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Finding out you need braces can bring a wave of emotions over you. What will life be like with braces? Are they going to hurt? How will my everyday activities change? Among all the questions you may be asking yourself, one seems to be the most important…

“How long will I need braces?”

If you’re asking yourself this question, the answer lies in a few different places. Some of the factors you can control and others you can’t. When it comes to how long your treatment will be with braces, here are some of the indicators that can affect treatment duration.

Orthodontic Issues

How long you will need braces will factor heavily on just how severe your orthodontic issue is, which means some patients may have their braces on for longer than others. Braces are extraordinary in that they can correct any type of issue with the teeth and jaw, including:

  • Overbites and underbites
  • Open bites
  • Crossbites
  • Crowded teeth
  • Gap teeth
  • Misaligned jaw

For more severe orthodontic issues, braces will need to be worn longer. On average, treatment with braces takes about 24 months to complete, but again, this can vary by issue. Some patients with slight orthodontic issues might have their braces on for a shorter amount of time, like a year or less, while patients with very severe issues may have their braces on for close to three years or longer.

Treatment Types

Whether you have braces or Invisalign, the severity of your issue is what affects treatment time the most. Some patients who utilize the Invisalign system report faster results than those with braces, but again, this will vary from patient to patient.

Patient Age

Although choosing to focus on getting a beautiful smile is encouraged at any age, tackling it younger is highly recommended. Typically, young patients experience results faster, due to the fact that their bones are still growing and haven’t set yet. Adult patients may need treatment for a longer duration, because their bones and teeth have been set for years, which means braces will need to do a bit more work to fix their issue. Again, this will depend on the severity of the issue and age.

Treatment Compliance

Let’s not forget one of the main factors in how long your braces will be on…compliance! If you’re not complying with your orthodontic program, chances are your treatment length will be much longer than someone who is compliant. It’s strongly advised to listen to your orthodontist’s instructions on proper maintenance of your braces, what foods to avoid and how often to come into the office. In failing to do so, you may be left wondering why your braces are still on after all this time.

And don’t forget, after your braces do come off, wearing your retainers is crucial to your ongoing success with treatment. In not wearing your retainers properly following treatment, you run the risk of having to undergo treatment again. So, remember to listen to your orthodontist and trust in your treatment program for maximum results.

The team at Charleston Orthodontic Specialists can’t wait to help you achieve a spectacular smile! Call (843) 4-BRACES to get started.