How long does it take to straighten teeth?

The average person will need teeth straightening during their lifetime. Whether it is due to health issues or cosmetic desires, many children, teenagers and adults will usually opt for orthodontic treatment. When choosing which straightening method is right for them, an important question is often asked: how long does teeth straightening take? Well, the answer can vary depending on several factors.

Factors affecting treatment time

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

Method of teeth straightening

Believe it or not, the type of treatment you receive can help determine how long you work on that new smile. Aligners – which are clear plastic trays that fit snugly against your teeth, gently guiding them over time – can be much faster than braces. However, aligners are not always the answer in every case, and if they are strong enough, you may need braces. In general, aligners can treat moderate cases in less than a year, while the length of an average brace extends up to two years.


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

• Bite problems: Malocclusion is extremely common, although it comes in varying degrees. For simple bit mismatches, a short extended treatment time can be added. For severe underbites, overbites or open bites, you can expect a longer treatment time. An orthodontist will be able to review your unique case and come up with a detailed treatment plan that may require aligners, braces, surgery, or another solution.

• Overcrowding: One of the most common problems that braces and aligners deal with is crowding. Crowding happens when your teeth are too close together. This can be due to wisdom teeth, large teeth, such as baby teeth, or simple genetics. Moderate crowding can be resolved during a standard treatment plan of one to two years. However, severe crowding may require surgery or extraction, which may increase treatment time.


The time required to straighten teeth can vary depending on many factors and can be different for everyone. For moderate cases treated with braces, individuals can expect a treatment time frame of up to two years. On the other hand, moderate cases using aligners can be treated in less than a year! And in case of any complex problems, the treatment time can be dramatically extended. It is wise to consult with an orthodontist or dentist so that you can determine the right treatment plan and length for your needs.

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