How Long Do You Need to Wear Braces?

As many as 1.4 million Americans visit the orthodontist every year, and with many people feeling increasing pressure to own a perfect smile, this number is expected to continue to rise over the coming decade. 

The purpose of orthodontic treatment is to make the best of your teeth, both in terms of their health and their appearance. This can include:

  • Straightening your teeth so that you’re better able to brush and floss them, taking care of them and your gums as effectively as possible

  • Altering your bite so that there is even pressure and wear across all of your teeth, helping to prevent conditions such as temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD)

While there are several different orthodontic treatments, the vast majority of patients usually undergo a treatment plan that includes the use of braces. Braces are securely attached to the teeth and apply gentle, consistent pressure to them in order to alter their position. Metal or acrylic brackets are glued onto the faces of the teeth, with wires passing through them that exert force onto your teeth, moving them into their new and improved position. Braces are regularly adjusted to ensure that this happens, and you can expect to need to attend appointments to have your progress checked and your braces adjusted every 8-12 weeks. 


What issues can orthodontic braces treat?

Braces can be used to address a variety of different issues, including: 

  • crooked teeth
  • overlapping teeth 
  • teeth with gaps between them
  • overbites
  • underbites
  • crossbites
  • open bite

Your orthodontist will be able to advise you if you are a suitable candidate for orthodontic braces. 


How long will I have to wear my braces?

One of the first questions that many patients ask is how long they will have to wear their braces for. This is understandable, since wearing braces can be inconvenient. When you have braces, there will be some foods that you can't eat because they could damage a brace or increase your risk of dental decay since it is more difficult to brush your teeth when you are wearing them. 

There is no single correct answer to this question, as every patient is different. The exact amount of time you will be wearing braces will be based on your dental hygiene, the extent of the treatment needed (how much your teeth and jaw will need to move), and the type of braces you are wearing. Your age will also play a role in your treatment time since teeth in children and teens tend to move more quickly than in adults. 

Your orthodontist will be able to give you an approximate treatment time during your consultation, but this may vary depending on how you care for your teeth while wearing your braces and how quickly your teeth respond to the treatment. However, in most cases, the average length of orthodontic braces treatment is 24 months. 

If you would like to find out if you would benefit from braces or to schedule a consultation to discuss orthodontic treatment, please contact Ofir Orthodontics and our friendly and knowledgeable staff at our office in Downey, California. Call us at (562) 396-9820 today.

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