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How Long Do You Have to Wear Braces?

Many factors determine the how long you will have to wear braces, such as the severity of your misalignment, the type of braces you will wear, and if there are any additional orthodontic tools needed. Our orthodontists at Village Orthodontics explain.

How Long Do People Typically Have Braces For?

The length of time a person wears braces can vary depending on the individual's specific orthodontic needs. On average, most people wear braces for about 18 to 24 months. However, some cases may require braces for as little as six months, while others may need them for up to three years.

Below, we'll detail some common factors that can dictate how long you'll need to wear braces.

The Severity of Your Misalignment

The severity of misalignment can play a significant role in determining the duration of time needed to wear braces. For example, individuals with minor misalignments, such as slight overcrowding or small gaps between teeth, may only need to wear braces for 6–12 months. Those with more severe cases, such as severe overcrowding or large gaps between teeth, could require braces for 2–3 years.

It is important to consult with one of our qualified orthodontists, as they can assess the severity of the misalignment and create a personalized treatment plan. Through regular check-ups and adjustments, we can monitor progress and make any necessary modifications to ensure that the braces are working effectively.

Your Bite

The way your top and bottom teeth align when your mouth is closed is known as your 'bite.' Unfortunately, your bite may not line up as it should. This can result in any of the following bite types:

  • open bite (when there is a gap between the top and bottom teeth when the mouth is closed)
  • overbite (when the upper teeth overlap the lower teeth)
  • underbite (when the lower teeth protrude past the upper teeth)
  • cross bite (when some of the upper teeth sit inside the lower teeth)

Treating a misaligned bite with braces usually takes longer than treating misalignment with braces. This is because braces are typically used to correct the positioning of individual teeth, while bite correction may require additional appliances to properly align the upper and lower jaws. And speaking of additional appliances...

If You Need Additional Orthodontic Appliances

If your orthodontic treatment requires more than just braces, it could affect the length of your treatment plan. Some of the most common additional orthodontic appliances include:

Rubber Bands: These attach to dental braces to help treat minor to moderate jaw alignment.

Palatal Expanders: These attach to the roof of your mouth and widen the jaw by applying gentle pressure. These are mostly prescribed to children and can help them avoid braces altogether, or at least lessen the time they will need to wear braces later in life.

Headgear: Orthodontic headgear corrects severe bite issues, and orthodontic issues and straightens teeth by applying gentle pressure to the upper jaw. It typically consists of a metal wire attached to a head cap or neck strap, which is worn for a specified amount of time each day (usually overnight) to gradually shift the position of the teeth or jaw.

The Type of Braces You Wear

The types of braces you wear can also determine how long your treatment will take. The most common types of braces used include conventional, or traditional metal braces, and clear aligners.

Conventional Braces: Conventional braces, made up of metal brackets and wires, are adjusted periodically by your orthodontist to gradually align your teeth and jaw. They are effective in treating a range of complex cases, but the duration of treatment may vary based on the severity of your misaligned teeth.

Clear Aligners: With clear aligners, you’ll wear a series of custom-made, transparent trays that move teeth into their desired position. Unlike conventional braces, clear aligners are removable and nearly invisible, making them a popular choice for those seeking a more discreet option for straightening teeth. Braces treatment times can range from six months to two years, but your orthodontist can give you an accurate estimate based on your case.

If you're concerned about treatment times regarding your orthodontic treatment, don't hesitate to contact one of our orthodontists at Village Orthodontics and schedule a consultation. We can discuss your options for managing treatment times and create a plan that fits your schedule and goals. We have seven locations across Southern Ontario to better serve you and help you keep your oral hygiene and oral health.

Visit a Village Orthodontics Near You

Whether you're considering treatment for yourself or your child, we have an orthodontist waiting for you at one of our seven locations across Ontario.

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