how long to straighten teeth

How Long Does It Take to Straighten Teeth?

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The average person will require teeth straightening in their lifetime. Whether it’s due to health issues or cosmetic desires, many children, teens, and adults alike will usually opt for orthodontic treatment. When choosing which straightening method can work for them, an important question often comes up: how long does teeth straightening take? Well, the answer can vary depending on several factors.

Factors that affect treatment time

There is no one-size-fits-all dental treatment. In fact, braces and aligners are highly unique to your particular needs, and many factors can affect how long it’ll take to get a perfect smile:

Teeth straightening method

Believe it or not, the type of treatment you receive can help determine how long you’re working toward that new smile. Aligners – which are clear plastic trays that fit snuggly to your teeth, gently guiding them over time – can be much quicker than braces. However, aligners are not always the solution for every case, and if severe enough, you may require braces. Generally, aligners can treat moderate cases in less than a year, while the length of the average braces stretches up to two years.


Perhaps the biggest factor in your treatment time is the complexity of your case. There are a few things that can significantly shift your timeline. Below are a few key players:

• Bite issues: Malocclusion is extremely common, though it comes in varying degrees. For simple bit misalignments, a short extended treatment time may be added. For severe underbites, overbites, or open bites, you can expect a longer treatment time. The orthodontist will be able to examine your unique case and outline a thorough treatment plan which may require aligners, braces, surgery, or another solution.

• Crowding: One of the more common issues braces and aligners address is crowding. Crowding happens when your teeth are pushed together too closely. This can be because of wisdom teeth, large teeth, such as a baby tooth, or simple genetics. Moderate crowding may be addressed during a standard treatment plan of one to two years. However, severe crowding may require surgery or extraction, which can lengthen the treatment time.

The bottom line

The time it will take to straighten your teeth can vary based on many factors, and can be different for everyone. For moderate cases treated with braces, individuals can expect a treatment timeline of up to two years. On the other hand, moderate cases using aligners may be treated in less than a year! And in the case of any complex issues, the treatment time can be dramatically lengthened. It’s smart to consult with an orthodontist or dentist so you can figure out the right treatment plan and length for your needs.