Orthodontic treatment can take anywhere from 16 to 24 months, or even longer in some cases. The average treatment plan is 18 months to three years, but this can vary depending on the complexity of the case. Simple treatments usually require a year or less, while more complex cases may take up to three years. Your orthodontist will be able to give you a better idea of how long your treatment will take based on your individual needs.
The amount of time you wear braces or aligners will depend on the amount of correction required and your behaviors. To avoid damaging orthodontic appliances and extending the time of use, it is important to follow all instructions closely. If you choose to see an orthodontist, they will most likely propose a treatment plan that will provide you with the best possible bite and smile before your orthodontic appliances are removed. Your orthodontist will observe how your teeth and mouth respond to treatment and can determine the ideal time to remove them.
Even after the braces are finished, most people will have to wear a clear retainer after the braces to keep them from moving any further. The only person who truly knows how long your orthodontic appliances last is your orthodontist, who will keep you informed of your progress during each adjustment appointment. Talk to your orthodontist about treatment expectations and be sure to follow their advice to avoid lengthening the amount of time you need to wear braces.