How Long Will I Need To Wear Braces?

Braces are placed to straighten and improve the appearance and the bite of the teeth.  Teeth that are crowded and overlapping are more difficult to clean and can lead to long term problems such as gum disease and tooth decay.  After having braces, your straight teeth will be much easier to look after and you will have less long term problems.

How Long Will I Need To Wear Braces?

Treatment with braces usually takes 18 to 24 months.  However, for some people, it can take a longer or shorter amount of time.   The time you will need to wear braces depends on the severity of your dental problems.  Braces not only make your teeth straight and aesthetically pleasing, but they also correct your bite.  Correcting your bite can take a lot of fine-tuning and time to get it right.  But it is very important that your teeth are correctly aligned in your bite before having your braces removed.  A good bite is important to chew your food easily and so that your jaws are properly aligned which will avoid future problems with your jaw joints (called your TMJ).

Following the removal of your braces, you will need to wear retainers to lock your teeth into their new positions.  Retainers will need to be worn for a number of months or years to help prevent your teeth from drifting back to their old positions.

What Can I Do To Have My Braces Removed Sooner?

Following all of your orthodontist’s instructions on wearing elastics and taking proper care of your teeth is the only way to have your braces removed as soon as possible.  Wearing elastics puts extra pressure on your teeth which will help them move quicker to the desired position.  Follow your orthodontist’s exact instructions on which teeth to place the elastics on, how often to wear them, and how often they need to be replaced.

Go to your orthodontist for adjustments as often as they recommend.  Rescheduling or delaying appointments can lengthen your treatment time.  It is also very important to see you, an orthodontist, if a bracket falls off or if any part of your braces feels broken or loose.  Don’t wait until your next adjustment, call your orthodontist to organize a sooner appointment to have your braces fixed.

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