One of the most important questions you will ask yourself is how long your Orthodontic treatment with Braces or Invisalign will take to straighten your teeth. And the answer is:
“The period of the treatments varies from one patient to another”.
Several factors like age, type of problem, and type of treatment affect the duration of wearing braces. For instance, patients with severe issues such as jaw misalignment should wear braces for a more extended period than patients who have minor problems.
Also, age plays a significant role. The teeth of children and teenagers tend to move faster because they are often in a growth phase, where their jaws and bodies are rapidly growing. Adults who are past their growth spurts have teeth that move at a much slower pace in comparison to teenagers.
After thorough examination and evaluation, the Orthodontist (A specialized dentist that makes treatments with braces or aligners) will inform you of the approximate period of time you will require to have your braces or aligners on. Besides, the specialist will help you understand the procedure.
So, why are Orthodontic treatments, long-term duration treatments?
Because what we are actually doing is moving teeth that are attached to the bone. So due to the limitations of our natural anatomy, there is a maximum limit to how fast teeth can move safely.
Teeth move within the bone and the ligaments that hold them in the bone; this bone is solid and teeth must be gently guided into new positions with consistent pressure.
That being said, the process cannot be rushed, otherwise, serious and perhaps permanent damage may occur to your bone, teeth, or gums.
Therefore, it is very important to understand biological limitations in order to achieve a healthy & straight smile, without causing long-term damage. Be wary of promises from anyone who says you can have a straight smile in only six months.
Stages of an orthodontic treatment
For you to have a clearer idea of how the teeth movements happen, there are 2 general stages in an Orthodontic treatment:
STAGE 1: The Alignment.
The teeth become aligned or straightened in the top and bottom arches. This stage occurs rather quickly and often in just a few months. This is when the patient notices that their teeth look “straight.” So why don’t the braces come off when the teeth “look” straight? Because this is when the second stage kicks in.
STAGE 2: The bite adjustment.
Your top and bottom teeth might look straight, but your teeth are like a zig-saw puzzle, so the top teeth need to fit into the bottom teeth perfectly, or there will be long-term consequences. Once the top and bottom teeth fit into each other’s grooves perfectly, plenty of other things will improve too, like chewing, speaking, and lip posture. But more importantly, good alignment of the BITE (not just the teeth) decreases the risk of trauma to the front teeth and decreases tooth wear in the long run.
Now that you understand a bit better how these types of treatments work, is time to give you a few pieces of advice:
- Be cautious! You will most probably find some dental practitioners that will promise you to straighten your teeth in less than a year, at half the price. But here’s the problem with that: they will only straighten your TEETH, not your BITE. This is why many patients have problems with chewing, speaking, tooth wear, and gum disease in the long run.
- My final advice is please don’t take shortcuts and try to reduce your time in braces or clear aligners. I promise you that you will spend 10x longer trying to fix the bite alignment issue and end up paying double in the long run. Thus, it’s better to straighten your teeth properly with a professional the first time around.
If you’re in need of orthodontic care at SMILE STUDIOS, We offer both traditional braces and Invisalign, allowing you to straighten your teeth discreetly if you wish. Making use of the best technology, we’ll do everything that is in our hands to ensure that your experience is the most comfortable one.
We are happy to be a part of your journey to a Perfect Smile! We are here to support and help you through this process, so please don’t hesitate to contact us for any questions or requests during your Ortho-Treatment…
…Ftom Dr. Maria Isabel and all the rest of the Dental Team at SMILE STUDIOS