Braces are very effective in correcting alignment issues and creating a new smile. You may be wondering how long it takes to give you or your child the perfect smile as crooked teeth are realigned and straightened. The short answer is that it depends.
How do Braces Work?
Braces do more than just rearrange misaligned teeth; they also help the underlying bone to adapt and hold teeth in their new positions permanently. Factors that affect the time it takes to straighten crooked teeth include the patient’s age, type of treatment and individual needs.
The bracket and archwire work together to move the tooth into a new position. The shift is purposefully gradual to allow your orthodontist to decide how to best move your teeth into their new position. Remember that the new movement requires bone to be broken down and then regrow in the new tooth position. This all takes time depending on your specific treatment plan.
When Will You See Visible Change in Teeth Alignment?
Some people may see changes within four weeks, but typically it takes around two or three months. The American Association of Orthodontists report that the median length of orthodontic treatment lasts 22 months. However, the time for a patient to see noticeable change will vary depending on overall treatment time.
For adults, the average length of time is usually less than it is for children, depending on the patient’s treatment plan. For patients who only need to close a gap, braces or Invisalign may only take six to eight months to align teeth properly. The time it takes to wear braces does not include the post-treatment retainer to ensure teeth stay properly aligned.
Can I Shorten my Time Wearing Braces?
Everyone wants their orthodontic treatments to progress quickly but to maximize results, it is important to move teeth at an intelligent pace. In the end, you will need to trust your orthodontist’s advice and be patient about the length of orthodontic treatment.
There are a few things you can do to make your orthodontic treatment effective to avoid any delays. This includes making sure you brush and floss teeth regularly, eat a proper diet and make regular appointments with your dentist or orthodontist for professional cleanings and oral exams.
Our expert Charleston County orthodontist and highly trained staff at Reese Orthodontics are eager to join you and your family on the journey to a healthier and happier smile. To request your appointment with our friendly and knowledgeable orthodontist Dr. Reese, please contact us.