How Long Do You Have to Wear Braces?

Almost as soon we put someone in braces — actually, way before that at the initial consultation even — they're already wondering how long they'll have to wear them. We get it! You're excited to have a straighter smile, and you're anxious for that day to arrive as soon as possible. We're sorry to say there's no simple answer.


Every mouth is unique, which means every orthodontic case is unique. Treatment length can range from just a few months to a few years depending on how much your teeth need to be shifted. On average, people wear braces for around 1.5 to 2 years.

Don't worry though; we're not going to fit you with braces and then just play it by ear. We'll always give you an estimate once we've had an in-person consultation and dental exam, which will give us a much better idea of the length of your unique treatment plan.

Factors Influencing Treatment Length

We can't tell you specific number without looking at your specific case, but we can tell you a little more about what factors affect how long you have to wear braces.

  • Severity of Case — Mild spacing issues won't take as long as more complex problems like severe crowding or a major underbite.
  • Age — In general, the younger you are, the faster it is to move your teeth. Kids' and teens' mouths are still growing and developing, meaning they're easier to adjust.
  • Accelerated Orthodontics — At Stroope Orthodontics, we offer the option of PROPEL orthodontics, which is an additional procedure you can get alongside braces to help your teeth move faster.
  • Genetics — Sometimes, how fast your teeth can be moved is simply up to biology.

Don't Forget About Retainers

When that magical day of finally being free of braces arrives, don't forget that you have to maintain all of that hard work by wearing a retainer. A retainer is a crucial part of keeping your teeth in line once orthodontic treatment is over because teeth are constantly shifting as we get older.

We'll ask you to wear it for a full year at all times (except when you're brushing or eating of course), and then we'll lay out a plan for you to get to only wearing it at night.

We understand that many patients can be disappointed at this bit of news, but trust us it's worth it. You don't want your teeth to end up in need of teeth straightening all over again!

Ready to get going on the path towards a straighter smile? Contact Stroope Orthodontics today to set up a braces consultation!