Every patient starting orthodontic treatment is concerned about how long they will have to wear braces. A question we hear all the time is “How long do braces take to straighten my teeth?” The answer varies depending on your particular issue, the type of braces you choose, and many other factors.

A young woman with traditional metal braces smiling and pointing at her braces

Braces take years to move teeth to their desired position completely. The process can be gradually noticed after the first few months. For some, the first results will be visible after four months, while for others, it will take six months. The exact duration of wearing braces is determined by the orthodontist based on the patient’s situation.

What are some factors that affect the time it takes for braces to straighten teeth?

The following factors usually determine the length of your braces treatment:

  • The complexity of the occlusion: A patient trying to fix a gap between their teeth, known as a diastema, will have a shorter treatment time than one fixing a more severe alignment issue such as malocclusion.
  • The patient’s age: The orthodontist usually considers anatomical and physiological characteristics and whether the dentition is capable of displacement. It is a fact that a child’s time in braces will be much shorter than that of an adult.
  • Type of Braces Used: Ceramics are worn longer than regular metal ones, and lingual braces are worn longer than vestibular braces.
  • The patient’s level of attention to oral health: It is critical to understand how frequently and thoroughly you should clean your braces. You must also eat properly and adhere to your doctor’s recommendations. Doing the right things will make sure you don’t have to use your braces more than you absolutely need to.
  • The doctor’s level of competence: Not all orthodontists are created equal. You will want to choose a highly skilled and exceptionally educated orthodontist. It is wise to research your orthodontist and check for things like patient reviews and case studies to see if he or she has the skills and experience needed to achieve your desired results.

The Stages of Wearing Braces

  1. A thorough cleaning of the oral cavity is performed prior to the installation of the brace. This procedure entails.
  2. Removal of caries.
  3. Treatment of the periodontal tissues.
  4. Professional teeth cleaning.
  5. Diagnosis of patient’s anatomical and physiological characteristics.
  6. Visual examination of the oral cavity, face, soft tissues, and muscles.
  7. Taking an orthopantomogram.
  8. Creation of plaster models.
  9. MRI: to study the temporomandibular joint’s condition.
  10. System installation.
  11. The orthodontist fixes the braces on a regular basis.
  12. Application of chemical composition to treat dental surfaces, causing the enamel to become chemically active, and application of special paste.
  13. Attachment of braces with tweezers.
  14. Final cleanup.

The entire procedure of fixing braces takes approximately 1.5 hours without complications.

Other factors that dictate how long braces take to straighten teeth

The Effects of Age On Length of Braces Treatment

The answer to the question of how long braces take to move teeth is largely determined by the patient’s age. Modern methods allow you to correct tooth position at any age. However, as people get older, the treatment process becomes noticeably longer.

Orthodontic treatment is most effective when patients are between the ages of 12 and 20. These physiological characteristics of the age group explain why the terms of correcting dental anomalies are shorter and more effective during this period of life:

  • The dentoalveolar root system has formed, but it is still pliable.
  • The musculoligamentous apparatus completes growth and becomes more mobile and aid braces installation.
  • The second molars are prominent, which is critical for brace installation.
  • Bone tissue is more flexible and responds faster to mechanical pressure in adolescents and young people. Braces are typically placed at this age for 1-1.5 years.
  • The reaction to dentition displacement slows down by about two times in adults.

Teeth can be corrected at any age, but it may take a little more time, patience, and skill on the doctor’s part. After the age of 25, the rate of metabolic processes and recovery slow down, bone development and growth stops, and tissues become more rigid.

The Type of Braces Chosen Can Affect Treatment Times

The type of orthodontic system used to correct the bite significantly impacts how long braces are required to be worn. There are several bracket system models that differ in terms of manufacturing material, structural strength, aesthetic appearance, and cost. The most popular are:

  1. Metal braces: The most long-lasting system with the best tissue pressure. The duration of treatment ranges from one to two and a half years. Suitable for the correction of severe flaws. The cost is very low. One of the disadvantages is the mucous membrane’s sensitivity to metal and its appearance.
  2. Plastic braces: The material is inexpensive, but it has a narrow margin of safety. Braces are available in a variety of colors. The average length of treatment is one to one and a half years.
  3. Ceramic braces: Made of hypoallergenic material, it is both durable and imperceptible to others. They can obstruct diction on rare occasions and are not suitable for correcting serious anomalies. Wearing time is estimated to be 1-3 years.
  4. Sapphire-based braces: They are also imperceptible to those around them, aesthetically pleasing, and do not irritate the mucous membrane. It necessitates more careful upkeep. Treatment can last anywhere from one to three years.
  5. Lingual braces: The device is attached to the dentition’s inner surface. Although such braces have a positive therapeutic effect, they can occasionally cause discomfort to the tongue or mucous membranes. The expected time of use is 1.5 to 2.5 years.

Some orthodontic issues take longer than others to correct.

It will take about a year to correct for minor anomalies:

  • diastema, trema;
  • unexpressed crowding of teeth due to impaired growth, development of the jaw;
  • gap due to missing tooth;
  • separate dystopic (incorrectly positioned) tooth.

For at least 2 years, braces are worn for more pronounced pathologies:

  • distal bite (posterior position of the lower jaw);
  • overlapping teeth;
  • open bite (there is no closure between the dentition);
  • The disproportionate size of the upper and lower jaw;
  • significant crowding of teeth;
  • violation of the development of one of the jaws.

Up to 3 years, and sometimes more,

  • Severe malocclusion correction

Treatment usually continues for the most serious defects, which often require preliminary surgical intervention. The retention stage also takes several more years.

Dr Markus Niepraschk has been voted as the best Orthodontist in Charlottesville, Virginia. Through the years, patients have been helped to achieve the desired smiles with state-of-the-art technology. If you have any questions, call us at 434-568-9975, or visit our office at 32 Mill Creek Drive, Suite 107 , Charlottesville, VA 22902.