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Updated: Jun 19, 2023

Getting orthodontic treatment can feel like a big commitment. One of the most popular questions we get asked is: How long do braces take? Many factors determine the length of treatment. Here’s how to find out how long you will need braces for so you can know what to expect.

What Conditions Are Being Treated?

Some patients get braces to help align just a few front teeth that are crooked or spaced too far apart. Others obtain orthodontic treatment because of issues like an overbite, underbite, crossbite, teeth that are more severely out of alignment, or for breathing issues and sleep apnea or TMJ. The complexity of the issues you want corrected can determine the length of your treatment. In general, braces typically take between 16 to 18 months, but can sometimes take 24 months or longer to fully achieve the desired results.

When asking the question, “How long do braces take?” it’s important to remember that your orthodontist sees patients every day with issues just like yours. This extensive experience means that they are an expert in treating each condition in the most efficient and effective way possible.

What Other Factors Are There?

Another factor that can affect the answer to the question, “How long do braces take?” is age. The younger you are when you get braces, the quicker your teeth will adapt and shift into their proper places. This is because young people’s jaws are still growing, so their teeth are naturally moving and finding their proper places. As we get older, our teeth become settled and are less prepared to adjust, so things can be a bit slower to shift. However, adults still obtain great results with braces. It simply takes a little longer.

What About Invisalign®?

Invisalign aligners are another orthodontic treatment option that you may consider. Invisalign can shorten treatment times to as little as 6 to 12 months. If you’re wanting to see results sooner, talk to your orthodontist to find out if you are a good candidate for Invisalign aligners.

Reasons to Start Now

The best and most accurate way to find out how long you’ll need to wear braces is to have an orthodontist examine your teeth and jaw and recommend which conditions should be treated. It’s important to remember that regardless of how long orthodontic treatment will take for you, the sooner you start, the sooner you’ll be finished! There’s no better time than now to get started towards achieving the smile of your dreams.

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