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7 Factors That Influence How Long Braces and Invisalign Take to Straighten Teeth

By March 10, 2021July 11th, 2023Blog, Orthodontics

How long do braces take to work? How long does Invisalign take? Right after cost, these are the most common questions our Langley, Abbotsford and Surrey clear braces, metal braces and Invisalign patients ask at their initial consultation. We know everyone wants the shortest Invisalign time and fastest braces treatment, while still getting a functional bite and smile they love. Though visiting an experienced, knowledgeable certified specialist in orthodontics like Dr. Sharma, Dr. Lin or Dr. Koo can go a long way in making that a reality, ultimately, how long Invisalign or braces take to straighten teeth depends on a number of factors, including:

1. The Complexity of Your Case

The complexity of your case is the single most important factor when answering: How long does Invisalign take to work? Or, how long do braces last? For example, a mild case of spacing or crowding that is mostly cosmetic where the bite comes together properly will result in the shortest Invisalign or braces time. A patient could achieve results in less than a year. For malocclusion that’s skeletal in nature, like an overbite or underbite, we’ll have to combine straightening the teeth with orthopedic correction, so treatment will run longer. Mild and moderate smile concerns, as well as those related to tooth position, are typically faster to correct than severe ones or those that involve the jaw.

2. The Health of Your Teeth and Gums

 Teeth move most effectively in a healthy oral environment. Plus, if you develop issues like cavities during braces treatment, in severe cases, you could need to have your appliance removed to have the cavities fixed by your dentist. This would obviously increase your braces treatment time. Practicing good oral hygiene and visiting your general dentist regularly before and during braces or Invisalign treatment will prevent delays and make treatment more efficient.


3. How Diligent You are About Caring for Your Appliance

 If your braces frequently break and need regular repairs or you lose your Invisalign aligners, this could increase how long Invisalign takes or how long braces take to work. Keep your treatment on track by knowing how to take care of braces (i.e., avoiding hard, sticky, chewy foods, brushing and flossing regularly, and wearing a mouthguard when playing sports) and keeping tabs on your Invisalign aligners by storing them in their Invisalign case.

4. How Closely You Follow Your Orthodontist’s Instructions

If you want the shortest Invisalign time, then wearing your Invisalign aligners for about 22 hours per day is key. Additionally, following Dr. Sharma, Dr. Lin or Dr. Koo’s instructions for changing your aligners, whether it’s every week or every two weeks, will keep your teeth moving in the pre-planned directions and help you finish Invisalign treatment on time. While all types of braces are bonded to the teeth and don’t require you to wear them according to a schedule, there may be extras like rubber bands. If that’s the case, wearing and changing your braces rubber bands based on your treatment plan will give you the best results in a timely manner.

5. The Type of Braces or Appliance You Choose 

At Aura Orthodontics, we offer a variety of different types of braces, as well as Invisalign and Invisalign Teen. For the majority of our Abbotsford, Langley and Surrey clear braces, metal braces and Invisalign patients, the length of treatment will be the same regardless of the appliance they choose. However, there are occasionally cases that respond better to one treatment versus another. For example, sometimes, using Invisalign for an open bite can be faster than braces. This is because the aligners move certain teeth at specific times, which is known as staging, and staging is an important part of open bite treatment. When it comes to certain types of crossbites, on the other hand, traditional braces are faster than Invisalign and also more effective. Of course, at your consultation, Dr. Sharma, Dr. Lin or Dr. Koo will tell you which option will give you the best results in the least amount of time.

6. Your Age (Sometimes)

While it depends on your case, certain problems, such as an overbite, some types of crossbites or an underbite, can take longer to respond to treatment when you’re an adult and done growing. For bite imbalances related to the size or positioning of the jaw, early intervention is the best way to achieve the shortest Invisalign time or fastest braces treatment. This is because we can guide jaw growth with appliances (dentofacial orthopedics) while a young patient is still developing, intercepting the issue and preventing it from becoming a more serious problem. Even if two phases of orthodontic treatment are needed, braces or Invisalign Teen treatment will be faster and easier in the second phase, and we can often help the patient avoid corrective jaw surgery or extractions down the road.

7. Your Orthodontist’s Treatment Plan

Your orthodontist’s treatment plan also influences how fast braces or Invisalign work. At Aura Orthodontics, we use computerized treatment planning and move each individual tooth into its ideal position on a 3D rendering of your smile. We can also visualize different outcomes and troubleshoot issues before you start treatment. While digital treatment planning doesn’t automatically mean faster Invisalign or braces treatment, it can help teeth take a more direct path to their final positions and eliminate inefficiencies.

These are some of the main factors that influence how long braces take and how long Invisalign takes to straighten teeth. However, the only way to know the length of your orthodontic treatment for sure is to visit Aura Orthodontics for a consultation. Once we’ve evaluated your bite, we can determine whether our Abbotsford, Langley or Surrey clear braces, metal braces, Invisalign or Invisalign Teen will be the most efficient, effective option to give you a smile you’re proud to show off. Book your visit today!