When do Do Teeth start to Straighten with Braces?

When it comes to healthcare, the routine protocol people follow is that if they have a problem/issue, they visit a doctor and the doctor either provide them with medications to treat the problem or performs a procedure to resolve it. The same is true even when a tooth problem comes knocking. People visit a dentist for issues like tooth pain, bleeding gums, loose teeth, or a tooth cavity, and these problems are immediately attended to.

But what do you do if you have crooked teeth? Crooked or maligned teeth are treated by specialist dentists called orthodontists. Unlike other dental treatments that are usually performed as soon as possible to cause immediate effect, orthodontic treatment takes much longer to complete.

How long do braces take to straighten teeth?

This is a common question that orthodontic patients have in their mind before they opt for the treatment and throughout their treatment as well. Regular metal and ceramic braces take an average of 18-24 months to complete, based on the patient’s age, bone density, degree of malalignment, quality and type of braces chosen, and the patient’s compliance.

Some newer braces such as self-ligating braces, clear aligners, and accelerated orthodontics are recent orthodontic advances that have addressed this problem of long treatment times. Treatment times have been observed to reduce using these new-age braces significantly.

How do braces move teeth forward?

Before understanding why braces take long to straighten teeth, we must know how teeth move using braces. At every appointment with your orthodontist, he/she will tighten your wire. When your orthodontist stretches the wiring in your braces, it applies forces to the braces holding the cable. These forces are further transferred to your teeth and to the surrounding bone in the direction in which the power is applied. This causes the bone cells to remodel to make space for the teeth to move. This is a biomechanical process and is responsible for the movement of your teeth forwards, backwards, sidewards, to make space, close spaces, de-rotate the teeth– all to give you correctly aligned, straight teeth.

Do braces move your teeth every day?

When patients visit their orthodontist, and he/she tightens the wire, the patients feel pressure on their teeth. “This pressure I’m feeling is responsible for moving my teeth”, they understand. However, during the middle of the month before their next visit, patients notice that the pressure on their teeth has reduced or completely disappeared. “My teeth have stopped moving!” they say and immediately make a call or visit to the orthodontist. 

This brings us to a fundamental question “do braces move your teeth every day?” Well, the answer is no! Your teeth movement involves periods of progressive change alternating with periods of rest. So, there are days when your teeth are not actively moving but are either getting ready to move in the next phase of active movement or have just completed their active movement phase.

When will I notice my teeth move with braces?

When a patient wears braces for the first time, there is a bit of excitement about the results, and he/she waits with a longing to get to see some change in their teeth or facial appearance as soon as the treatment begins. But, this often results in frustration or anxiety. Why so? This is because usually in the initial phases of the procedure, some minor adjustments and movements occur. So, many patients feel disheartened about the lack of any difference to their teeth or appearance even after 3-4 appointments with their orthodontist. “When will I notice my teeth move with braces?”, is a common worry orthodontic patients have during the initial phases of their treatment. 

But, the fact is, small corrections such as minor de-rotations or space closures can be noticed after about 7-8 appointments. As the teeth alignment is corrected step-by-step, the more the patient and his family/friends can appreciate the teeth moving.

So, the next time you or anyone you know who is an orthodontic patient wonders about when their braces will begin to straighten their teeth, you know it needs patience and it of time to get an attractive, pleasing smile! Loved this article? Let us know in the comment box below!