Why Do Braces Take So Long? | Thomas Orthodontics

Why Do Braces Take So Long?

close-up hand circling date braces come off on calendarFeel like your final braces appointment is taking forever to arrive?

You’ve just gotten your braces on, and you can’t wait to see a straighter, healthier smile. But you’ve already feeling exhausted by the amount of time you’ll spend with brackets and wires. It’s totally normal to feel like your braces are going to take forever. As a new patient, you’re unused to brackets and wires, and struggling to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Changing your perspective will make a big difference – and help you value every day in braces.

 Why Braces Need Time to Work

Your teeth aren’t independent entities – they’re connected to your jaw bone. They’re a part of a larger, stable structure, and moving them takes a great deal of pressure. But if that pressure is applied too quickly, the end result is unsafe and irresponsible. Orthodontic treatment applies consistent, gradual force to safely straighten teeth for the long term.

Braces aim to accomplish all of the following:

  • A beautiful smile
  • Healthy teeth
  • Stable results

…and that takes time, plain and simple.

 How Braces Straighten Teeth Over Time

Teeth are moved into new positions through a process called bone remodeling. The arch wires that fit through brackets gently push the teeth into new positions. With that pressure in place, old bone resorbs as new bone tissue is formed. The removal of old tissue allows the teeth to move, while the formation of new tissue solidifies their new positions. And after straightening is complete, it takes up to 10 months for the new bone growth to solidify. When you consider all that your orthodontist is doing, it’s actually amazing that braces don’t take longer!

Orthodontic treatment also requires a few different steps, which need to be performed in succession. Earlier straightening uses thinner arch wires, which become thicker as treatment continues. Early wires rotate teeth, with later wires accomplishing subtler changes to the occlusion. Every aspect is necessary for superb results.

Some good news: even if your treatment plan budgets for 1+ year of treatment, you’ll likely notice positive changes within the first 6-9 months.

Even simple cases require an adequate amount of time. And more complex malocclusions will require additional months to accommodate different treatment steps. If you’re considering orthodontic treatment and unsure what the time commitment will be like, simply schedule a consultation.

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