Nearly 4 million people in America have braces, including some well-known celebrities. They are orthodontic marvels that help straighten teeth, create beautiful smiles, and are a common sight in dental offices around the world. If you or someone you know is about to embark on a braces journey, you might wonder, “How long does it take to put on braces?”

In this article, we dive into the process of getting braces, the time it typically takes, and what to expect during this orthodontic adventure. Read on to learn all about it!

Initial Consultation

Before you get those shiny brackets and wires on your teeth, you’ll need to go through an initial consultation with an orthodontist. During this appointment, your orthodontist will evaluate your dental health, discuss your treatment goals, and determine if braces are the right solution for you.

This consultation usually involves some of the following steps.

Dental Examination

Your orthodontist will examine your teeth, gums, and bite. They may take x-rays and impressions of your teeth to create a treatment plan tailored to your needs.

Discussion of Treatment Options

Your orthodontist will explain the various treatment options, such as traditional metal braces, ceramic braces, or clear aligners like Invisalign. Together, you’ll decide on the best approach for your specific case.

Cost and Duration

Your orthodontist will provide an estimate of the treatment cost and discuss the expected duration of your orthodontic journey. The duration can vary widely, depending on the complexity of your case.


In some cases, you may need to address specific dental issues before getting braces. This could include having teeth extracted or undergoing other dental procedures to create the best foundation for your orthodontic treatment.

The Day You Get Your Braces On

After the initial consultation and any necessary preparatory work, it’s time for the big day-getting your braces on! Here’s what typically happens.

Cleaning and Preparing Your Teeth

Before attaching the braces, your orthodontist will thoroughly clean and dry your teeth. This is essential to ensure a good bond.

Bonding Brackets

Small brackets made of metal or ceramic are attached to each tooth using a special adhesive. Your orthodontist will place these brackets precisely, following the treatment plan.

Attaching the Wires

Once the brackets are in place, a wire is threaded through them and secured with elastic bands. The wire applies gentle pressure to your teeth, gradually moving them into the desired position.

Final Adjustments

Your orthodontist will make any necessary adjustments. These ensure the braces function correctly and your bite is aligned properly.

Time Required

The process of getting braces typically takes about one to two hours. It’s painless, but you might feel some pressure or discomfort as the brackets and wires are put in place.

This sensation is temporary and should subside within a few days as your mouth adjusts to the new hardware. Let your dentist know if it gets worse or does not go away though.

What to Expect After Getting Braces

Now that you have your braces on, it’s time to embark on your orthodontic journey. What exactly does it look like?


It’s common to experience some discomfort or soreness in the days following the placement of braces. Over-the-counter pain relievers and orthodontic wax to cover any sharp edges can help ease this discomfort.

Dietary Adjustments

You may need to make some dietary adjustments. Sticky or hard foods can damage your braces, so it’s best to avoid them.

Oral Hygiene

Maintaining good oral hygiene is crucial with braces. You’ll need to be diligent about brushing and flossing to prevent plaque buildup and tooth decay. Your orthodontist will provide instructions on how to care for your braces properly.

Regular Check-Ups

You will have regular appointments with your orthodontist for adjustments and progress checks. Depending on your treatment plan, these appointments are typically scheduled every four to six weeks.

Duration of Treatment

The time you’ll need to wear braces can vary widely depending on your case. Some people wear braces for as little as six months, while others may need them for two years or more.

Your orthodontist will provide a more accurate estimate based on your specific needs.

Factors Influencing Treatment Duration

Not everyone wears braces for the same amount of time. Even though averages exist, they can vary widely from person to person. Several factors can influence how long you’ll need to wear braces.

Severity of Misalignment

The extent of your orthodontic issues plays a significant role. More severe misalignments typically require longer treatment times.


Younger patients often see faster results because their bones are still growing and more adaptable. Adults may need longer treatment due to the rigidity of their bone structure.


Always follow your orthodontist’s instructions, such as wearing rubber bands or headgear. It is crucial for timely progress.

Types of Braces

Some types of braces, like traditional metal braces, may achieve results more quickly than others. Consult with your dentist regarding which type of braces will work best for you and timeframes.

Overall Oral Health

Good oral hygiene and health can help expedite treatment. Any dental issues that arise during treatment may extend the duration.


After removing your braces, you’ll likely need to wear a retainer to maintain the results. The length of retainer use varies but is essential for long-term success.

The Day Your Braces Come Off

After months or even years of treatment, the day you’ve been eagerly awaiting arrives-it’s time to remove your braces! Here’s how that appointment will go.

Brace Removal

Your orthodontist will gently remove the brackets and wires from your teeth. This process is usually painless. They will also clean and polish your teeth to remove any remaining adhesive.


Your orthodontist will evaluate your teeth to ensure they’re in their desired position and that your bite is aligned correctly. Wear the retainer provided to ensure your teeth don’t shift too much.

How Long Does It Take to Put on Braces? It Varies

As you can see, the whole process from start to finish of putting on braces isn’t just a one-day process. But braces are well worth the effort and time investment.

If you are searching for an orthodontist for yourself or your children in Seattle, WA, look no further. Book an appointment with North Seattle Orthodontics, and we will run you through the answers to the question, “How long does it take to put on braces?”