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How Long Will I Need Braces?

More than 4 million Americans wear braces. If you’re one of them, you’re probably wondering how long it will be before you can enjoy your final results. 

At Freedom Orthodontics in Cedar Park, Texas, Brendan Smith, DDS, MS, and our team customize your orthodontic treatment from start to finish. That means the amount of time you’ll need to wear your braces may be different from another patient. 

For most patients, the following four factors are the primary “influencers” when it comes to mapping out your care and treatment time.

1. Your age

Braces can work wonders in straightening your teeth and aligning your bite mechanics, no matter how old you are. In fact, Dr. Smith treats many adult men and women who want to enjoy all the cosmetic and oral health benefits associated with orthodontic treatment.

Still, your treatment can go a little faster when you’re younger. That’s because your jaws are still growing, so it may be easier for your teeth to move into their new positions. When you’re an adult, your treatment might take a little longer or be a bit more complex, but still just as successful in terms of results!

2. Your treatment needs

Not surprisingly, the more correction your bite requires, the longer your treatment can take. Plus, some people’s teeth move more readily than others, so the way your body responds to orthodontic treatment can also play a role in your treatment time.

3. The type of braces you’re wearing

Dr. Smith offers different types of braces based on your correction needs, your budget, your age, and other factors. To some degree, your treatment time may be slightly longer or shorter, depending on which type is right for your needs.

4. The role you play

Many people think that once braces are on their teeth, all they have to do is sit back and wait for the results. But if you want your treatment to be as fast (and as successful) as possible, you need to play a more active role in your treatment. That means:

You shouldn’t skip visits

Regular visits are important for making sure your treatment stays on track. At each appointment, Dr. Smith adjusts your braces to help your teeth move into their proper locations. 

He may also recommend wearing rubber bands or other attachments to address more complex movements. Skipping a visit delays these adjustments, which means your treatment will likely take longer.

You should avoid certain foods

Braces use wires and brackets, and even though they’re strong, they can still break. Very crunchy or hard foods can break or bend your wires, and sticky foods can get caught in your brackets. You won’t need to give up these foods for good, but you can avoid emergency visits and longer treatment times by avoiding them while you’re in treatment.

You need to maintain good oral care practices

It can take a little practice to learn the right way to brush and floss with braces, but these habits and regular dental checkups during treatment are extremely important for keeping your teeth healthy. Plus, good oral hygiene can help ensure your progress stays on track, so you can avoid prolonging your treatment.

The bottom line

All these factors can influence your treatment time. But for most people, braces treatment takes somewhere between 18-24 months. Your treatment might be a bit longer or a bit shorter.

It’s only natural to want to get your braces off so you can reveal your beautiful new smile. But remember: For most people, all it takes is two years or less to enjoy a lifetime of benefits. To learn more about orthodontic treatment, call our office or request an appointment online today.

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