How Long Do I Have to Wear Braces?

Without a doubt, “How long do I have to wear my braces?” is the most common question asked by patients. More so than cleaning tips and food restrictions, people want to know how long they’ll have to live with braces. It’s understandable. Braces are hard to brush and floss around, they come with food restrictions, and they can be a source of embarrassment for teens at school or professionals in the workplace. 

While most patients are always eager to start treatment, they are even more eager to get those braces off.  Even though each patient is given an estimated treatment time wearing braces when they start, patients always hope we can wave our magic wands and complete the process sooner.

How Do Braces Work? 

It makes sense that a patient may assume they are ahead of schedule when their teeth look straight in a mirror.  Unfortunately, orthodontics isn’t just about straight teeth. The ultimate goal of good orthodontic treatment is a beautiful smile and a healthy bite that lasts a lifetime.

After the braces are placed, the first step in treatment is either to use an expander to move crowded teeth or to close extra spaces in the mouth depending upon the problem. Most patients will see major changes in their appearance in the first six months of treatment. After that, the changes aren’t as noticeable since they are more bite-related and happen “behind the scenes”. Consequently, patients begin to ask when they can expect to complete treatment.

Even though your teeth look straight, your upper and lower jaws must fit together correctly to prevent premature wear and tear of your bite over time. An orthodontist specializes not only in the movement of teeth, but the proper relationship between the upper and lower jaws and how it relates to facial aesthetics.

Your Orthodontist Knows Best

There’s a reason you go and see an orthodontic specialist to perfect your smile. Orthodontists are trained experts in dental issues, diseases, and tooth movement. After becoming a dentist, an orthodontist continues with at least two or three academic years of advanced specialty education in an ADA-accredited orthodontic program.

The most important, and easiest, way to make sure your treatment goes as quickly as possible is to do everything your orthodontist recommends. Wear your appliances for the recommended number of hours per day and keep all your appointments on schedule. Patient cooperation is very important to a successful outcome, especially if rubber band wear is required.  Patients with good oral hygiene habits and who follow all instructions will often complete treatment ahead of schedule.

If you have specific questions about your timeline, feel free to ask what still needs to be completed in your treatment. Our goal is to make sure you understand all the different aspects of your personalized treatment. So, the answer to “When will my Braces Come Off?”is when the best result is achieved!