How Long Do You Have To Have Braces On For? | Northeastern Braces

You’ve just been told you need braces and your first thought was probably, “How long do I have to have braces on for?” Although it may seem like a life sentence, the average time for braces is 12 to 18 months. There are some instances where the time can be as short as six months, and others that may be 36 months or longer.

Type of Braces and How They Work

Traditional metal braces and Clear Braces work on the principle of tension. Brackets are affixed to the patient’s teeth. An archwire routes thru the brackets to create tension, which is the force that shifts teeth into alignment. The archwires are held in place by tiny rubber bands, called elastics.

Over the years, the brackets have become smaller, which leads to greater comfort and a better overall look. Metal braces use metal brackets and wires. Clear Braces use a clear ceramic bracket that blends with the natural coloration of teeth and is less visible.


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Invisalign® is a different orthodontic tool that uses almost invisible tray aligners to gently shift teeth into alignment. Invisalign® works using constant pressure which performs the same function as the tension of regular braces. The treatment period for Invisalign Teen® is approximately 6 to 18 months.

What Determines the Length of Your Treatment?

Every mouth is unique. That means that no two treatment plans will be identical. The largest determining factor is the degree of misalignment that you begin with. Minor issues take less time, while complex issues naturally take longer to correct. Other things that affect the length of treatment:

  • Type of braces
  • General oral hygiene
  • Age (adults take longer)
  • Overall physical health

Unfortunately, it is impossible to estimate an exact treatment duration without a complete examination. Using a combination of x-rays, digital images, current, and past medical and dental histories, and a hands-on oral examination, the doctor will map out a custom treatment plan.

Whether you opt for traditional, Clear Braces, or Invisalign®, you will know all the details after completing the initial examination.

How Long Do You Have to Have Braces on For?

The good news is that Northeastern Braces offers a Complimentary Consultation to get you on your way to a straight smile. You can set up an appointment at either of our two locations in the Bronx and Newburgh. In addition to a complete examination, you will receive information on our recommended treatment plan. This will include the type of treatment, the duration, cost, insurance options, and payment information.

During treatment, appointments for adjustments with the orthodontist happen every four to eight weeks. Between appointments, our staff is always available for questions or concerns. Please don’t hesitate to call either of our offices at (845) 863-0500 (Newburgh) or (917) 801-3600 (Bronx).

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