Average Time for Braces Treatment
Malocclusion problems affect the position of the teeth and jaw, compromising oral functions and making the teeth look crooked and uneven. Braces are one of the most effective treatments for malocclusion problems. Braces use brackets and wires to apply pressure that encourages the teeth and jaw to gradually shift into their proper position.
Braces have a proven history of success, but they take time to provide desired results. Here, Dr. Kellyn Hodges discusses the average time for braces treatment, and goes over the factors that can affect the length of treatment for her Philadelphia, PA, Bala Cynwyd, PA, and Bensalem, PA, dental patients.
How Long Will I Have to Wear Braces?
The length of braces treatment can vary from one patient to another. Without a thorough exam and consultation, Dr. Hodges cannot give individuals an accurate estimate of how long they will need to wear braces to correct their malocclusion problems. However, we can discuss the average length of braces treatment.
On average, people can expect to wear braces for at least one year, with the typical treatment ranging from 16 to 18 months. Adults usually have a slightly longer treatment timeline than children and teens. This is because adult teeth have stopped growing and the teeth and jaw are set in place, which means that they tend to require more pressure to move. Adult braces treatment takes an average of 18 months, but could last for two years or more.
Factors That Affect the Length of Braces Treatment
Although most braces treatments are complete in around 16 to 18 months, it can take more (or less) time to achieve a straight smile. The exact length of braces treatment is affected by a number of factors, including:
- The type of malocclusion problems being treated
- The severity of malocclusion problems
- How well the patient follows treatment instructions (i.e. wearing rubber bands or other appliances as instructed, practicing good oral hygiene habits, avoiding foods that are not braces-friendly)
When we discuss the average braces treatment timeline, that does not include necessary aftercare. After braces are removed, most patients are instructed to wear a retainer. The retainer is custom fit to each patient’s mouth, so that it holds the teeth and jaw in position and prevents them from shifting back out of place.
Patients are usually instructed to wear a retainer 24 hours a day (other than when eating, drinking, or brushing their teeth) for several months after braces treatment, and possibly up to a year. After that, patients should wear their retainer each night while they sleep. To maintain a straight, healthy smile and avoid the need for future orthodontic treatment, patients should sleep with their retainer in place for the rest of their lives.
Get in Touch
If malocclusion problems are interfering with oral functions or compromising the appearance of your smile, it is time to consider braces treatment. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Kellyn Hodges and find out how long your braces treatment may be, send us a message online or call our orthodontic practice at (215) 883-0611.