You’ve got a stellar smile — and your kids light up the room, too. But even those fantastic smiles could be taken to the next level by straightening and correcting common dental issues. And you’re totally on board…but you have one major question…how long do braces take to work?
Our tooth straightening crew here at the Super Dentists is here to set the record (and all the teeth) straight!
How Long Do You Have to Wear Braces?
Some things in life have easy answers: How long should you brush your teeth? Two minutes. How much water should you drink? At least 64 oz a day…
Unfortunately, answering “ How long do you have to wear braces?” is not quite as easy. While the average time a person will wear braces is between 1-3 years, orthodontia is tailored specifically to each individual person by design. So the most honest answer is…it depends.
Another factor to consider is that the time to wear traditional braces vs. aligner-style braces can differ, with the latter taking as little as 12 months. More commonly, though, they take 18 months to 2 years. Not everyone is a candidate for aligner-style braces, though.
How Long Do Braces Take to Put On?
It usually takes a couple of hours to have braces put on. The process of putting on braces may take one or two appointments.
This time estimate does *not* include the time required to mold your mouth and/or take digital models of your mouth. This step is essential so that the orthodontist who is developing an orthodontic plan for you can ensure your braces work as intended.
How Long Do Braces Stay On for Kids?
Children are often in braces for shorter periods of time than adults. But how long do braces last? It all depends on the specific dental problems that your child is having treated, including the current positioning of their teeth and jaw, as well as the overall severity of dental issues.
Because your kid’s jaw is still growing and developing, the teeth do tend to reposition more quickly than an adult’s. Nevertheless, the average length of braces treatment for kids tends to be 15-18 months. At The Super Dentists, self-adjusting bracket technology is used that not only tends to decrease the number of visits and duration of treatment, but they’re also more comfortable since they require less “tightening”.
Are Braces Painful?
Braces shift your teeth, so they can be uncomfortable and even create some pain or soreness — especially during the first 3 days to the first week. During each follow-up orthodontic appointment, braces are generally adjusted and tightened, and this can create some temporary soreness as your teeth adjust as well.
If you experience any pain that is unbearable or abnormal, such as pain due to a wire poking out, you should call one of our crew so we can get you back into tip top shape ASAP.
How Long Do Adults Wear Braces?
Adults often wear braces longer than children for the simple fact that major misalignments or other pre-existing dental issues (often from childhood) can make treatment a little more intensive. However, adults are usually better at following the dentist’s instructions. (This helps a lot!) The average length of time for grown-ups to wear braces is 2-3 years.
What Factors Can Shorten or Lengthen How Long I Have to Wear Braces?
For great orthodontia results, it simply takes time. Your teeth are anchored in your bones and must be safely and gently moved into their new positions. But as you may have guessed, there are many factors that play into how long you’ll have to wear braces. The good news is that some of these factors are even in your control!
Perhaps the most common reason people choose braces for their children is crooked teeth. Accordingly, people often ask us “How long do braces take to straighten teeth?”. Unfortunately, times can vary based on just how crooked your teeth are.
Whether or not there’s enough space to straighten the crooked teeth or ifthere is crowding also impacts how long braces are worn for crooked teeth.
If the teeth are just a little crooked, it won’t take too long. But if it looks more like a crossword puzzle, it’s going to take a little longer. But have no fear, The Super Dentists will get your kids there!
Bite (Overbite or Underbite)
Another factor for the length of time you’ll be in braces factors in your bite. That’s how your lower and upper teeth (and jaw) are positioned in relation to each other. And yes, braces are impressive enough they can even correct bites (with rubber bands). But again, the length of time it takes just depends on how severe the misaligned bite is.
“How long do braces take to close a gap?” is another question we commonly get asked here at the Super Dentists.
Braces can take as little as 6-8 months to close gaps. But if you or your child is also getting braces for other dental remedies, such as fixing an overbite, then the combined amount of time that braces will take to work can still be longer.
Now for the best news…the factors you can control. If you’re looking to shorten the length of time you or your children have to wear braces (and who isn’t?) a few lifestyle choices to take care of your braces will make a HUGE impact.
- Keep it clean. Brush, floss, and use water picks to keep the teeth and gums clean and healthy.
- Keep your appointments. Constantly going to the orthodontist? Keep it up; staying on a regular schedule means the progress is monitored and can be tightened and adjusted regularly. Missing appointments just means you’ll be wearing braces that much longer.
- Follow instructions. Your dentist will give you specific instructions about what and when to wear additional accessories like mouth guards , appliances, headgear or other things. It’s all for your benefit.
- Diet. A braces-friendly diet can make a big difference in completing your regimen faster. Avoid sugary foods and drinks, popcorn, sticky foods like caramel or taffy, and hard or super crunchy foods like apples, corn on the cob, or pretzels.
Other FAQs About Braces
Does Insurance Cover Braces or Orthodontia?
It depends on your insurance and the orthodontist in question. Many plans offer orthodontic coverage as an add-on. We recommend calling your dental insurance provider to see if orthodontic treatment is covered by your plan. If it isn’t, you may still be able to purchase a separate orthodontia policy to help cover the cost of braces and other orthodontic work.
If you do have insurance that covers orthodontia, you’ll be glad to know that here at the Super Dentists, we accept almost all insurance plans!
Can I Use FSA or HSA Funds For Braces?
In many cases, yes, you can use FSA or HSA funds for braces.
Do You Offer Payment Plans or Other Discounts?
Yes! Give us a call at 1-855-Go-SUPER (855-467-8737) or text 1 (844) 765-1234 and one of our helpful crew members will be more than happy to discuss braces payment plans with you.
We also offer discounts for patients who pay in full in advance if that is an option that works for you.
Learn More: Contact Us Today
Still, have questions? Contact The Super Dentists at (855) GO SUPER and find out why The Super Dentists is the most trusted and most fun experience in dental or orthodontic care in Southern California.