How Long Do You Need Braces For?

A frequent question that people ask their orthodontist is how long treatment will last. This can vary quite a bit from patient to patient. Everyone’s orthodontic situation is unique, so it’s impossible to give an exact timeframe of how long you will need braces.

However, the average time among all patients is about 2 years of treatment. Some patients can reach their smile goal with braces in less than a year; others can take as long as 3 years or more. Different factors can affect how long you will need braces. Here’s a look at the most common factors that can affect your length of treatment.

Type of Treatment

There are additional types of braces other than traditional wire braces. There are also clear, ceramic, and Invisalign. Metal braces are made from stainless steel, which makes them very strong and likely to shift the teeth faster than other methods. Clear or ceramic braces are made from different materials and match the color of the teeth more closely. Invisalign is “invisible,” and made from a type of clear plastic. Each treatment method can increase or decrease the amount of treatment time needed, depending on additional factors.


A patient’s age can have an impact on the length of time they will need to wear braces. The jaws of teens and children are still growing, so they’re usually able to undergo treatment with braces at a faster pace. Their teeth are more “cooperative” when it comes to shifting them to the desired location. With adults, it can take longer to shift teeth due to the jaw being fully developed. This isn’t said to discourage adult patients at all! You can get invisible braces and other options that make your treatment virtually invisible to others.

Severity of Adjustments

The severity of an orthodontic problem can have a big impact on the length of treatment with braces. If a patient requires a great amount of shifting to get their teeth into the desired position, treatment will take longer. Teeth that don’t need as much shifting can be moved in a year or less. Every patient is unique and will require their individual treatments.

Follow the Instructions of Orthodontist

Your orthodontist is going to give you important instructions for your treatment with braces. This will include instructions on your diet, daily brushing and flossing, and additional information about the care and maintenance of your braces. It is extremely important to follow these instructions. Not following these instructions can lead to a delay or interruption in treatment, which will make it take longer to shift the teeth into the preferred location.

Can Treatment Be Faster?

The field of orthodontic medicine is constantly doing new research and refining the techniques that have been used for many years. It now takes less time than it did 20 years ago to finish a course of treatment with braces. We stay up-to-date on the latest technologies and treatment advances here at Melbourne Orthodontics, so we are able to better treat our patients.

Contact Melbourne Orthodontics

Children and teens make up the bulk of our patients receiving treatment with braces. However, adults can benefit from the orthodontic procedure as well. If you want to schedule orthodontic treatment for yourself or your child, call our office to schedule an appointment.