78% of Americans feel that people with crooked teeth are unsuccessful. Obviously, this is untrue, but first impressions are important, and if you aren’t nailing them, it can be detrimental to both your personal and professional lives.
But when you think of braces, you probably envision a teenager with big metal brackets on their teeth. So you probably think you’re too old. Plus, you don’t want to go through all that pain and discomfort.
However, you may be surprised at the options available to you, regardless of how old you are!
Are you now thinking, how long do braces take? Then you’re in the right place.
In this article, we’ll address all potential questions you might have about adult orthodontia and what to expect.
Am I Too Old for Braces?
First things first — you’re never too old for braces! In fact, there are senior citizens who opt for this type of orthodontic treatment.
While it used to be mainly something for children and teenagers, more and more adults are getting braces nowadays. Back in 2010, only 14% of orthodontic patients were adults; in 2012, that increased to 20%. As you can imagine, that number’s probably increased dramatically since then.
The point is, it’s never too late to correct your crooked teeth. So no matter what your age is, a professional can definitely help you get the smile you’ve always wanted.
What Types of Braces Are There?
Chances are, the only braces you really know are the metal bracket type. These braces help correct your crooked teeth by pulling them together through the use of rubber bands on each bracket.
They may be one of the most inconvenient types of braces since they’re cemented on from the beginning of treatment until the end. For this reason, there are many restrictions on your diet, which makes it annoying to deal with.
However, they’re the cheapest option. So if you’re on a budget, they may be ideal.
You may have also heard about Invisalign, which is on the other end of the spectrum. These use clear retainer trays to correct crooked teeth, which means you can put them in and take them out whenever you please.
You get personalized trays to swap out throughout your treatment. You can take them out to eat and drink, then put them back in when you’re done.
As you can guess, this is the most expensive option, considering it uses state-of-the-art technology. So it may not be the ideal solution for everyone.
Ceramic braces look very similar to metal brackets. But as the name suggests, instead of using metal, these braces use ceramic.
As a result, it won’t be as noticeable that you’re going through orthodontic treatment. This makes it an excellent choice if you feel self-conscious and don’t want to draw attention to your teeth during this time.
As far as cost goes, ceramic braces fall right in between metal braces and Invisalign.
How Long Do Braces Take?
The answer to this question is quite complicated. A few factors determine how long braces will take for your personal case. Let’s explore them below.
Yes, we said you could get braces at any age. But the fact is, it’ll probably take you longer to go through orthodontic treatment than it would for a child or teenager.
This is because prepubescents aren’t done growing yet. Their teeth and jaws are still growing, which means it’s easier to mold them into shape with orthodontic treatment.
When you’re done with puberty, your bones have all settled into their permanent positions. This means it’ll be harder to move them into the desired places. As a result, this may take more effort and time to do.
However, this doesn’t mean it’s impossible!
How Crooked Your Teeth Are
If the crookedness is pretty superficial, then the treatment time shouldn’t be too long. This is because your teeth won’t have to shift very far to get the final results you desire.
However, if you have serious issues with crookedness and gaps, then it may take a bit longer for treatment. For more severe cases, it can take as long as 3 years for you to complete orthodontics.
The Type of Braces You Choose
Obviously, each type of braces has its own pros and cons since they correct crooked teeth in differing ways. Because of this, the length of time for your treatment will depend on which braces you and your orthodontist choose.
In general, metal braces will correct your smile the quickest. Plus, not everyone is a good candidate for Invisalign, since it can’t address serious orthodontic issues.
So if you opt for Invisalign and you’re a good candidate, this indicates that you don’t have very severe orthodontic issues in the first place. This means no matter which type of braces you choose, your length of treatment won’t be very long anyway.
How Well You Follow Instructions
Getting your braces is only one part of the equation; following instructions is the other.
Make sure you clean your teeth the way your orthodontist instructs you to. Also, follow their instructions regarding dietary restrictions.
If anything happens with your braces (such as breakage), make sure you see your orthodontist ASAP. The longer your braces are broken, the higher the chance your teeth will return to their original positions.
Also, orthodontic treatment doesn’t just stop at your braces. Once you’re done with them, you’ll most likely have to keep up with a routine afterward as well.
If your orthodontist makes a retainer for you to wear after, keep to it for as long as they recommend. This can be as little as a few months up to 3 years.
Get Started on the Smile You Deserve
Now you know the answer to the question of “how long do braces take?” Plus, you have some additional knowledge on this subject matter!
Hopefully, this should put you more at ease about adult orthodontia and make you feel more confident about seeing an orthodontist about your smile.
Want to get started on improving your smile? Then schedule a complimentary consultation with us today!