A dentist can recommend braces or aligners for several reasons. For example, if you struggle to smile and enjoy life because of your misaligned teeth. Dentists can straighten crooked teeth with braces, restoring your smile and beauty. Your misaligned teeth impact your bite, making chewing and swallowing food challenging. When your front teeth are crooked and vulnerable to injury, braces can straighten them to ensure their safety and aesthetic appeal. Additionally, braces stop the onset of significant oral conditions like cavities, gingivitis, and concerns with jaw alignment, like TMJ disorders.
It takes time for braces to improve your teeth. Your underlying dental issues and your behavior during treatment will determine how long you must wear them. To learn some good habits you can maintain while wearing braces and guarantee you receive the results you want faster, consulting with an expert dentist can be helpful.
How Long Your Braces Could Take
Braces are a suggested treatment for everyone, including adults and children. They progressively realign your teeth, fixing issues like crowding, misalignment, overlapping, and vast spaces between teeth. It could be time to talk to your dentist about whether braces are necessary if how your teeth feel and appear has always impacted your confidence and how they operate.
Wearing braces could extend the course of treatment by one to three years. Braces will generally produce better outcomes faster for people with minor dental concerns than for those with more severe disorders. Follow your dentist's recommendations after installing your braces to avoid having to wear them for longer. Let us examine some of the elements that could affect your length of treatment with braces:
How Your Teeth Look
Dentists advocate for braces and dental aligners mainly because of crooked and misaligned teeth. When the teeth are close together in your mouth, it indicates that your jaw does not have enough room to fit all your teeth comfortably. While some teeth erupt frontally and squeeze into the limited area, others erupt crookedly. Some teeth erupt and occupy more space than is available, leaving no room for other teeth to erupt. Untreated crowding or misalignment of the teeth can lead to significant dental conditions like gum disease, cavities, or enamel erosion.
For example, brushing and flossing between teeth is harder when they are crowded. Food debris will probably continue to accumulate in those challenging places, leading to periodontal disease, gingivitis, and cavities. The extra space between some of your teeth can be reduced, and crooked and crowded teeth can be straightened using braces.
However, how long you need to wear braces depends on how badly damaged your teeth are. Your dentist could need to remove some of your teeth, for example, if they overlap, to create more space for the other teeth in the mouth. That could prolong the treatment period.
How Your Bite Is
Your bite is determined by how your upper jaw's teeth align with your lower jaw when you bite down. You have a healthy bite when your upper and lower teeth align perfectly. You require treatment if your bite is improper. However, your dentist will first try to determine your precise bite type. The following are the typical bites:
A malocclusion, also known as a bite problem, occurs when the top and bottom teeth do not fit together entirely and are not in the proper place when you bite down. It can be due to some of your teeth overlapping. Often, open bites result from misaligned teeth or jaws, commonly when one of your jaws is not in the proper place in your mouth.
When you bite down, your lower jaw's teeth will jut out farther than your upper jaw, resulting in an underbite. It could happen if your lower jaw sticks out farther than your upper jaw.
If your upper jaw's teeth overlap your lower jaw's teeth too much when you bite down, you can have a deep bite. A closed bite or overbite can also be described as a deep bite.
If the teeth on your bottom and upper jaws do not line up or fall in the proper place when you bite down, you can have a crossbite. Crossbites can occur if one of your jaws sits incorrectly in your mouth or if some of the teeth in your upper or lower jaw are not in their proper positions.
The suggested course of action for bad bites is the installation of braces. However, it takes more time and effort to use braces to repair a faulty bite than it does to straighten misaligned, crowded, or overlapping teeth.
The Kinds of Braces You Choose
For a variety of oral problems, dentists advise numerous orthodontic treatment options. Before deciding, your dentist will discuss the different kinds of braces available and how they address the dental issue you are experiencing. The kind of braces you select for your treatment will impact how long it takes. Here are some of the most popular brace types available today and how long it can take for them to work:
The traditional and most popular type of braces used by dentists for orthodontic therapy are metal braces. They attach to the teeth using metal brackets. Metal wires that connect one metal bracket to the next are threaded through the metal brackets. These wires are tightened by dentists throughout therapy to gradually realign your teeth and move them into their proper locations. Metal brackets are advised to treat more severe cases of tooth misalignment. It could take your teeth two to three years to attain the desired alignment.
You can wear these detachable plastic braces to move your teeth into the proper positions. They employ plastic trays, which your dentist can adjust as required throughout treatment as your teeth realign. You can take out your aligners to eat and brush your teeth, but you must wear them for at least 22 hours daily. It could take much longer to obtain the desired outcomes if you do not follow your dentist's recommendations. Clear aligners take 12 to 18 months to produce the desired results.
They are also made of metal. But unlike traditional metal braces, these are attached to the back of your teeth by your dentist. Although they function the same as conventional metal braces, they can offer better results. Because they are more aesthetically pleasing, the majority of patients prefer them. Lingual braces can take between 12 and 18 months to work on your teeth.
People who use transparent aligners and adhere to their dentist's advice do so for a shorter period than those who use metal braces. However, dentists advise clear aligners for less severe issues with dental alignment.
Other Orthodontic Tools Used
Dentists employ additional tools besides braces during orthodontic therapy, which could affect how long you need braces. These tools include, among others:
- To fix a crooked jaw, dentists connect rubber bands to metal braces.
- Dentists place palatal expanders on the roof of the mouth to gradually open up a narrow jaw. They are often used on young children whose jaws are still developing. They can shorten the amount of time a child must wear braces.
- Your dentist can suggest headgear if your jaw misalignment is severe. At night, you could cover your face or head with the headgear. The appliance, which is typically attached to your braces, is optional.
Most of these devices are optional. However, your dentist can suggest using them to speed up your healing. You could extend the time you need to wear braces if you have to choose your course of therapy.
It is best to discuss your worries with your dentist if you have concerns about how long you need braces. According to your demands, your orthodontist can modify the course of treatment. For example, you can tell your dentist about significant life events ahead of time so they can adjust your treatment schedule.
After wearing braces for a while, your jaw or teeth can appear treated. But that does not imply that the underlying problem has been fully resolved. It can take longer for some of your treatment's less-clear issues to be treated. For example, during therapy, it can take longer for your jawbone to adapt to a new position. If you take off your braces too soon, you risk undoing much of the treatment-related progress.
Working closely with the orthodontist will help you ensure that your child's requirements are met if they require orthodontic treatment. Some parents prevent their children from considering options that could expedite treatment. It helps if you concur with the orthodontist's recommendations for additional equipment and techniques to quicken the treatment process for your child's wellbeing. The orthodontist can develop a treatment strategy that considers your worries and your child's requirements.
Your diet can occasionally impact how long your braces will last. Throughout treatment, your orthodontist will advise you on what foods to eat and avoid. It makes it easier for you to heed their advice and protect the efficacy of your treatment. For example, chewy and crunchy meals can damage or shatter some brace components. You can avoid candy, gum, and some nutritious foods like raw vegetables. Your braces will not work as effectively to cure the underlying issue if some of them break or become weak. That could make the healing process take longer.
Being thoroughly involved in the treatment plan could help you prevent mistakes that could cause your braces to last longer. You can follow your treatment plan by doing the following things, for example:
- Regular appointments with your dentist for adjustments.
- Observe the advice given by your dentist regarding post-treatment care.
- Visit your dentist at least twice a year for routine examinations and cleanings.
If you play sports or work out, consider wearing a mouthguard to protect your teeth and braces. You can discuss this with your dentist.
The Do’s and Don’ts After Braces Installation
Following the placement of braces, your orthodontist will send you home with a list of actions you must take and omissions you must make to ensure a successful and pain-free treatment period:
You should pay great attention to the following, among others:
- Brush and floss your teeth at least twice daily or after each meal.
- After every meal, rinse your mouth with a specific mouthwash or plain water to eliminate leftover food particles.
- Regular checkups, cleanings, and adjustments at the dentist's office.
- Follow the orthodontist's advice when using removable clear aligners and flexible orthodontic products like expanders, headgear, and rubber bands.
- Immediately after your braces break, visit a dentist.
- Call your dentist immediately if you have pain, irritation, or swelling in your mouth or gums after having braces.
- During your orthodontic treatment, be in constant contact with your dentist.
- You should visit your dentist immediately if you experience severe discomfort after installation or if the pain lasts longer than expected.
- Avoid or limit the amount of sticky, crunchy, sweet, and hard foods you eat.
- Limit or avoid carbonated or sugary drinks.
- Avoid attempting to restore your damaged braces yourself.
Find an Experienced Dentist Near Me
You must see your dentist for orthodontic treatment suggestions if the teeth are crowded, crooked, or out of place. Your dentist will advise braces as the best course of action to straighten your teeth, enhance their appearance, and increase their functionality. However, braces will progressively realign your crooked or misaligned teeth and correct any bite problems you could be experiencing. The length of treatment for patients wearing braces varies greatly depending on several factors.
Our skilled orthodontists at La Puente Advanced Dentistry can explain how numerous aspects, like the type of braces and your daily habits, affect the time of treatment with braces if the treatment period is a concern for you. We will also review how braces work and what to expect after installation. For additional details about orthodontic treatment and our services, contact us at 626-626-7075.