If you’re unhappy with how straight your teeth look, you might want a teeth straightening treatment. As with all dental treatments, understanding what to expect before you commit is always a good idea. 

Understanding the process is especially important as several teeth-straightening treatments are available —and you’ll want to choose the best option for you. At The London Smile Clinic, we use three types: fixed tooth-coloured braces, lingual braces attached to the back of your teeth, and clear removable aligners. 

When we speak with patients seeking teeth straightening, we’re often asked, “How long will it take? The answer isn’t the same in every case, but we always do our best to give you a transparent indication of the timescale. 

Unlike many treatments that can be performed in a single day, teeth straightening is a gradual process. Several variables affect the treatment length. In this article, we’ll examine what’s involved in the process and compare the duration of different treatment types. 

Why Are My Teeth Misaligned, and Why Should I Straighten Them?

There are several reasons teeth become misaligned. Genetics can play a part. If you have crooked or crowded teeth, there’s a strong possibility your parents and siblings have, too. Your bite may not align because you sucked a dummy too long or had similar habits during childhood. Injury and illness can also play a part too. 

Straightening teeth makes it easier to keep them clean, reducing the risk of tooth decay and infection. Fixing misalignments can also improve speech difficulties, reduce jaw problems, and boost confidence. Orthodontic treatments can also improve your ability to chew food. 

How Does Teeth Straightening Work?

The process of straightening teeth essentially involves pushing them into the perfect position. Although teeth are firmly rooted into the jaw bone that supports them, pushing them with great force would cause injury. Teeth straightening uses gentle pressure for safe and painless results. 

Whether you choose a fixed brace or clear aligner, the constant pressure created by the appliance will slowly move your teeth into their new position. We would need to alter the force throughout your treatment by adjusting the brace or replacing the aligner.

What Factors Affect Treatment Duration? 

Everyone is unique, and the position of your teeth will differ from someone else’s. Because of this, every treatment is tailored to the individual. 

Treatments will address different types of malocclusions (orthodontic issues). These include: 

  • Crooked teeth – Your teeth grow at an angle
  • Crowding – Your teeth are bunched close together
  • Spacing – There are gaps between your teeth
  • Protrusions – Your teeth stick out 
  • Overbite – Your upper teeth fit over your lower teeth when your mouth is closed
  • Underbite – Your lower teeth stick out over your upper teeth when your mouth is closed
  • Open bite – Your lower and upper front teeth don’t meet when your mouth is closed
  • Crossbite – Your upper teeth fit inside your lower teeth

All of these issues can vary in severity. More severe cases will take longer to treat.

Other factors that can affect your treatment duration include age, your general health, and which teeth straightening option you choose. 

How Long Do Tooth-Coloured Braces Take?

Fixed braces have long been used to straighten teeth. Traditionally, these are made up of metal brackets and wires. The brackets are fixed to the teeth, and the wire is fed through. Small elastic bands are wrapped around the brackets to keep the wire in place. Tension along the archwire creates the force that moves your teeth. 

Tooth-coloured braces work the same way. Instead of metal, this type of brace uses colour-matched ceramic materials to blend in with your smile subtly. 

We’ll increase the tension on the wire throughout your treatment to direct your teeth. 

These braces correct various types of malocclusion. Milder cases take around six months, while more severe cases may take two or more years. 

Because these braces are fixed in place, it gives us full control over the treatment. Routine checkups and adjustments help us keep the straightening process on course. 

How Long Do Lingual Braces Take?

Incognito lingual braces are like normal fixed braces. However, instead of being attached to the fronts of your teeth, we fix them to the backs. Lingual braces are popular because they are completely discreet. Nobody will see them as they will be behind your smile.

Like other fixed appliances, lingual braces must be adjusted periodically to move the treatment forward. 

Lingual braces are very effective and can treat mild to severe cases. Like tooth-coloured braces, treatments vary from six months to two years. 

How Long Does Invisalign Treatment Take?

Invisalign is a popular clear aligner treatment. The process uses removable translucent plastic aligners that are custom-made for your teeth. These subtle trays fit around your teeth and create the force to move them.

Throughout your treatment, you will change your aligner every two weeks. The number of aligners you’ll need will depend on the duration of your treatment and the severity of your malocclusion. 

The entire Invisalign treatment process is carefully plotted before we even give you the first aligner. We use the latest dental software to ensure accuracy. Using this technology, we can also show you how your smile will look after treatment. 

We can predict your treatment length using digital dentistry. This prediction will be accurate if you follow the treatment plan as directed and wear your aligner for at least 22 hours each day. 

Invisalign can treat mild to moderate malocclusions. Treatment lengths typically range from six months to two years. 

Teeth Straightening in London

Teeth straightening improves the appearance of your smile while setting you up for a lifetime of better dental health. Treatment lengths can range from six months to two years, depending on the type and severity of your malocclusion. 

During your initial consultation, we’ll assess your teeth. This will give us a clearer understanding of your particular case. From here, we can advise on your choice of Invisalign, tooth-coloured braces, or lingual braces. 

Call us today to book your initial consultation.