How Long Do I Need to Wear Braces?

Braces give you a way to transform your smile, getting the straight teeth you’ve always wanted. But they do mean committing to metal in your mouth for a set period of time. Whenever we recommend braces, we’re almost always asked, “How long will I have to wear them?”

The answer depends on your unique teeth and your smile goals. That said, at Georgetown Orthodontics in Washington, DC, Dr. Maya Oliver and our team want you to know what to expect. 

So let’s take a look at the ballpark timeline for straightening your teeth with braces

How long braces take to work

Braces usually take one to three years to work. That’s a fairly big gap though. One year of braces might sound like no big deal, while three years can sound like a lifetime.

The speed at which your braces are able to move your teeth to their ideal positions depends on a few things. First, it depends on how far the teeth need to go in the first place. If your teeth are already pretty straight with just a few minor problems, you’ll probably only need braces for a year or so. But if you need a dramatic smile transformation, you’ll wear your braces longer.

Age also plays a role. Children’s teeth move faster than adults’ teeth do, so kids usually wear braces for a shorter time. 

To give you the shortest time wearing braces, Dr. Oliver offers Damon™ Braces. These braces use brackets with built-in doors so they can affix to your archwire without elastics. This minimizes friction during teeth straightening, helping you get results faster and with fewer trips to our office. 

The best way to know how long you’ll need to wear your braces — whether you choose traditional or Damon braces — is to make an appointment with Dr. Oliver. After examining your teeth, she can give you a much more precise timeline. 

Your options beyond braces

If you talk with Dr. Oliver and learn that you would need braces for a longer period than you want, don’t hesitate to ask about Invisalign®. We can also straighten your teeth with these clear, plastic aligners. 

The average treatment time for Invisalign is 12-18 months. But very few people will know you’re wearing them during that time because the Invisalign aligners are virtually invisible. 

If you’re wondering how long you’d need to wear braces to reach your smile goals, don’t hesitate to call our office at Georgetown Orthodontics. Someone from our friendly staff will be happy to set you up with a consultation so you can meet with Dr. Oliver.

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