When Do I Get My Braces Off?

Now that you have your braces on, there’s one more question: How long do I keep them on? There’s a lot of anticipation leading to the day you get your smile, and everyone has their own unique orthodontic journey. There are a few factors to consider when planning how long you’ll be wearing your braces. At Buttram Orthodontics, we want to help you plan your smile journey every step of the way. Let’s look at a few things that could determine the length of your braces journey.

What are you being treated for?

Every patient is different, but there is a general rule of thumb we can count on for most of our visitors. For example, if you have a complex case that requires comprehensive care, your treatment time will likely be longer than someone who has a reasonably healthy bite with only moderate issues. Severely displaced teeth or significant bite problems often require more time to correct than simple spacing or crowding issues. The more work that’s done, and the more complex that work is, the more time it will take for the treatment to finish.

How does your body respond to the treatment?

Everyone responds to treatment in different ways. Two patients with similar cases will rarely have the same exact response to the same treatment. Gum tissue thickness, bone density, and chewing patterns vary between people, and oral habits such as clenching or grinding the teeth can affect treatment. It’s important to have an orthodontist who knows your specific needs. Dr. Buttram takes a personalized approach to every patient that visits our office. He’ll build you a custom treatment plan based on your specific goals for the best results. 


Are you compliant with your treatment?

Your orthodontic journey should be a collaborative process between you and your orthodontist. Dr. Buttram will put on your braces and prescribe the tooth movements associated with clear aligners. You’re important to the process too! How compliant you are with treatment guidelines can determine how long and how successful your treatment is.

The first part of treatment plan compliance is maintaining a strong, rigorous dental hygiene routine. Your braces can’t help your teeth if you are not keeping them clean. Failure to take care of your teeth and gum can slow your treatment down. Orthodontic treatment may need to be paused if dental work needs to be done. It’s important to wear your elastics if you’re wearing braces. This means staying on top of your scheduled appointments with us.

If you maintain strong oral health habits and follow the directions of your orthodontist, you can decrease the length of your treatment time. However, another essential part of the process is meeting with your orthodontic team. Dr. Buttram and our experts will assess the movement of your teeth and make sure everything is on track. If you need to cancel or reschedule an appointment, let us know and we can adjust to your busy schedule! If you want to keep your treatment fast and on track, try to stick to the schedule as close as possible and make up for any missed appointments later.

Braces and aligners are important tools for creating your best smile, but they are also susceptible to damage. Any breaks, cracks, or snaps in your braces require fixing, and this can push your treatment schedule back. If you’re wearing braces, one way to avoid this is to avoid any crunchy or sticky foods. These can weaken the bond strength of brackets or snap wires. A broken or loosened bracket is not considered an emergency, and may not need immediate attention. However, we do want to rebond it as soon as possible. When a bracket isn’t properly bonded to your teeth, no active tooth movement occurs. This can add time to the treatment process, so be sure to contact our office if you experience any damage to your appliance.

How old are you?

Your age can play a role in the length of your treatment. Patients can successfully move their teeth at any age. Children and teens can move their teeth more easily due to their bones being more pliable since they’re still growing and not fully developed. This is why braces tend to be more common in childhood and adolescence. It allows for Dr. Buttram to have more control over your bite correction. For older patients, however, treatment can take longer with more developed teeth. The jawbone stops growing by our early twenties. Successfully treating orthodontic issues after that point may require more time and effort.

Our practice offers a wide range of treatments to move your teeth comfortably, efficiently, and as quickly as possible. While there will not be an exact end date for your treatment, the average time in braces tends to be anywhere from twelve to thirty-six months. Treatment with a clear aligner system like Invisalign can be shorter. 

There are many factors that can affect the length of treatment, and not just the ones listed above. Any of these could make your treatment longer or shorter than others. No matter how long your treatment takes, we can promise one thing: Our team of orthodontic experts will be there the whole time to make your final result the smile you want.


Trust your smile at Buttram Orthodontics

You deserve to trust your smile in the right hands, and we’re here to guide you every step of the way. Whether you’re just getting started on your orthodontic journey or looking for a new office to visit, Buttram Orthodontics is your location for modern orthodontic treatment. Dr. Buttram has been in the exclusive practice of orthodontics for over thirty years and is passionate about providing exceptional care to every patient who visits us.

Our office is conveniently located in Panama City, Florida, so your orthodontic care is always close to home, school, or work. We encourage you to reach out for your FREE consultation with our expert team at Buttram Orthodontics to get started on your personalized journey to a healthy and happy smile.