How Long Will I Need Orthodontics For?

Orthodontics Miami, FL

Getting straighter teeth with orthodontics is not just for children. Many adults who did not have braces as a child but want a more attractive smile are getting braces later in life. Regardless of age, the average person having teeth shifted with braces will need to keep them on for between six and 36 months. Here are some of the factors that contribute to the length of time an individual will have orthodontics

Severity of correction

Someone with a minor issue generally will not need to wear braces for as long as someone with a more intense problem. 

Incorrect bite

Correcting an under or overbite can involve not only shifting the teeth but moving the entire jaw. In some cases, surgery is required in addition to braces. When adding braces can correct the problem, the process generally involves two stages and braces should be worn for up to two years. 

Gaps in teeth

The larger the gap, the longer the braces typically need to remain on the teeth. A small gap may only require braces for six or eight months, while a larger one may take at least a year to close.

Crowded teeth

To fix teeth that are too crowded or a snaggletooth, braces are typically worn for about 18 months. This process can take longer because it typically involves shifting the entire set of teeth instead of just one or two. 

Regularity of maintenance

Many people are unaware of the maintenance involved with wearing braces. Keeping up with the requirements for orthodontics can help the process stay on schedule. 

Checkups

People with braces usually need to visit the dentist every four to six weeks to have the braces tightened. If these visits are forgotten or ignored, the braces may not be able to move the teeth as quickly and so need to remain on the teeth longer. 

Oral hygiene

Extra attention should be given to brushing and flossing teeth with braces. Wearing braces makes it more difficult to get teeth as clean, so more time should be spent caring for them on a daily basis. If cavities and tooth decay develop due to lack of care, the braces may need to be removed to fix the cavity. This can extend the period of time the braces must be worn for.  

Proper diet

To avoid cavities as well as to prevent wires and brackets from snapping or breaking, it is recommended to stay away from hard, sticky and sugary foods. When a wire snaps and goes unnoticed or unfixed, the braces may not be able to function properly and the process may take longer. 

Conclusion

While the specific length of time a person needs to wear orthodontics can vary, most people wear them for at least six months and up to three years. Those with less severe issues who properly maintain their teeth typically wear braces for a shorter period of time than those who have more involved issues or who fail to keep up with necessary maintenance. 

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