There’s nothing like looking in the mirror and seeing the beautiful straight smile you’ve been waiting for. We know this from experience — seeing your reaction is why we love doing what we do! But if you’ve just gotten your braces, you’re probably wondering how long the process will take. Everyone wants to know: “When do I get my braces off?”
Unfortunately, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, and believe us, we try our best to give you one! The best we can do is estimate how long treatment will take, but the truth is that treatment times vary from person to person depending on a wide range of different factors. If you want to know how long you’ll be wearing braces, keep reading to learn more! Treatment times usually depend on…
Your Orthodontic Needs
Every smile is unique, which means everyone’s reasons for getting treatment are unique, too! We can estimate how long treatment might last, but it all depends on the severity of your dental issues. Some patients have mild orthodontic problems that can easily be addressed in a shorter time, while others have more complex orthodontic problems that require longer treatment periods.
The Type of Orthodontic Appliance You Have
First thing’s first: traditional metal braces aren’t your only treatment option! At Grubaugh Orthodontics, we offer metal braces, clear braces, and Invisalign clear aligners, and Dr. Grubaugh may recommend any one of them, depending on your condition. Each appliance has its pros and cons, and the orthodontic treatment plan you choose affects how long you’ll have to wear them.
Metal Braces: Dr. Grubaugh uses the Damon System for traditional metal braces. These self-ligating braces are made of brackets and wires that align your teeth over time. Each bracket is self-ligating, with a built-in door that holds the wire passively to the bracket. Metal braces can take anywhere from six months to three years to correct your smile.
Clear Braces: This treatment option works just like metal braces. As a more discreet treatment option, these braces use white ceramic brackets instead of silver to blend in with your teeth. Depending on your orthodontic condition, you can expect to wear clear braces between six months and three years.
Invisalign: These clear removable aligners can straighten your teeth without metal wires or brackets. The aligners are custom-made using Dr. Grubaugh’s expertise and 3-D computer virtual imaging technology. On average, Invisalign treatment takes one year to achieve the desired effect.
As the saying goes, it takes two to tango. The same goes for orthodontic treatment! Dr. Grubaugh will develop your treatment plan, apply your braces, and adjust them at each appointment, but it’s up to you to follow his instructions between appointments.
Stick to the plan: Following Dr. Grubaugh’s directions greatly determines how long you’ll have to wear braces. Compliance keeps your teeth and gums healthy, and good oral hygiene means shorter treatment times.
Following all of these instructions can sometimes decrease your total treatment time. On the other hand, failing to follow these directions can slow treatment down.
Keep your appointments: It is essential to your treatment plan to attend every orthodontic appointment you can. Dr. Grubaugh needs to meet with you once every 6-8 weeks to assess your progress and your body’s reaction to braces.
Sometimes things come up, and that’s okay! Just let us know as soon as possible so we can reschedule your appointment and keep your treatment plan on track.
Take care of your braces: Part of following Dr. Grubaugh’s instructions means you care for your appliances. By avoiding crunchy or sticky foods that can weaken the bond strength of your brackets, you can decrease your treatment time overall.
Sometimes brackets come loose even when we do our best to keep them safe, but you must schedule another appointment with Dr. Grubaugh as soon as possible to fix the issue. Your braces won’t work while the brackets aren’t glued down, so a broken bracket or wire could increase treatment time.
You’re never too old to start your smile success journey! At Grubaugh Orthodontics, we are proud to serve patients of all ages, from age seven to 75. However, your treatment plan may change depending on your age, and your treatment time may change with it.
In general, children wear braces for a shorter amount of time than adults. Because their jaws and facial bones are still growing, they’re more reactive to treatment. It’s easier to steer their teeth in the right direction because they’re already on the move.
Once you’ve reached your early twenties, however, your jawbones stop growing, so it may take a little more effort and time to get the results you want from orthodontic treatment. Don’t let that keep you from getting the smile you deserve, though! With a range of treatment plans, Dr. Grubaugh will find the one that works for you and your smile.
Remember The Following:
Orthodontic treatment doesn’t end when your braces come off. In fact, removal day is only your midway point! That’s because there are two parts to orthodontic treatment: active treatment and retention. When Dr. Grubaugh finally takes your braces off to reveal your beautiful smile, be sure to wear your retainer!
Retention is the phase after orthodontic treatment is complete when you wear your retainer as often as possible. Retention is just as important as active treatment and can make or break your long-lasting smile! Without your orthodontic appliance constantly holding your teeth in place, they are likely to shift back to their original positions — and you don’t want to have to get braces to straighten them all over again, do you? Wear your retainer as directed, and you’ll be done with braces for good.
Choose Grubaugh Orthodontics
Our Grubaugh Orthodontics team knows that the wait can be frustrating, but remember, good things come to those who wait! For now, the biggest thing holding you back from the results you want is getting started! Schedule your free consultation today to get the smile of your dreams.