Factors That Determine How Long Braces Will Remain in Place

Many parents who are advised to have their child undergo orthodontic treatment wonder how long that child will have those braces on. This article discusses some of the factors that may influence the duration that the child will have his or her braces.

Will Permanent Teeth Be Extracted?

One of the major determinants of how long your child will need to stay with the braces is whether he or she requires the removal of a permanent tooth. Children who require the removal of a permanent tooth usually stay with the braces for a much longer time than those who don't need a permanent tooth to be removed. This extended duration normally helps the braces to move the adjacent teeth so that the gap left by the extracted tooth is covered. Your child may require having a permanent tooth extracted in case the orthodontist finds that the child has severe tooth crowding that can only be solved by removing a tooth.

Have All Permanent Teeth Erupted?

Another factor that can affect how long your child may have to keep the braces on is whether his or her permanent teeth have all erupted. Children whose permanent teeth have erupted may have the braces for a shorter duration when compared to those whose permanent teeth have not all erupted. This is because the eruption of more permanent teeth during the orthodontic treatment may require the professional to adjust the braces so that the newly erupted teeth can be accommodated within the treatment plan.

Does Your Child Have Jaw Discrepancies?

Some children have jaws that don't line up properly, such as kids with a cross-bite. Such kids may need to undergo surgery in order to correct the jaw discrepancy before braces are fitted. Such surgical procedures may prolong the duration that the child has to keep the braces in place. This may be because the braces have to be adjusted gradually as the jaw heals and more bone tissue forms around the teeth that are being moved into a better location in order to correct the bite issues of your child.

As you can see, the duration that your child may have to spend when he or she has the braces in place depends on the specific issues that the orthodontic treatment has to address. It can therefore only be possible to estimate the duration after an orthodontist has examined your child and designed an appropriate treatment plan for him or her. Generally, the braces may be in place for about a year or even more than two years. Talk to your family dentist in case you need additional information about the dental treatment of your child.