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Somewhere between ‘How much will braces cost’ and ‘Can I chew gum with braces’, the most asked question about getting braces is ‘How long will it take’. These questions all share a similar response: it depends.

You see, just as no two smiles are alike, no two orthodontic treatments are alike. And with no two treatments being alike, there isn’t one specific answer to the question in question. But before you throw up your hands in frustration, we can shed some light on the subject to give you a better idea on how long it will take to straighten teeth.


The Determining Factors

As we mentioned above, the length of time someone will be in braces depends. But what exactly does it depend on? Much like an attorney, a detective, or even a mechanic, every case we receive is different. While some might be relatively simple, others are extremely complex, with the more complex cases requiring lengthier treatment. For example, the length of treatment between a minor correction versus a severe overbite is going to be very different. However, this mystery isn’t completely unsolvable. In fact, we’ve got several tips below that can help unravel this question. So have no fear, Birmingham Orthodontics is on the case!


On the Averages

If you’re just looking for a ballpark, we highly recommend going to a Birmingham Barons game! Kidding aside, if you’re on the hunt for an average length of treatment, then we got you covered. Keeping in mind the caveat that everyone’s length of care is different, the average person can expect to be in braces for 16 to 18 months, with some cases taking more than 24 months. So there. We’ve kind of answered your question. Mystery solved, right? Not exactly. If you’re looking for more specifics, then keep reading. If you don’t care how long it’ll take and just want to dive straight in toward your new-smile journey, then let’s get started!


Getting a Clue

You may be wondering how a professional (and, ahem, award winning) orthodontic office can’t give a more specific answer to this frequently asked question. But the truth is, we can. Or rather, we can eventually. While it’s not an exact science, our trusted team of top docs are able to give our patients a reasonable time table for their care. However, that’s only after we’ve been able to meet with you during your first free consultation (which you can find more about here). After meeting with the team, your doctor will have a much better picture of your treatment length. It’s actually quite exciting to know when you’ll be able to show everyone your new smile!


Speeding Up the Process

While we’re on the subject of treatment length, you may be interested in knowing whether there’s anything you can do to speed up the process. Why yes, yes there is! And the first one is possibly the easiest one of them all. It doesn’t take a math doctor to know that the quicker you get started, the sooner your treatment will be over!

Ok, that’s kind of cheating, but there’s some truth to it, too. As it pertains to total treatment length, the earlier you, or especially your child, are evaluated by a qualified orthodontist, the better. By giving an oral examination by a doctor at an earlier age, they can properly direct you to any preliminary steps your child might need before getting braces. Getting those potential steps taken care of earlier rather than later can save you a good chunk of time. But how early is too early? Again, there isn’t a specific number we can give. However, you can read more about that question in one of our other blog posts about ‘What age is right for braces’. We’d also like to mention that we offer a wonderful Youth Savings Program that can help save you money, too!

Other than meeting with an orthodontist as soon as possible, there are still other things you can do to potentially shorten your treatment length. Check out some tips below.

Self-Care: Proper general oral care including flossing and brushing might not speed up your treatment length, but we can say for sure that problems like cavities and gum disease can slow treatment down.

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