Patients rarely look forward to getting braces. In fact, the first question that everyone has when they are recommended braces is “How long will I have to wear them?”. Below, we’ll take a look at some of the factors that determine the length of a typical braces treatment. Keep in mind that the treatment process can vary depending on patients’ unique needs. If you are looking for a more specific answer to this question, you can always find out by discussing your treatment with Dr. Savage, Dr. Sabol or Dr. Visser.
Getting Started with Braces
Before the exact braces treatment can be determined, there are several steps that must be completed so that your orthodontist can properly assess your teeth and plan your treatment. During your initial appointment, you can expect facial photographs, x-rays or digital impressions to be collected. After this process, it will take your orthodontist some time to analyze the results and determine your best treatment options. During your following visit, you will discuss these treatment options in order to define your treatment moving forward. It is at this time that you will be given an estimated timeline for your treatment.
The Average Braces Treatment
On average, an orthodontic treatment like braces takes between 16 and 18 months for completion. However, it is important to acknowledge that this timeline can vary by several months, and depends on many different factors. In addition to straightening the teeth, orthodontic treatments help to align the bite and ensure the palate forms correctly. These both ensure long-term oral health, and are less visible – but still vitally important – components of your treatment.
Generally, adult braces will require a longer treatment than children’s braces – in some cases, up to three years. This is because the teeth and the jaw have stopped growing. Adult teeth will take more pressure, and therefore, more time, to produce the desired outcome. While children generally enjoy a shorter treatment period, their treatments may also involve techniques to ensure the proper development of critical oral structures. As such, there may be more instruments or time involved with a braces treatment.
How Can I Shorten My Braces Treatment?
It may be possible for some patients to shorten the length of their braces treatment if they closely follow all instructions outlined by their orthodontist. Maintaining proper oral hygiene avoiding foods that can damage the braces can keep you on track with your treatment schedule and may even accelerate your treatment. In contrast, damaging the braces and maintaining poor oral hygiene will require more visits to the orthodontist, lengthening your treatment time.
If you have any questions about starting a braces treatment, or if you’d like to discuss alternative treatment options, contact us today to get started in the Virginia Beach area.