One question we hear more often than any other here at Adult & Pediatric Orthodontics is, “when will I get my braces off?” We understand that you want to skip ahead to the good part and see your new smile. We’re excited to get you there, too, but there’s no “one size fits all” answer to how long treatment will last. Many factors determine how long you will need to be in braces or clear aligners. Let’s look at some of them to help you better understand what to expect from the orthodontic process at our offices in Portland and Windham!
The Issues We’re Treating
Every smile is unique, but there are a few generalizations we can make regarding potential treatment times. For instance, complex cases are more likely to require comprehensive care. That means the treatment time is likely longer than someone with a relatively healthy bite with only minor issues. In other words, teeth that are severely misaligned will often require more time to correct than problems with mild crowding or spacing.
How Your Body Responds to Treatment
Even with similar cases, no two people will have the same response to the treatment process. Things like bone density, gum tissue thickness, and chewing patterns can vary widely from person to person. Oral habits such as clenching or grinding the teeth can also impact treatment progress. This is why it’s important to work with an experienced orthodontist! Dr. Yu takes a personalized approach to every case, building custom treatment plans based on your specific needs and goals. This will give you the best results in the shortest possible time!
Your Compliance During Treatment
Dr. Yu will handle the hard work of straightening your teeth with braces or clear aligners, but you also have a role in the success of your treatment. Complying with the guidelines is key to completing treatment within the estimated time frame! Keeping your teeth and gums healthy throughout the treatment process is vital. Maintaining a solid oral hygiene routine and following our recommendations can sometimes decrease the total treatment time while ignoring them can slow treatment down.
The same goes for keeping your regular follow-up visits to our Portland or Windham offices. These appointments are an essential part of the treatment plan, allowing us to assess how your teeth are moving and make any necessary adjustments. While we understand that you may need to cancel or reschedule an appointment from time to time, you should stick to the schedule as closely as possible to ensure your treatment plan stays on track.
Failing to care for your braces or aligners properly can also push your treatment schedule back. This is more of an issue with braces, although clear aligners can break and crack, too. You can do your part by avoiding crunchy or sticky foods if you’re in braces, as these can weaken the bond strength of the brackets.
We don’t consider it an emergency if a bracket breaks or comes loose, but we will want to rebond it as soon as possible. No active tooth movement can occur when a bracket isn’t properly bonded to the teeth, which can add time to the treatment process. Be sure to contact our office if you experience any damage to your appliance.
Your Age During Treatment
People can get weird when you ask how old they are, but it is relevant when it comes to treatment! You may even be surprised to learn that age can affect how long treatment takes. Our expert team can successfully move teeth at almost any age, but it’s sometimes easier treating children and teens. That’s because they’re still growing and have pliable bones that are not yet fully developed. This can make the treatment process faster and more effective. It also gives Dr. Yu more control over the bite correction.
Our jawbones stop growing by our early twenties, and orthodontic treatment after that point may require more time and effort. That doesn’t mean you should give up on improving your smile if you’re an adult, though! We still have plenty of treatment options available to straighten your teeth and boost your oral health. You’re never too old to explore everything orthodontics has to offer!
Patience Pays Off!
Whatever treatment method you choose, it’s important to remember that nothing lasts forever. It might feel like it sometimes when you’re an orthodontic patient, but eventually, you’ll finish your treatment and say hello to your beautiful new smile!
Adult & Pediatric Orthodontics offers a range of affordable treatment options to move your teeth comfortably, efficiently, and as quickly as possible. You may not have an exact date for treatment to be completed going into your orthodontic journey, but we’ll give you an estimated time before you begin.
As noted above, this will vary depending on the patient and the specific issues we’re treating. In general, however, the average treatment time for braces tends to be anywhere from 12 to 36 months. If you’re using a clear aligner system like Invisalign, it may take slightly less time to achieve your desired results.
Get the Smile You Deserve with Adult & Pediatric Orthodontics
Your treatment may last slightly longer or shorter than your initial estimate, but there’s one thing you can always count on: personalized care and exceptional results from our expert team!
Patience is a virtue in orthodontic treatment, but why put off getting a straighter smile? Schedule a FREE consultation and start your transformation today!