From the moment Dr. McGrory or Dr. McCarty applies your braces, there’s only one question on your mind: when do I get my braces off? Don’t worry, we’re going to do everything we can to make sure your treatment is as short and easy as possible, but there are several factors that go into how long you’ll wear your braces. Keep reading to learn what causes longer or shorter treatment times and what you can do to speed up the process.
Factors affecting your treatment time
Age during treatment
Our McGrory Orthodontics team believes that everyone deserves a beautiful smile, no matter how old they are. We offer treatment plans for kids, teens, and adults alike! However, depending on your age, the time you spend in braces could change.
Teens: The most common age for braces falls in the teenage years. That’s because your teen has all of their adult teeth, and their jaw is still flexible enough for orthodontic treatment to take effect. Teens usually require the least amount of time in braces.
Kids: According to the American Association of Orthodontics, children should visit an orthodontist as early as age seven for their first checkup. Early intervention allows Dr. McGrory or Dr. McCarty to determine whether your child needs two-phase treatment, which requires two rounds of braces over a longer period of time – but don’t worry! The results are worth it.
Adults: If you’re over the age of 18, your treatment might take longer than average. That’s because your jaw is more permanent than your child’s or teen’s jaw, so treatment requires extra effort to correct misalignment.
The severity of your case
Just like a fingerprint, every smile is different. Depending on your smile goals and orthodontic condition, your treatment time will be just as unique. For example, if you’re getting braces to correct a severe malocclusion or spacing between your teeth, you will probably wear your braces for a longer period of time than someone who just needs a smile touch-up.
Ask Dr. McGrory or Dr. McCarty about your orthodontic condition. This may give you a better idea of how long treatment might take.
Your treatment method
At McGrory Orthodontics, braces aren’t your only option! With metal braces, clear braces, lingual braces, and Invisalign® clear aligners, you have choices when it comes to treating your smile – and they may affect how long you’ll be in treatment. Depending on your orthodontic condition at your free consultation, Dr. McGrory or Dr. McCarty may recommend one of these options:
Metal braces: Metal braces use a system of brackets and wires to align your smile over time. By meeting with Dr. McGrory or Dr. McCarty every six to eight weeks, you’ll get the smile you love. Some patients spend as little as six months in braces, while others can spend up to two years.
Clear braces: Ceramic braces work the same way metal braces do. Designed for aesthetics, our clear braces are smaller than ever and are made of nearly invisible, tooth-colored polycrystalline ceramic material that blends in with your smile. Depending on your orthodontic condition, you can expect to wear clear braces between six months and two years.
Invisalign: Invisalign is a system of custom-made, clear acrylic aligners designed to straighten your teeth and align your bite. Each aligner is personalized to fit your unique smile. You’ll get a new set of custom-made aligners every couple of weeks, so you can expect treatment to take between nine and 15 months.
Your ability to care for your braces
Taking care of your braces is a huge responsibility and can affect your treatment time in the long run. If you stay compliant with Dr. McGrory or Dr. McCarty’s instructions, you may shorten your time spent in braces! If you don’t follow all instructions, you could extend it by accident.
Double-time your treatment
If you’re reading this, it’s probably because you want to spend as little time in braces as possible so you can show off your beautiful smile to all your friends. Although Dr. McGrory or Dr. McCarty will give you a pretty accurate estimate of your treatment timeline, you can speed up the process by doing the following:
Follow your orthodontist’s instructions:
There are a few rules that you’ll need to follow while wearing braces. You should avoid sticky or crunchy foods like popcorn or gum. These foods can weaken the bond strength of your brackets, and if your brackets are weak, you could be in braces longer than you expected.
Sometimes brackets come loose even when we do our best to keep them safe, but you must schedule another appointment with Dr. McGrory or Dr. McCarty as soon as possible to fix the issue. Your braces won’t work while the brackets aren’t glued down, so a broken bracket or wire could increase treatment time.
Keep up with your appointments in Pearland or Bellaire:
It’s essential to your treatment plan to attend every orthodontic appointment you can. Dr. McGrory or Dr. McCarty will need to meet with you once every 6-8 weeks to assess your progress and your body’s reaction to orthodontic treatment.
Sometimes things come up, and that’s okay! Just let us know as soon as possible so we can reschedule your appointment and keep your treatment plan on track.
Maintain your oral hygiene: Maintaining your oral hygiene throughout treatment can speed up your treatment time while failing to do so can make the treatment take longer. Plaque buildup can harm your appliance, so make sure you see the dentist regularly for cleanings. You’ll want to brush and floss your teeth twice a day to keep your teeth bright and shining.
Shaping your smile & your life
Dr. McGrory and Dr. McCarty are your local orthodontic experts in Pearland and Bellaire, and if you’re looking for the smile of your dreams, you’ve come to the right place! With three treatment options for all ages, you’ll get the straight teeth you deserve in no time. Schedule your free consultation to start your treatment today!