“How long will my treatment take?” is probably the most common question we hear from patients. From the day you begin treatment, we know you are counting down the days that remain until you have your perfect smile. There are many factors that contribute to the length of treatment including the complexity of your treatment, your age, and your commitment to following the right steps towards your orthodontic treatment. Remember, if you put in the time now, your beautiful, healthy smile will last you a lifetime!
Because every patient who comes through our door is unique, there isn’t a universal treatment time. From their hair to their shoes, no two patients are identical; this goes for their smile too! We may not be able to give you a definitive answer to how long your treatment will take without a complimentary consultation, but we can look at average estimated treatment times and give you a better idea of how long your treatment may take. Let’s take a look at some of the factors that affect the length of treatment!
On average, braces tend to be worn between one and three years. In some cases, braces will need to stay in place for a longer period of time than might be originally anticipated, and the reverse can be true as well – there will be patients who end up completing treatment before their original estimated date. While there are some factors you don’t have any control over, there might be a few things that you can do to help complete your treatment on time, or even early.
How much spacing and how far off your bite is play a role in the length of your treatment time. The more comprehensive the treatment is, the longer the treatment time needed. Someone with mild crowding and a healthy bite may have a relatively short treatment time, while someone with severely displaced teeth and/or a significant bite discrepancy may have a longer time in treatment.
Your age also plays a factor in the length of your treatment time. Your Orthodontist may recommend children at the age of 7 be seen by an orthodontist for an initial evaluation. Most children this young are not ready for orthodontic treatment, but this allows us to get baseline records and monitor them for the coming years so we can pinpoint the exact time to start treatment and minimize treatment time. Young jaws are still growing and this allows your Orthodontist more control over correcting the bite.
A patient’s willingness to comply with treatment can have the largest effect on your Orthodontists ability to complete treatment within the time frame estimated at the start of treatment. While the orthodontist does the work of placing the brackets and wires, or prescribing the Invisalign movements, the patient has the important job of maintaining their appliance. It is very important for our patients to follow the Orthodontists instructions on oral hygiene. This means brushing and flossing properly, wearing rubber bands as prescribed, and keeping all scheduled appointments. When you begin your treatment, we will provide everything you’ll need to keep your teeth healthy! If the level of oral hygiene declines in a patient, treatment may be slowed or even stopped while any damage is mended. Being mindful about caring for your teeth could actually cut some time off how long you’ll need to be in braces!
This seems like a no-brainer, but breaking your orthodontic appliance can push back treatment time as well. Sometimes accidents do happen. A loose/broken bracket is not an emergency, but we do want to get it rebonded as soon as works with your schedule. Without a bracket being properly bonded to your teeth, there is no active tooth movement occurring. The best way to prevent breakage is by following the proper braces diet. Anything hard, sticky, or chewy can weaken the bond strength of your brackets.
Before you begin treatment, you’ll need to find an Orthodontist near you! https://caortho.org/locations?zip=92374&d=5