orthodontics in lyte - teens with braces

How Long Are Braces Worn for the Best Outcome?

January 31, 2020 8:00 am

“How long will I have to wear braces?” is a frequently asked question before someone commits to straightening their teeth. But it’s a hard one to answer because everyone’s straightening needs are different. Depending on the individual’s needs, braces generally stay on for between one to three years. Read on to learn about a few factors you can’t control, and what you can control when it comes to wearing braces.

Some Determiners You Can’t Control

There are many variables that determine how long an individual will need to wear braces. The severity of teeth misalignment is a big one. Is there an overbite, underbite, severe overcrowding, or teeth growing in at improper angles? The farther the teeth need to move, the longer it will take to achieve a straight smile. The size of the jaw also matters. Will teeth need to be moved to make room for others? Is a tooth extraction necessary?

Some patients are lucky enough to inherit straight teeth and others are not. Our Lytle dental team evaluates each patient’s misalignment issues and provides a personalized estimated time frame of how long braces treatment would take.

Some Determiners You Can Control

For children, we often recommend a two-phase treatment to prepare their young jaw for proper eruption of permanent teeth. The first phase will correct skeletal problems so the permanent teeth have a better chance of growing in straighter. The second phase starts when all of the permanent teeth are in. The preparatory treatment can reduce the time a child spends with a full mouth of braces in the second phase.

The patient’s cooperation is vital to ensure the best orthodontic results in the shortest amount of time. Each patient in braces must:

  • Wear any extra appliances, like rubber bands, as prescribed for the correct amount of time
  • Follow our instructions about a healthy diet and avoid the foods that can be harmful to braces
  • Protect their mouth while playing sports to prevent damage
  • Maintain good oral hygiene since swollen gums will slow down movement of the teeth
  • Keep up with regular scheduled visits for tightening as necessary to keep their teeth moving

You’ll Be Finished Before They Know It!

Change the color of your rubber bands to match your favorite outfits or the seasons. Be sure to take some photos throughout your orthodontic treatment to track your smile’s progress. Commiserate with friends. And before you know it, the day will come when you can run your tongue along smooth teeth instead of bumpy brackets.

For additional information about braces, contact Tots to Teens Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics in Lytle, TX! We proudly offer braces for children and adults.


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