Our team at Szymanowski Orthodontics knows that your only goal is to get your braces off and reveal that beautiful smile. We are here to make that happen! But first, you’ve got to wear them for the entire duration of your treatment plan, and many factors play into how long that treatment might take. We know you want to know when you will get your braces off, and although we can’t give you a definitive answer for how long it will take, here are a few variables that play into treatment length.
How Old You Are
No matter how old you are, you deserve a beautiful smile — and our team at Szymanowski Orthodontics can give that to you! We serve patients of all ages, so whether you’re seven or seventy-five, you can have the straight teeth you want. However, braces take different times for different age groups when it comes to treatment length.
For example, we recommend children come in as early as seven years old for their first orthodontic visit. Most kids don’t need braces this early in life, but some do, and they might require two-phase treatment. Because this plan requires two rounds of treatment to give the desired effects, treatment for younger children might take longer than average.
Likewise, patients over the age of eighteen require longer treatment times overall. Because their bones are done growing, adult patients don’t have the flexibility that younger patients do, leading to longer treatments.
Don’t let that age keep you from getting the smile you deserve, though! With a range of treatment plans, Dr. Szymanowski will find the one that works for you and your smile.
Your Treatment Plan
First thing’s first: traditional metal braces aren’t your only treatment option! At Szymanowski Orthodontics, we offer metal braces, clear braces, and Invisalign clear aligners, and Dr. Szymanowski 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.
Invisalign: These clear removable aligners can straighten your teeth without metal wires or brackets. The aligners are custom-made using Dr. Szymanowski’s expertise and 3-D computer virtual imaging technology. On average, Invisalign treatment takes one year to achieve the desired effect.
Metal Braces: Dr. Szymanowski 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.
Your Unique Needs
No smile is exactly the same, and that means treatment times are different for everyone, too! If you’re a patient with more complex orthodontic issues, you can expect longer treatment times. Milder orthodontic problems generally mean less time spent in braces.
The role you play in your orthodontic treatment is just as important as Dr. Szymanowski’s! The better you take care of your smile and follow the Szymanowski Orthodontics team’s instructions, the shorter your treatment will be. Follow these tips for the best results:
Take care of your braces: Part of following Dr. Szymanowski’s instructions means you care for your braces or Invisalign appliances. By avoiding sticky or crunchy 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. Szymanowski 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.
Stick to the plan: Following Dr. Szymanowski’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. Szymanowski 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.
Keep This In Mind
Retainers are maintainers!
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.
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.
We Make Sacramento Smile!
For 50 years, your smile has been our top priority. We know it can be frustrating waiting for your braces to come off, but we also know you’re going to love the result. Hang in there!