When Do I Get My Braces Off?

The first thing our patients want to know when they get their braces on is when those braces will come off.  In other words, “When will I have that beautiful smile I’ve always wanted?”  Braces can be a pain, literally! We don’t want to endure them any longer than we have to, but that smile will be worth it, so be patient.

Most likely you’ve already been given an estimate about how long it will take to straighten your teeth.   Each patient is different because we all come to the orthodontist with different problems with our teeth or our bite.  There are three primary steps orthodontists take to give you the smile you want.

 3 Steps to Straightening Your Teeth

Resolving crowding/spacing

  • Your orthodontist may need to take steps to make room for the teeth to be aligned.  The decision of how to do this is based on the size of the teeth, jaw and other factors.
  • If spacing is the problem, your orthodontist will take steps to close space or gaps between your teeth.
  • Aligning or straightening your teeth
  • Your orthodontist will use wires, springs, rubber bands and other methods to turn the teeth into their desired position.

Aligning or straightening the teeth 

  • Your orthodontist will use wires, springs, rubber bands and other methods to turn the teeth to their desired position.
  • This may require removal and re-positioning of individual brackets because they may not be able to be put in the correct position in the beginning.

Correcting the bite

  • Your orthodontist will make sure your upper teeth fit correctly with the lower teeth.  Many people have over-bites (when the upper teeth are out too far) or under-bites (when the lower teeth are out too far) or cross-bites (side-to-side).
  • This is accomplished with wires and rubber bands until the bite is correct. When the backs of the top teeth rest lightly on the fronts of the bottom teeth.

Patients tend to become impatient during the third stage of the process because things are starting to look good.  They can see their new smile coming through.  At this point, most people begin to feel that enough is enough and they’re ready to leave their braces behind.  However, there are still many details that will need to be taken care of to make your smile perfect. After all, this is what you’re paying for, right?

What to Look for in the Mirror

Here are some questions to ask yourself so you know whether you’re close to getting your braces off:

  1. Are your teeth straight?
  2. Are the spaces between your teeth completely closed?
  3. Do the upper front teeth overlap the lower front teeth appropriately?
  4. Is the over bite or under bite corrected?

Be patient and let it happen as your orthodontist sees fit.  You’ll have your new, healthy and stable smile in no time.

Consult Dr. Hage to find out approximately how long it will take for you to get the smile you’ve always wanted!  Visit our website or call our office to schedule a consultation.

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