How Long Will Braces Need to Stay On?

How Long Will Braces Need to Stay On?

The day braces go on, you or your child will probably be asking when they can come off. Most orthodontic treatments last 18 to 24 months, but there is no way to know exactly how long the treatment will last.

Every Case is Different

Orthodontic care can range from correction of relatively minor misalignment of teeth to profound bite issues. All other things being equal, more adjustment will require a longer time in braces. Your orthodontist has a number of options that they can employ, and they will discuss them with you. In some cases, there are tradeoffs between how long you or your child will be in braces on the one hand and the level of discomfort, difficulty, or inconvenience required on the other. For example, ceramic braces or clear braces may be more comfortable, but can’t generally withstand as much adjustment pressure as traditional metal braces. This may mean that treatment takes a little longer.

The Patient’s Behavior Affects the Length of Treatment

There are things that you or your child can do to make things go faster – or slower. If your orthodontist recommends that you or your child wear rubber bands, they should be worn at all times, except when activities like eating make that impossible. If you or your child runs out of rubber bands, go to your orthodontist’s office and get more. An appointment is usually not needed, and waiting until the next scheduled time may make braces less effective and stretch out the treatment.

Cutting up food better and chewing carefully can help speed up treatment as well. Vigorously chewing hard foods can put pressure on teeth that work against the adjustment being provided by the braces. Along these lines, chewing on things like straws, pencils, and the like should be avoided, as they put a lot of pressure on teeth. These kinds of activities can also damage your braces. Anything that causes damage to braces, such as broken wires, can be a major setback in your treatment.

You or your child should be especially careful to keep your teeth clean when wearing braces. While braces make it more difficult to keep teeth clean, it’s more important than ever to keep them clean. This makes orthodontic treatment go faster and protect the teeth during this time.

Wearing braces isn’t fun for most people. If you or your child is willing to be diligent while wearing them, it can take months off the course of treatment.

For more information about orthodontic care, for a consultation, or to answer any questions you may have, contact an orthodontist, like an orthodontist in San Clemente, CA, today.

Thank you to the experts at San Clemente Orthodontics for their input into orthodontic care.