How Long Do You Wear Braces?
The process of undergoing orthodontic treatment is a lengthy road that progresses gradually to bring the teeth to their proper place. It does not produce instantaneous results. When you choose to correct teeth arrangement and alignment through braces, the first thing you have to understand is the fact that you will need to go through the whole thing. How long do you wear braces on average?
In an average, orthodontic treatments done with braces can span for about a year (from 6 months to 2 years) depending on the severity of the case and the type of braces received. This entire process is going to begin from the time the patient first consults the dentist about it and ends when the patient’s braces are removed and then replaced with retainers.
- Consultation: This part of the treatment is important because the entire course is going to be dependent on the findings acquired here. Using radiographs, dental casts, dental photographs and visual inspection, the problems are highlighted and an appropriate treatment plan is formed so that it may be prescribed to the patient as he requires it.
- Bracket Installation: The first actual step of the treatment begins with the installation of the braces. The brackets are adhered to every tooth in the patient’s mouth and then the wires are inserted in between the slots. The wires and the brackets are brought together by the rubber bands and this whole process usually takes 30 minutes to an hour, even longer.
- Treatment Phase: The bulk of the treatment is the treatment phase, where active movement of the teeth takes place. Depending on the nature of the malocclusion and misalignment, this may follow a single phase or a double phase procedure; and the use of removable and fixed appliances. Through the course, the patient will be asked to come into the clinic every month, for adjustments. During these adjustments, the wires and brackets will be tightened, forcing certain movements on the teeth.
- Retention Phase: The retention phase, although not exactly part of the treatment anymore is not to be belittled, skipped or ignored. For the total success of the case, this has to be observed or the patient may suffer a relapse. If the retainers are not worn, the results can easily be lost, so you waste any money you put in for treatment. At a minimum, a patient will be asked to keep the retainers on for as long as three years, but it may be worn for longer.
Why Braces Take Time: How long do you wear braces?
As already mentioned briefly, treatments take about 6 months to 2 years, depending on the severity of the case at hand. When you first think about it, it takes quite awhile unlike the other dental procedures that can be performed in lieu of braces. Treatment with braces takes time and seems long because of a number of reasons. To better understand it, you have to learn what happens during treatment.
The teeth are held by connective fibers and the bony socket. During orthodontic treatments, the combination of brackets, wires and rubbers put tension on the teeth and initiate movement within the jaw. All movements are made possible by the breaking of the bone. The pressures of the braces break bone and move the teeth into its proper place and with proper bone regeneration and building, ample support may be regained back and bone heals and the teeth stabilizes. Any movement cannot be hastened because too much bone loss might bee too much for proper healing to ensue. All movements have to be timed and they cannot be rushed. Movements needs to be incremental and they need to be calculated — at least if you want things to progress properly.
At first glance, a few months of orthodontic treatment will bring the teeth to a better place within the jaw but within the bone, the teeth are not yet stable. It takes time for bone to regain stability so when the braces are removed, the use of the retainers become very important. We all wear braces longer than we want, but in the end, a beautiful smile is worth it!