Have you always dreamed of having straight teeth? When you have a gapped or crooked smile, it can make you feel self-conscious and affect how you interact with others. Now that you have begun the journey to more aligned pearly whites with orthodontics, you can’t wait for the day to flash your new grin nonstop! But exactly how long will it take? Your dentist in Highland Park is here to tell you the average timeline and what you can do to make the most out of your treatment.
So, How Long Do Braces Take to Straighten Teeth?
The answer will vary based on several factors. First, it will depend upon which type of orthodontic treatment you’re undergoing. For example, Invisalign has an average treatment timeline of 12 months, while traditional braces can take 18 months or more. The severity of your particular orthodontic issue will also largely determine the length of treatment. If you are struggling with minor crowding, you may achieve your smile goals in as little as six months. On the other hand, if you have a more complex problem like severely rotated teeth, it will require more time to correct.
How to Get the Most out of Your Orthodontic Treatment
While you cannot speed up the process toward your straighter smile, there are some important best practices you can implement to avoid wasting more time and money on treatment. Here are a few:
- If you have clear aligners, be sure to wear them for the required amount of time (20-22 hours each day).
- Clean your braces or aligners both morning and night.
- Brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss daily.
- Limit your consumption of sugar.
- Avoid unhealthy dental habits like chewing on ice or using your teeth as tools.
- Prioritize follow-up appointments with your orthodontist.
- Wear your additional oral appliances (such as elastics) as instructed.
Why Talking to Your Orthodontist Is Important
While it can be very discouraging to hear that your transformed smile won’t happen in just a few months, it’s important to remember that you want long-lasting and accurate results. If your teeth are shifted too quickly, it can have some serious consequences on your smile…like loose teeth! Therefore, patience is key. Gradually guiding your pearly whites into their new-and-improved positions will ensure that the appearance and function of your mouth won’t be compromised during the process.
During your initial consultation, your orthodontist will provide you with a treatment timeline estimate and walk you through the importance of each phase. Once the final days of your treatment arrive and you say goodbye to your orthodontics, you will know it was well worth the wait for a new, dazzling smile!
About the Author
Dr. Jessica Cohen is eager to walk you through the journey toward a newly aligned smile! She earned her Master of Science degree in Oral Sciences and Certificate of Orthodontics from the University of Illinois at Chicago and is a board-certified orthodontist. By providing a full range of orthodontic services, including traditional braces and Invisalign, she can help you to achieve your dental goals. To schedule a consultation, contact her through her website or call (224) 427-6800.