When it comes to orthodontic treatment, timing is everything. The amount of time you'll need to wear braces depends on the complexity of your dental problem and the type of braces you choose. On average, it takes about 24 months to complete orthodontic treatment, but some patients may require less than 12 months, while others may need up to 3 years of treatment before their teeth reach the desired position. For most patients, fixed braces will need to be worn for approximately 18 to 24 months.
However, if you have more complex issues or are an elderly patient, treatment can last up to three years. If you have less serious problems or are a good candidate for clear aligners such as Invisalign, treatment may take 6 to 12 months. It's important to note that if your treatment plan goes beyond four years, it's worth getting a second, third, and fourth opinion. You can wear braces at any age and it's now more common for adults to wear them than it was a few decades ago.
The longer you wear braces, the more likely you are to damage them. Your orthodontic appliances may be removed a little sooner or you may have to keep them on a little longer. Patients who choose lingual braces attend more appointments for longer periods of time to check on progress and make adjustments. This means that plaque buildup is more common and, over the course of orthodontic treatment, patients are likely to have more cavities and more advanced gum disease than they would have had without braces.
When braces are removed, the teeth can still return to their original position without the aid of a retainer. The minimum time to wear braces can be as short as a few months to fix a basic problem such as a crooked tooth or a spacing issue. Whether patients choose traditional braces or transparent aligners such as Invisalign, this innovative technology ensures that treatment is effective and fast.Adults are often surprised to learn that orthodontic appliances can not only repair crooked teeth but can also correct other related dental problems such as bone and gum loss, abnormal wear of tooth enamel, headaches, jaw pain, and tooth decay. To maintain proper oral hygiene while wearing braces, it is recommended that you visit a dentist every six months for a professional dental exam and cleaning.
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