Woman wearing braces to straighten teeth

How Long Do Braces Take To Straighten Teeth

The path to a straight smile is unique for each and every person. Dental braces for adults are different than for children, but it is considered a highly effective teeth-straightening method.  That being said, many people believe that the window for correcting their smile closes at a young age. We’re happy to report that adults who want to straighten their teeth actually have several options in 2019. It’s never too late to correct your smile.

 

Why Braces Take Time To Straighten Teeth

Braces aren’t designed for immediate results. If you want to straighten your smile, you have to be patient and allow your teeth to shift gradually over time. With traditional metal braces, you will have to periodically visit your orthodontist so they can tighten the dental wire threaded through the brackets attached to your teeth. This ensures that your teeth are being aligned into the proper positions.

Your specific dental condition will also have an effect on how long it will take your braces to correct your smile. If you suffer from severe crowding, spacing issues, or biting issues, you can expect braces to take a little longer to complete the job. Just be patient and follow your orthodontist’s instructions, your new smile will need a little TLC before they’re ready for the world!

Brace Yourself for a Commitment

Think you’re ready for traditional braces? Keep in mind that wearing braces isn’t the only commitment you’re going to have to make. You’ll also have to pencil out some time in your schedule for appointments with your orthodontist. Plan in advance, because the average adult will have to wear their braces for 18 months to 3 years.

Here’s what you can expect:

Initial Consultation

Even if you’re ready for braces, you’ll still need your orthodontist’s “okay” before proceeding. A full assessment of your dental health, including a close examination of your alignment needs, will be used to determine which type of braces is right for you. Depending on your teeth, a tooth extraction may be required prior to braces too.

First Treatment

After your initial consultation, it’s time for you to be fitted for braces. In addition to fitting you for braces, your orthodontist will also cover a plethora of good oral hygiene practices to help you care for your braces. Pay close attention, as they will also teach you how to cope with the initial discomfort of wearing braces.

Follow-Up Appointments

Your orthodontist will request to see you regularly while your teeth are being straightened. These visits are crucial for keeping your treatment moving along at the proper pace, and you can ask your orthodontist any questions you may have pertaining to your treatment plan.

Removal of Braces

The day has finally arrived! Your teeth are now straight, which means your treatment is over and your braces can be removed by your orthodontist. Typically, she/he will advise you to wear a retainer for a few months to ensure that your teeth stay in alignment.

Cost of Braces

Unfortunately, braces for adults cost more than braces for children. Insurance may help offset some of the cost of braces, but it depends on your policy. You should be ready to spend, on average, between $5000 and $7000 for a perfect smile, but this figure could increase if your smile requires additional measures to correct.

There is some good news about the cost of braces — payment plans are available with some providers! You don’t need to worry about disrupting your financial situation to achieve a beautiful smile, but you should shop around and compare your options to find the right solution for you (and your budget).

Questions To Ask An Orthodontist

You want to establish a strong connection with your orthodontist so you feel comfortable interacting with them throughout your treatment. Attempting to straighten your smile can be a significant undertaking. You will have to face the fact that you’ll look different when wearing braces, your dental hygiene habits will need to be changed, and you may experience unfamiliar oral pains. Your orthodontist will help guide you through this process, providing a helping hand whenever you need it. We recommend getting your questions ready now so your first visit is informational, and perhaps, even a bit enlightening:

  • What is the best option for straightening my teeth?
  • How long will I have to wear braces?
  • What do I need to do to take care of my teeth while they’re on?
  • How frequently will I need to stop by for office visits?
  • How much will they cost?
  • Do you offer payment plans for this treatment?
  • Do you accept my insurance?
  • After getting them off, what are my next steps?

What Other Options Do You Have?

As we mentioned above, no two people follow the same path to a perfect smile. Your treatment depends on your teeth, your health, and your orthodontist’s professional opinion. In addition to traditional braces, here are some other ways adults can get their teeth straightened:

Ceramic Braces

Looking for a less noticeable alternative to regular braces? Ceramic braces better match the color of your teeth, making them harder to see than metal braces. However, it comes at a higher cost, too.

Clear Aligners

Want to avoid the wires and brackets of regular braces? Clear aligners use plastic trays that fit snugly over your teeth. They’re easy to remove, which makes eating, brushing, and flossing a breeze. Just make sure you don’t lose them! Some orthodontists believe that clear aligners are insufficient for those with large gaps between teeth.

Veneers

Although they don’t help straighten your smile, veneers can be utilized to make your smile look better. They are thin and resemble the color of real teeth. The layer that covers your teeth is made of porcelain, and they sit comfortably over your teeth. Veneers are typically used to cover small chipped, dull, or stained teeth. The only drawback is that your teeth still won’t be straight and your dentist may need to shave off part of a tooth if it proves problematic when placing your veneers.

Why You Should Consider Impressions Instead

If you need to correct crowded or crooked teeth, traditional braces are one of the most tried and true methods available. You can’t ignore the millions of people who have worn braces to help them achieve a superior smile. That said, you don’t necessarily need to utilize an option that covers up your smile and requires regular appointments for maintenance. If you want to straighten your smile without impairing that first impression, you should consider using Impressions in place of traditional braces.

Here’s the deal: the one main knock against clear aligners is the fact that you have to be responsible for them. They’re meant to be invisible, which means you have to make an effort to keep them clean, and you have to make a conscious effort to wear them if you want them to be effective! Traditional braces are fastened to your teeth, so you don’t have to worry about losing them, but you will have to commit yourself to a pretty strict regimen of in-office visits and oral hygiene.

Want to avoid regular orthodontist visits? Does the thought of you wearing metal braces make you cringe? We understand that everyone’s path to a perfect smile is different, but we’re here to say that Impressions can help you straighten your smile for nearly half the price of Invisalign. Call us today at (844) 846-8836 or fill out our form to request an appointment. We would be happy to walk you through what to expect from your Impressions consultation at the ImpressionsHub in Asheville.