How Long Does It Take to Straighten Teeth on Average?

In the past decade, the number of adults seeking orthodontic care has increased drastically. For example, people aged 18 and over with braces increased by 14 percent from 2010 to 2012. 

Whether you are contemplating braces for yourself or your child, you likely have many questions about the braces timeline. For example, you may be wondering: how long does it take to straighten teeth? 

This post will answer that question and help you understand what it takes to get perfectly straight teeth!

How Long Does It Take To Straighten Teeth From Start to Finish?

Getting beautiful teeth doesn’t happen overnight. Those with minor alignment issues may only need to wear braces or Invisalign for six months. Others, however, may take years to finish their treatment if they have severe misalignment problems. 

Let’s take a look at some of the steps you can expect to go through when getting braces. 

Initial Consultation

At your consultation appointment, your dentist will assess the severity of your misalignment and decide which type of braces are best for you. And, you may need to have some extractions before getting braces if you have crowded teeth. 

Getting Your Braces

Your next appointment will likely be to have your braces fitted. You can expect to feel some discomfort. Yet, dentists, such as those at, will give you some tips on dealing with this and care for your oral hygiene. 


From time to time, you’ll need to visit your orthodontist so that they can ensure your treatment is progressing properly. They may also make some adjustments to your brace as time passes. 

Removing Your Braces

When you finally have straight and healthy teeth, your orthodontist will finally remove your braces. Of course, you’ll need to wear a retainer to keep your teeth aligned. 

Factors That Influence the Braces Timeline 

Everyone’s teeth are unique, so it can be challenging to say exactly how long your treatment will take. However, some factors determine whether you’ll wear your braces for months or years. 

Crowding or Gaps

Two common issues among orthodontic patients are gaps and crowding. Unfortunately, both of these take time to correct, especially when the issues are severe. 


Children and teens are still growing, so their teeth move a lot faster than adults. Of course, there are times when adults’ teeth move just as quickly, but it depends on the person. 

Heeding Instructions

Compliance is another important factor, especially in the Invisalign timeline. If you don’t wear your aligner trays as much as you’re supposed to (20-22 hours daily), your teeth won’t move nearly as quickly.

Don’t Rush the Smile of Your Dreams

So, how long does it take to straighten teeth? Even though there is no way to know the exact timeline, your orthodontist will give you an estimate at your consultation visit. So, don’t wait any longer and schedule an appointment with a local orthodontist! 

Do you want more tips and advice for healthy teeth and gums? If so, check out more of our dental content!


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