How long do I have to wear my braces. It’s a question every orthodontist has heard, and probably from almost every patient who has come to him for orthodontic treatment. But it isn’t one the orthodontist can easily answer
“There is no exact length of time we can tell our patients their braces will be on,” says Dr. Ehsan sanei,orthodontist. “Many factors go in to the movement of teeth, and even the most highly trained and skilled orthodontist can’t tell how teeth will react to movement prior to treatment. We can offer time frames of how long we expect treatment to take, but we cannot give an exact or precise length of time you’ll have to wear your braces
And he warns against receiving treatment from a dentist or orthodontist who claims they can offer an exact length of time you’ll have braces
“The truth is, each person reacts to treatment differently. “And different kinds of treatment take different amounts of time. That means if you choose Invisalign, you may have braces on for a different amount of time as your friend who has standard braces
There are several factors that go into how long orthodontic treatment may take
The first is the type of malocclusion being corrected. You and your best friend may both have underbites, but the severity may be different, leading to varying lengths in treatment time
Another factor is whether or not you’ve already received early intervention treatment. In some cases, an orthodontist will recommend two-phase treatment in order to best help a patient’s smile. In some cases, this treatment can better prepare the mouth to react to later orthodontic treatment
But perhaps the most important factor that can determine the length of your treatment is you. It’s important that you take proper care of your braces and follow all instructions given to you by your orthodontist. That means you need to keep all appointments, follow all food recommendations and brush and floss twice a day
If your oral health suffers during treatment, it can extend the length of time your braces are on. Inflammation, gum disease and poor oral health can interfere with your orthodontic treatment
The average length of time patients are in braces is typically 24 months, but it can be as little as six months, and in very severe cases can take more than two years. Full braces will not be applied until all permanent teeth have erupted. However, younger patients will typically experience faster treatment times than adults. That is because their mouths, and the tissues and bones that support the teeth, are still growing and are able to adapt to the changes occurring in their mouths better
Orthodontic treatment is essential to a healthy mouth, so no matter the length of time you’re in braces, it’s important work to ensure you won’t encounter more serious problems in the future
How long does it take to see changes in your teeth during an orthodontic braces treatment?
Exciting changes in tooth movement can be seen as early as 4-6 weeks. Of course, the speed of tooth movement varies from person to person. Factors such as age, amount of crowding , density of bone, and the patient’s metabolic rate can affect speed of tooth movement.
In addition, patient compliance factors such as wearing rubber bands as directed, keeping good oral hygiene and not breaking or loosening any brackets during treatment have major roles in getting teeth moved in the right direction and on time
Younger patients tend to have “softer” bones and higher metabolic rates especially in their rapid pubertal growth phase. As such, their teeth tend to move quicker relative to an adult who typically has denser bones and lower metabolic rate. Thus, it is advantageous to start orthodontic treatment sooner. The ideal time to start braces is when the last of the “baby” or primary teeth start to feel loose which roughly translates to 10-12 year olds
Girls tend to enter the growth spurt earlier and may start orthodontic treatment before boys of the same age. Please bear in mind that there are times when it may be prudent to do an Early Phase I orthodontic treatment if severe problems such as crossbites, underbites, and openbites are noted between 7 to 9 years of age. Fortunately, these issues that warrant Early Orthodontics treatment are the minority
A common misconception is that people think heavier forces mean faster tooth movement. Nothing could be further from the truth-research has shown that extremely heavy forces could have the opposite effect of rapid tooth movement and raise length of time of braces.