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When do the Braces Come Off?

You may be an adult who decided not to have a crooked bite straightened in your teens because of all the complaints about how uncomfortable braces were, the dietary restrictions, and difficulty keeping teeth clean (not to mention wearing contraptions were rather embarrassing). But then you came to realize that other people judge you as unfriendly if you are shy about flashing a full and imperfect smile. It’s no wonder that a quarter of all patients now receiving some kind of orthodontic treatment are adults.

You may have wondered whether the much-publicized Invisalign removable trays might be a solution for you. General dentists find them relatively easy to customize, but the reality is that they are only appropriate for mild cases. Many people have teeth that are so crooked and bites that are so misaligned, that they require specialists called orthodontists, like Dr. Song, which involves additional years of education and training. General dentists sometimes attempt to apply Invisalign or braces to complicated cases and get into trouble.

If you have been diagnosed as needing braces, you no doubt wonder how long they will require to get the job done, since estimates vary between one and three years. Unlike teens, who have more malleable teeth and jaws, adults need more time to move teeth into their correct positions for a new healthy bite that will give you a smile.

Existing Bite Issues May Affect the Timeframe

Each person’s teeth are unique. The structure of the jaw can play a role in how long it takes. If you have an overbite, underbite, or buck teeth, those require extra time. So does whether you avoid hard and sticky foods that can damage your braces and how well you clean around them.

Keeping Up with Your Appointments is Important

Keeping your appointments with Dr. Song and following her instructions will move you towards your new smile goals faster and she will give you an estimate of when you may be finished as she sees your progress.

She also offers Accelerdent technology that can speed up the progress of treatment by braces, as well as Interproximal Reduction (IPR), which reduces enamel slightly on some crowded teeth to accelerate their moving into the ideal positions. 

The best news is that overall, 92% of patients who pursue some form of orthodontic treatment are happy with the results.