How Long Do Adults Wear Braces For?

Have you ever looked at Hollywood actors and their picture-perfect smiles and secretly longed to have perfect teeth?

These days, it’s nothing strange for adults to get braces to fulfil their teeth goals! You can get braces at any age, but we often get the question of how long adults will need to wear their braces compared to children.

Unfortunately, it’s not a set timing and each case varies depending on your individual needs. Treatment can range from a few months to up to three years and we’ll only be able to give you a time frame once you’ve had your first appointment.

In general, there are four main factors your orthodontist will take into consideration. That is your age, how complex your case is, your compliance and the type of braces used. Luckily, age doesn’t play the biggest role and it depends more on the complexity of your case.


Adult orthodontic treatment can take longer for adults than younger people. Children’s teeth are still moving, and their jaws are still growing, so their teeth will move into the desired place faster. Because adult teeth have been in place for long, it will take more effort to change and move it.

Complex Cases Take Longer

Every orthodontic treatment is different from the next and depending on the individual’s needs, braces can be worn from a few short months to fix simple issues to up to three years for more complex cases.

Crooked teeth are not the only thing that orthodontists can fix. They can also correct other dental or mouth problems like headaches, jaw pain, bone, and gum loss as well as abnormal wear of tooth enamel.

Type of Braces

How long you’ll have to wear your braces depends on what type of orthodontic treatment is being used.

Braces can be metal, ceramic or lingual.

Metal and Clear Braces

The most powerful orthodontic treatment method is high-grade stainless steel and clear ceramic braces. They are more likely to give good results in a short time and to move teeth to the desired position. Ceramic braces use tooth-coloured brackets and archwires that make them less noticeable than metal braces. Metal braces tend to be able to take more pressure than ceramic brackets.

Lingual Braces

Lingual braces are often the option that adults go for because it’s less noticeable and worn on the inside of teeth. An orthodontist will scan the patient’s teeth to custom make individual brackets to fit each tooth. They are fitted to the backs of teeth and the wire attached. Braces that are placed on the inside of teeth take longer to correct and move teeth than when it’s fitted on the outside. If you choose lingual braces, you will attend more appointments to check on progress and make adjustments.

Be Compliant

This factor is usually not an issue with adults who wear braces. It’s very important to follow your Orthodontist’s instructions in order not to increase the time you have to wear them.

The most important things to remember about compliance are:

  •   Be thorough and regular with your teeth cleaning
  •   Stick to your appointments with your Orthodontist and follow their directions
  •   If any of your brackets or braces break, make an appointment with your orthodontist immediately.


You might think that once your braces are removed, you’re finished with your orthodontic treatment but that’s not the case. Even if you’ve worn your braces for up to three years, they can still move back to their original place if you don’t have and use a retainer.

Your Orthodontist will advise how often the clear plastic retainer must be worn or a permanent wire attached to the back of the bottom teeth.