How long will I have to wear braces?

It’s one of the first questions many teens ask: “How long do I have to wear braces?” The exact length of treatment depends on several important things, including:

  • Early Treatment: For some patients, two-phase treatment is needed, and whether you had early treatment or not can impact the amount of time you need to wear braces. In the first phase of the treatment, our orthodontists help the jaw develop better, which can put you in a better position for effective straightening with braces later. Early treatment can happen as early as age 7.
  • Correction Needs: Your correction needs can have a major impact on total time in braces. If you need complex straightening, it may take longer, while minor alignment issues generally require shorter time in braces. Some teenagers only need 12 months in braces while others can take up to 24 months.
  • Your Participation: Your participation is a big part of braces success, so it plays a role in total braces time, too. Be sure to follow all of our orthodontists’ guidelines and recommendations and see them for your check-up appointment on time to make sure you wear braces for the shortest time possible.

Treatment Options

In addition to traditional metal braces, Bayside Orthodontics offers a number of other braces options for teens, including:

  • Invisalign: clear plastic aligners that move your teeth gradually
  • Damon Braces: tie-free braces that don’t use rubber bands, puts less pressure on your teeth and requires fewer check-ups
  • Incognito Braces: also called lingual braces. The brackets are attached to the backs of your teeth, so the front of your teeth is metal-free.
  • Ceramic Braces: ceramic braces have brackets that are either tooth-colored or clear. Many teens like this option because they’re nearly invisible.

Our orthodontists will help you choose the perfect braces option so you can get ideal results in the shortest time possible.

Oral Hygiene With Braces

Before you brush, always do a quick rinse with water or mouthwash. This helps loosen any debris around your brackets and wires. Use a special tool, a tiny disposable interdental brush, to clean between the brackets. Then, use a soft-bristle toothbrush to carefully brush your teeth. A 45% angle is the best way to dislodge debris. Be sure to brush your gum line gently, too.

Flossing is the next step. Our orthodontists may recommend floss threaders, which are special disposable flossers that make flossing under and around wires easier. Finish your oral care with another full-mouth rinse using water or mouthwash.

Foods to Avoid with Braces

Foods to avoid with braces will vary depending on the type of braces you have. With Invisalign, there aren’t any restrictions because you remove your aligners to eat. Hot water can warp the aligners, and juice can stain them, so it’s important to remove them every time you eat or drink.

WIth traditional metal braces, ceramic braces, and other types of orthodontics that include metal, it’s important to avoid foods that could damage, loosen, or break the metal. Avoid hard, sticky, crunchy, and very chewy foods, and stay away from anything you have to bite into, such as corn on the cob.

You can actually eat most dairy, bread, pasta, fruits, veggies, meat, seafood, and treats when you have braces. It will probably be less of an adjustment than you think, and you’ll be back to eating all of those challenging foods fast.

Sports with Braces

Braces don’t have to prevent you from living a full life, sports included! Our orthodontists recommend wearing a mouthguard to cushion and protect your teeth during all contact sports for your safety. They can help you choose the best mouthguard for your situation.

Cost of Braces

Many parents wonder about the cost of braces for kids and teens. The exact cost can vary based on what type of braces your child needs, how long the treatment lasts, and other factors unique to the circumstances. Our orthodontists are glad to meet with you and your child for a consultation so they can give you a cost estimate.

Call Bayside Orthodontics, or reach out online now, to schedule your appointment!