How Long Do You Have to Wear Braces?


“How long do I have to wear braces?” It's one of the most common questions people ask during consultations. In an ideal world, your health care professional would be able to give everyone a firm completion date the day we begin. The reality is often more complicated! There are many factors at play in determining when orthodontic treatment is complete. Those factors can include unexpected personal, health or dental issues that arise. Some patients may only take a few months while other more complicated cases may take over 3 years. 

The Average Treatment Time for Braces

The National average for months in braces is reported to be 23 months. Patients are usually quoted two years on average, but as with anything, there are exceptions and outliers. When patients have a phase 1 treatment younger yearsghrtfg. the second phase of treatment can easily be reduced to 1yr. You may be finished with braces in a matter of months, or you could need as long as three years for your treatment.

While knowing the typical treatment time gives you a good idea of what to expect, it's important to remember that the only way to really know how long you'll need to wear braces is to schedule a consultation at our office. Dr. Demko can provide you with an accurate time estimate & explain what can help things go faster & what will drag treatment on longer than it should go. There will be many treatment options & each will likely have a slightly different expected treatment time. 

Factors That Affect Your Treatment Time

The extent of orthodontic correction needed is perhaps the most critical factor in determining the needed time in braces. Patients with only minor teeth misalignments, as often seen in patients with orthodontic relapse, will not need braces for as long as those with significant bite issues in addition to misalignments. You should anticipate having to wear braces for a longer time if you have an open bite, underbite, cross bite, or deep bite. Another complication that can lengthen treatment time is impacted teeth, as they will first need to be exposed by an oral surgeon, then pulled into proper position by attaching a bracket.

Although you have no control over how much orthodontic correction you require, you do have control over another factor that impacts the length of your treatment: whether or not you follow our instructions. If you ignore the food restrictions Dr. Demko gives you and eat sticky sweets or bite into whole apples, you're likely to break a bracket at some point. Anytime this happens, it extends your treatment time. If you do this on a regular basis, you could delay getting your braces off for months because when a bracket breaks, your teeth stop moving as they should.

Skipping appointments, failing to wear elastics or other orthodontic appliances as instructed by Dr. Demko, and poor oral hygiene can all mean a longer treatment time. Even if your teeth appear to be in perfect alignment, braces need to remain in place until the supporting bone structures adjust to the new positions of your teeth; this prevents your teeth from shifting back.

Wearing your retainers as directed after your braces are removed is another way to ensure that your beautiful new smile lasts a lifetime. When your braces do finally come off, it doesn't mean your orthodontic treatment is finished—it just means you're ready to go on to the next step!

Learn More About Getting Braces

If you have questions about braces, contact us today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Demko.