Without a doubt the most common question that anyone asks when they’re thinking about getting braces is: How long will it take? Unfortunately there is no easy answer to that question, simply because there are many factors at play.
If you want to know how quickly braces can fix your smile, the best way to figure it out is to understand the factors that influence it:
- Severity of the case
As you can well imagine, the more severe the malocclusion – the longer it will take to be fixed. In other words if your teeth are severely misaligned or extremely overcrowded it will take much longer to fix compared to a slight misalignment or minor spacing issue.
In addition to that if you have a significant underbite or overbite it could increase the duration that you need to be in braces. That is because not only will your teeth alignment need to be straightened, but the way that they meet together will need to be corrected too.
- Type of braces
The type of braces that you wear can affect the treatment time too. However this varies depending on the severity of the case as well. One example would be lingual braces that are sometimes preferred because they are invisible from the outside – but generally take longer to align teeth compared to conventional metal braces.
- Current age
Do you know why it is recommended that children with malocclusion get braces early on? The answer is simple: Kids and teens have more malleable bones, which allows them to be remodeled and adjusted more easily.
Overall a younger patient is more likely to have their smile fixed faster – but that may not be true in all cases seeing as it is just one of the factors involved.
- Patient compliance
One of the main reasons why some people need to stay in braces longer than expected is actually because they did not comply with the orthodontist’s instructions. For example they may have skipped appointments, not used the rubber bands as directed, or consumed hard foods.
If you don’t comply with the orthodontist’s instructions, the time that it takes for your smile to be fixed will definitely be longer. Odds are you’ll suffer setbacks along the way due to damaged braces, or postponed adjustments.
- Dental health and hygiene
Every orthodontist will heavily emphasize how important it is to maintain good oral hygiene and dental health while wearing braces. That is because the consequences of developing cavities, gum disease or other dental issues while wearing braces are dire.
In some cases the braces may even need to be removed to treat your dental conditions – which would be a major setback.
For a better estimate of how long you can expect to be in braces you should talk to your Cardiff orthodontist. While they definitely won’t give you a hard and fast number, they should be able to provide a rough estimate – subject to the condition that you comply with instructions and have good oral hygiene.