Congratulations! You just took the first step of your smile success journey: getting braces. You’re going to love changing your braces colors and visiting our team at Bigman Orthodontics every few weeks, and we can’t wait to see the difference in your smile! But while it’s an exciting time, we know you’re probably already asking the big question: when do I get my braces off?
It’s totally natural to be excited about the big reveal at the end of the journey – imagining your straight smile was what led you to get braces in the first place, right? Unfortunately, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, and there are a lot of factors that can change your treatment time. That’s why Dr. Bigman is here to tell you everything you need to know about braces and how long you’ll wear them. Keep reading to find out more!
Braces: The Benefits
Getting braces is a huge step in the right direction for your total oral health. With so many benefits, you’ll get excited about your braces all over again!
Better Health Overall – Braces work wonders for your physical health. A straight smile can improve your digestion, relieve headaches, and even alleviate issues like sleep apnea.
Higher Confidence – By shaping your teeth, braces can give you the confidence to share your smile with the world. You may be looking for that wedding-day smile, or maybe you’re looking for a self-esteem boost in the mirror before a big interview. In either case, braces will give you the confidence you need to succeed.
Cleaner Teeth – Crooked teeth or bad bites can create tight spaces that are difficult to clean. Over time, sugar and bad bacteria gather in these crowded areas, causing plaque buildup that could lead to gingivitis. Braces straighten these areas out, making it easier to brush your teeth and keep up with your oral hygiene.
Braces: Factors Affecting Treatment Duration
No smile is exactly the same, and that means treatment times are different for everyone, too! Several factors play into how long you’ll be wearing braces.
Factor #1: Taking Care of Your Braces
The role you play in your orthodontic treatment is just as important as Dr. Bigman’s! The better you take care of your smile and follow our team’s instructions, the shorter your treatment will be. Follow these tips for the best results:
Part of following Dr. Bigman’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. Bigman 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.
Following Dr. Bigman’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’s essential to your treatment plan to attend every orthodontic appointment you can. Dr. Bigman 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.
Factor #2: Your Reason for Getting Braces
When you come in for your consultation with Dr. Bigman, he’ll tell you that everyone has different orthodontic needs. You may have more or less complex dental issues than the patient next to you, which can change how long your treatment may take.
Generally, you can expect longer treatment times if you’re a patient with more complex orthodontic issues. Milder orthodontic problems generally mean less time spent in braces.
Factor #3: How Old You Are
No matter how old you are, you deserve a beautiful smile — and our team in San Ramon 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. Bigman will find the one that works for you and your smile.
Factor #4: Your Treatment Plan
First thing’s first: traditional metal braces aren’t your only treatment option! Dr. Bigman offers metal braces, clear braces, and Invisalign clear aligners. Depending on your condition, we may recommend any one of these treatment plans. 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. Bigman’s expertise and 3D computer virtual imaging technology. On average, Invisalign treatment takes one year to achieve the desired effect.
Metal Braces: These self-ligating braces are made of brackets and wires that align your teeth over time. 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 method, 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 Choice for Treatment in San Ramon!
At Bigman Orthodontics, we are dedicated to making you smile. With years of experience and an excellent team at your side, we’ll set you up for straight-smile success. Follow us on Instagram and schedule your free consultation today to get started on your orthodontic journey!