Why do braces take so long to work?

Braces, also known as orthodontic braces, are a common treatment option for correcting misaligned teeth and improving overall oral health. While they can be a highly effective treatment, it can take a long time for braces to work and produce the desired results. In this blog post, we will explore some of the reasons why braces take so long to work and what you can expect during the treatment process.

One of the main reasons why braces take a long time to work is due to the nature of the treatment itself. Orthodontic treatment is a slow and gradual process that involves applying constant, gentle pressure to the teeth over an extended period of time.This pressure helps to gradually move the teeth into their proper alignment, but it takes time for the teeth to respond to this pressure and make the necessary adjustments. Your teeth are held into your mouth by your jaw bone, the periodontal ligament, and gum tissues. When the tooth feels pressure from the braces, your bone and tissue to break down and your periodontal ligaments to loosen, allowing the teeth to move where we want them to move. Then, new bone needs to be created and your ligaments need to stiffen to hold your teeth in their new position.

Another factor that can affect the length of time it takes for braces to work is the severity of the misalignment. If your teeth are severely misaligned or have a complex bite issue, it may take longer for braces to correct these issues. Similarly, if you have any underlying dental health issues that need to be addressed before beginning orthodontic treatment, this can also add time to the treatment process.

In addition to the factors mentioned above, the length of time it takes for braces to work can also depend on your age, overall oral health, and how closely you follow your orthodontist's instructions. Children and adolescents tend to respond more quickly to orthodontic treatment because their teeth are still growing and their jawbones are more pliable. Adults, on the other hand, may take longer to see results because their teeth and jawbones are fully developed and more resistant to change.

Overall, the length of time it takes for braces to work can vary widely depending on a variety of factors extending anywhere from 6 months to 3 years. On average, treatment with braces can take anywhere from 18 to 20 months, but in some cases, it may take even longer. It's important to keep in mind that orthodontic treatment is a long-term commitment, and it's essential to be patient and follow your orthodontist's instructions closely.

If you're considering braces as a treatment option, it's essential to have realistic expectations and be prepared for a long-term commitment. While it may take a while for braces to work and produce the desired results, the end result is a healthy, beautiful smile that is well worth the wait. So, it is important to be patient and follow your orthodontist's instructions closely to ensure the best possible results.

NOTE: The author, Dr. Graydon Carr, is a board-certified orthodontist who is in the private practice of orthodontics in Chico, California with his partner Dr. B. Scott Hood. Dr. Graydon Carr was trained at the University of the Pacific, Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry in San Francisco, California, and the University of Nevada at Las Vegas School of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics. Dr. Graydon Carr & Dr. B. Scott Hood’s are experts in two-phase treatment, extraction and non-extraction therapy, functional orthodontics, clear aligners (Invisalign), and multiple bracket systems. This blog is for informational purposes only and is designed to help consumers understand currently accepted orthodontic concepts. It is not a venue for debating alternative treatment theories. Dr. B. Scott Hood & Dr. Graydon Carr are licensed to diagnose and treat patients in the state of California. They cannot diagnose cases described in comments nor can they select treatment plans for readers. The opinions expressed here are protected by copyright laws and can only be used with written permission from the author.