Orthodontic treatment for 12 year olds can take anywhere from 1 to 3 years, depending on the complexity of the misalignment. Mild cases may take less than a year, while more complex cases may take longer. In addition to braces, other orthodontic appliances such as expanders and masks may be used to correct misalignment. Invisalign aligners can also be used instead of braces, and they can move teeth to their ideal position in less time than traditional braces.
The American Academy of Orthodontics (AAO) recommends that children visit an orthodontist for the first time no later than age 7.This is so that any problems can be identified and addressed early on, which can help reduce the amount of time needed for treatment. After the braces are removed, a retainer or a thin piece of plastic shaped like a mouth guard may be used to maintain the results. For parents who are considering orthodontic treatment for their children or themselves, it is important to talk to an orthodontist about treatment expectations and follow their advice to avoid lengthening the amount of time needed for treatment. Every patient is different and only your orthodontist can tell you for sure how long your child will be wearing braces.
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