How long do I have to wear braces?

Active treatment time with orthodontic braces typically ranges from six months to two years, but a few cases fall outside this range. The duration of treatment depends on the growth of the patient’s mouth and face, the individual biological response to the brace, the severity of the problem and the cooperation of the patient. Following your orthodontist’s advice and instructions contributes to completing treatment on time as planned.

After active treatment retainers will need to be worn. Removable retainers are worn full-time for the first 1 to 3 months. They are then worn only at nights for the next few months, phasing down to every other night for a few months, and eventually 1 or 2 nights a week. You should then keep wearing your removable retainers 1-2 nights a week for as long as possible; in other words for as long as you want your teeth to remain straight! This is called ‘long-term retention’. With fixed or bonded retainers, again you should expect ‘long-term retention’, keeping them on for as long as possible.

While orthodontic treatment requires some commitment, patients are rewarded with healthy straight teeth, proper jaw alignment and a beautiful smile that lasts a lifetime. If left untreated, crooked teeth could lead to an improper bite, tooth wear, tooth injury and even tooth decay and gum disease. Crooked teeth can also lead to a decrease in one’s personal self-confidence. Treatment by a specialist orthodontist to correct the original problem is often less costly than the additional dental care required to treat more serious problems that can develop in later years.

It has been proven that improvements in personal appearance contribute to greater mental and physical well-being. Although treatment may sometimes seem lengthy, creating a beautiful smile through orthodontics is a reliable way of improving the health of your teeth as well as your self-esteem. In this way, orthodontic treatment can benefit social and career success, as well as improve one’s general attitude toward life.

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