If you are thinking about getting traditional braces, one of the first questions on your mind might be, “How long will I have to wear them?” There is not a one size fits all answer to that question. Braces treatment time can vary widely, with most cases taking between 1 and 3 years. Let’s talk more about some of the factors that affect the length of treatment and a few steps you can take to avoid unnecessary delays.
Factors that Affect the Length of Treatment
A few factors that can affect the length of treatment include:
- The extent of your orthodontic problems. Logically, correcting minor misalignment is usually a much shorter endeavor than addressing severe misalignment or malocclusion.
- Your age. Orthodontic treatment tends to take slightly longer for mature adults than it does for younger people. This is due simply to the fact that the jaws of children and some teens are still developing, and it is easier to shift their teeth.
- Your habits. How well you care for your teeth and braces throughout your treatment may have a bearing on your timeline.
When you visit your orthodontist for a consultation, they will examine your teeth and be able to give you an estimate of how long your treatment will take.
Avoiding Unnecessary Delays
While there is little you can do to shorten your orthodontic time, there are things you can do to reduce the risk that you will experience unnecessary delays in your treatment. You should:
- Attend all of your appointments. Skipping or continually rescheduling your appointments with your orthodontist will mean that your braces cannot get adjusted at the proper time, which will slow down the movement of your teeth.
- Care well for your braces. Being careful about what you eat, wearing a mouthguard during sports, and taking other simple precautions will reduce the risk of damage to your braces. It will be less likely that you will experience delays due to an orthodontic emergency.
- Care well for your teeth. Keeping up with oral hygiene, as well as attending routine checkups and cleanings with your general dentist, are important components of successful and efficient orthodontic treatment.
- Comply with treatment instructions. If your orthodontist instructs you to wear rubber bands or other accessories, you should do your best to follow their directions as fully as possible.
Adjusting to Braces
When you first start your treatment, a few years with braces might seem like a long time. However, the end results will be well worth it. And after the initial adjustment period, caring for your braces and living with them will become second nature. You may be surprised by how quickly the time passes!
Meet the Practice
Dr. Amin Mason is an experienced orthodontist in Columbus. Along with his staff, he provides a full range of orthodontic services, including traditional metal braces. If you are curious about how long it might take to straighten your teeth, Dr. Mason would be happy to consult with you. Contact our office at 614-549-5835.