How long does orthodontic treatment typically take?

How long does orthodontic treatment take?  It’s a question we get all the time. Orthodontic treatment duration depends on your needs and goals for care. 

Most orthodontic treatments are selected for one or more of the following reasons:

  • You want a more aesthetically pleasing smile.
  • You want to correct an overbite or underbite. 
  • You want improved oral function. 
  • You want to improve jaw function and avoid TMJD
  • You want to prevent cavities and gum disease by making teeth easier to clean. 
  • You want your teeth to support speaking function. 
  • You want to correct flared front teeth and spacing issues. 

On average, typical orthodontic treatment with braces takes between 12 and 36 months. For people who require minor teeth straightening, Dr. Frahm may suggest Invisalign®. Invisalign uses clear, plastic aligners. Treatment time is usually six to 24 months.

How long will you need orthodontic treatment? 

There are a few conditions that influence how much time you’ll wear braces or aligners. 

  1. The time you will need orthodontics depends on the severity of your misalignment. For example, correcting crooked or crowded teeth generally takes less time than correcting an overbite or underbite. Treatment to adjust alignment takes longer than shifting a few teeth. 
  2. Age. Usually, the younger you are, the less time is needed. Young people between ages 9 and 14 have a combination of baby and adult teeth. Because teeth are still moving, it usually takes less time to guide teeth into alignment. Usually, older patients’ teeth take longer to move. 
  3. Oral hygiene matters. Caring for your teeth is a lifetime commitment. This remains the case when you have braces and aligners. It’s important to avoid eating chewy, hard or sticky foods. This is because bending the wires of your orthodontics can slow treatment progress. To keep your treatment timeline on track, keep teeth clean. 
  4. Don’t miss appointments. It’s important for Dr. Frahm to see you according to your treatment schedule. At each visit, she evaluates your improvements. Not showing up for scheduled appointments slows progress. And whatever you do, please don’t adjust devices on your own. This could cause you serious damage.

Try Invisalign 

Invisalign® could be the right orthodontic solution for you. Read “How does Invisalign Work?” for our in-depth take. Many adults prefer Invisalign because it’s invisible.  Invisalign is good at  in straightening your teeth, closing gaps and repositioning your bite.

If you have any questions about orthodontic care or you would like to schedule a complimentary smile consultation, please, contact Dr. Frahm today via our webform or give us a call us at 831-372-8011.

About Dr. Frahm

Dr. Frahm received her Doctorate of Dental Surgery from the University of Iowa College of Dentistry in 2003. She completes more than 100 hours of postdoctoral training each year; earning recognition from dental experts around the country for her knowledge in the areas of cosmetic, general and restorative dentistry. Dr. Frahm is committed to providing you with excellent, comprehensive dental care. Dr. Frahm uses advanced dental techniques and technology to ensure your comfort and lasting results.

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