How Long Do I Have To Wear Braces?

Questions about the length of time someone has to be in braces is one question orthodontists are asked every day. No one wants to wear braces one day longer than they have to. Before you ask the orthodontist the question, here are some things that determine how long people need to wear braces to correct bite issues, crooked teeth, or poorly-spaced teeth.

Type of Problem

The type of problem you are having that requires braces will affect the length of time your braces need to stay on. For example, if you have a moderate malocclusion, such as an overbite or underbite, your time in braces will be shorter than someone who has a severe crossbite. In general, overbites and underbites are easier to fix than crossbites. If you have a crossbite, it means the orthodontist needs to fix bite issues in both the upper and lower jaw, which can be time-consuming. Also, if your teeth are crowded, or they overlap, it will take longer to fix those problems than it does with patients who have poorly-spaced teeth that don’t overlap.

Following the Rules

Your orthodontist will give you some guidelines to follow while you are wearing braces. The more closely you follow your guidelines, the less time you’ll spend in braces. For example, if your orthodontist cautions you about eating hard, crunchy foods, and you eat those apples or that popcorn anyway, you are far more likely to break a wire or a bracket.

If you do break a bracket, you will need to return to the orthodontist to have it replaced. This means your teeth won’t be moving into their correct positions in the meantime. The more you have to visit the orthodontist to have something fixed, the longer you will need treatment. Eat carefully during the time you have braces, and you’ll get them off more quickly.