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How Long Do Braces Take to Straighten Teeth?

If your orthodontist has recommended braces for you or your child, you may have many questions about the process, the braces themselves, and how long you or your child will need to wear them. At Brodie Bowman Orthodontics in Fort Walton Beach, FL, we can provide you with all of the information you need to begin the treatment. 

What Are Braces?

Braces are orthodontic devices that can be customized to treat a wide range of dental conditions. They involve brackets that are fixed to the teeth, arch wires that connect the brackets to each other, and various other additions that can help correct crooked teeth, solve overcrowding, or correct an under bite or overbite.

The types of braces we offer include:

  • Mini-Diamond: These braces are a petite version of traditional braces. Designed both for improved aesthetics and increased comfort, they can provide results in the same amount of time as traditional braces. 
  • Clear: Clear braces can provide even more aesthetic benefits and are a popular choice with adults. They are made of see-through ceramic, which makes them very discreet. 
  • SmartClip: SmartClip braces from 3M Unitek are uniquely designed devices that offer more comfort and can also shorten treatment time. They are designed using self-ligation technology, which eliminates the need for elastics to keep the arch wire in place.
  • Aligners: Aligners, also called “Invisalign” are clear, removable plastic devices. While not a type of braces, they are also used to correct dental misalignment. They are nearly invisible and can be removed for eating and oral hygiene. 

What Can Braces Correct? 

Braces can correct a wide range of dental concerns. Patients with both mild and severe cases can benefit from wearing braces, and treatments can be adjusted to fit each circumstance. Some of the conditions that can be corrected include misalignment, protruding teeth, malocclusion, overbite, underbite, and teeth crowding. They can also help with bite correction. 

Factors That Can Affect the Duration of Your Braces Treatment


While not every case is the same, it often takes longer to treat adults with braces than it does children. This is because children and teens have teeth that can move easier and faster than adults. 

Severity of Your Dental Concerns

If you have mild misalignment, your treatment will be much faster than it would be for those with more severe concerns. The more issues that need to be corrected, the longer your treatment will last. 

Types of Braces Chosen

The type of braces or orthodontic devices that you and your doctor choose can affect treatment time. On average, treatment times with Invisalign are faster than with braces.

Compliance With Orthodontist Instructions

Those who comply with all of their orthodontist’s instructions will typically have a faster treatment time than those who don’t.

Average Time Frames for Braces

  • Children and Teens: The average amount of time that children or teens spend wearing braces is one to two years. 
  • Adults: For adults, the average timeframe for wearing braces can be anywhere from one year for mild cases to three years for more complex cases. 

What to Expect From the Process

Physical Changes to Expect

Your orthodontist will make your experience as comfortable as possible, but you should expect some physical changes as you begin your alignment or bite correction. After each appointment, you may experience some soreness for several days as your teeth adjust. Your mouth may also have to adjust to having braces. Your gums or cheeks may have some irritation until they get used to having braces next to them. We can help by giving you orthodontic wax or over-the-counter medications when needed.

Lifestyle Adjustments

Adjusting your lifestyle is a crucial step in getting braces, since compliance with these restrictions can help protect your braces from damage and shorten your treatment time. Common things that you will need to avoid are hard foods such as nuts and hard candies, sticky foods such as caramel or taffy, and popcorn which can get stuck in the braces or bend the wires. You may also need to learn new techniques for oral hygiene, such as using floss threaders.  

Working Closely With Your Orthodontist

To have a comfortable and effective treatment, you should expect to work closely with your orthodontist. We have many tools to help resolve discomfort and can adjust your treatment to better fit your needs. 

Tips to Speed Up Your Treatment

While most people want to speed up the teeth straightening process, it can take a degree of patience to ensure the process is done properly. However, you can speed up the process by maintaining good oral hygiene, always attending your orthodontist visits, and following all the guidelines your orthodontist gives you at each stage of your care.

For some patients, the use of the Carriere® Motion™ Appliance can help to decrease the amount of time spent in braces. This device corrects bite issues before the braces or aligners are used. By moving the back teeth into a better position, it is often easier and faster to correct other dental issues using braces.  

Life After Braces

Once your braces have been removed, it will be time to transition to wearing a retainer. Your orthodontist will instruct you on how often and for how long you will need to wear your retainer to maintain your teeth straightening results. You should also plan on continued dental care to keep your smile healthy long-term. 

Find Out More About Braces and Orthodontic Care Through a Consultation

At Brodie Bowman Orthodontics, we will guide you step by step through the process of getting braces. The first step is to call us and schedule your consultation. Our phone number is (850) 659-7599, or you can reach out online to schedule services in Fort Walton Beach, FL.