Braces are a love-them-hate-them thing. Once you get them, you might wonder how long you need to keep them on. It’s just one of the things that come to mind as a first-timer, and it’s not one of the last.
Once your orthodontist prescribes you with braces, you might have a few concerns. You might be wondering how braces work. Or if they hurt. Or what you need to do while wearing them. And, most importantly, how long do you keep your braces on.
With more and more people getting braces (adults and teens alike), it’s no surprise that one of the most asked questions about braces is the average time you need to keep them on. This duration typically revolves around various factors, such as:
- The state of your teeth
The state of your teeth is one crucial factor to consider when factoring in the length of wear. If you’ve only got a few misaligned teeth to fix up, this will take a significantly shorter time than if you have a severe case of malocclusion. Typically wear time ranges from 18-24 months. If, however, more work needs to be done to bring the teeth back to alignment, this might extend further.
- How well you keep to the orthodontist’s instructions
When they prescribe braces, your orthodontist will typically give you instructions on how to care for them to make the treatment quicker. Some wearers might follow these guidelines diligently, while others might have a little more liberty when it comes to them. Ultimately, how well you adhere to your orthodontist’s instructions will also affect how long you need to wear the braces.As part of the treatment, you might also be instructed to use other accessories throughout your wear time. These implements include retainers and other headgear. If your orthodontist prescribes these for you, you might want to consider these as well when following treatment instructions.
- Type of braces used
While there are a variety of braces you can use, not all of them are made the same. Some people may prefer one material over the other for aesthetic or medical reasons. Others may look at where they position. Regardless of personal preference, you should also be aware of how these various materials and positions affect wear time.Metal braces remain the industry standard due to their durability and function. Some, however, may still opt to go for ceramic braces due to their appearance and their lack of metal. Others might also prefer lingual braces since they position behind the teeth. This position makes them less visible and more aesthetically pleasing overall.
However, if you do choose to make use of these options, one must note that this will also extend their wear time. Ceramic braces might look more beautiful, but since their materials aren’t as sturdy, it will take some time before you can get your desired results. Lingual braces, on the other hand, operate more gradually than your conventional braces, and not many dentists train to apply them.