How Long Will I Be in Braces?

Braces. The word that instills excitement in the preteen about to get them for the first time and horror for the teen or adult that is entering the second year of this appliance. Braces are a wonderful instrument to achieving the smile you have always wanted; however, the process can be long and at times discouraging. Everyone’s mouth is different; therefore, there is no short answer for how long you will have to wear braces. However, there are some factors that can lengthen the amount of time that you might have to wear your appliances. This can include the severity of the case, poor oral hygiene habits, or dense bone level around teeth.

Severity of the Case

Some orthodontic treatment is to correct minor things such as crowding or spacing issues. Other times, orthodontic treatment is necessary to correct a poor bite or to pull down teeth that are stuck in bone and will not erupt. The severity of your case will greatly affect the amount of time that you spend wearing braces, and sometimes other orthodontic appliances will be necessary to make room for teeth or to change jaw structure.

Poor Oral Hygiene Habits

Failure to maintain good oral hygiene throughout orthodontic treatment can prolong the amount of time you must wear your braces. If your orthodontist sees that you are not maintaining your oral hygiene well enough, he or she may feel it necessary to temporarily remove your braces until you are able to get oral hygiene under control. Without proper brushing and flossing during orthodontic treatment, you may have cavities form between the teeth or around brackets. You could also have unsightly white spots on the teeth when braces are removed if you were not effectively removing plaque throughout treatment.

Dense Bone Level Around Teeth

If your bone is especially dense and the orthodontist has problems getting the teeth to move into the proper position, you could have a delay in treatment. This is more common in adult patients, but can happen for younger patients as well.

Like with any other treatment you receive, you must be patient in order for the orthodontist to give you optimal results. Rushing the process can lead to problems later down the road, so it is better to have treatment done correctly and efficiently the first time. After treatment, it is essential that you follow all instructions laid out by your orthodontist, like an orthodontist in San Clemente, CA, from John Redmond Orthodontics, so that you will not experience problems with crowding or spacing of teeth.