. Eating soft foods and avoiding hard, crunchy, or sticky foods can help alleviate any discomfort.
Retainer Use After Braces
Retainer use after braces is crucial in maintaining your new smile. Your orthodontist will provide you with specific instructions on how often to wear your retainer and for how long. Failing to wear your retainer as directed can cause your teeth to shift back to their original position, undoing all the hard work you put in during treatment.
Orthodontic treatment in Jacksonville Beach & Ponte Vedra, FL.
While the thought of wearing braces for an extended period of time may seem daunting, understanding how long you’ll need to wear them and what factors impact treatment time can help put your mind at ease.
Following your orthodontist’s instructions, practicing good oral hygiene, and avoiding certain foods can all help shorten treatment time. Remember, the end result will be a beautiful, healthy smile that can last a lifetime.
The Brace Place Orthodontics is your hometown dental practice. They provide dental and orthodontic services under one roof, allowing them to provide their customers with the highest quality care for their teeth, mouth, and jaw.