On average, it takes 12–18 months to align teeth with fixed or removable braces. If your case is straightforward, your transformation could take as little as nine months.

How quickly can we straighten teeth?

It might seem tempting to move your teeth as quickly as possible, but not only would this be uncomfortable – it could jeopardise the health of your smile. As your teeth move, the supporting bone needs time to adapt, so it’s essential to use gentle forces. By moving teeth at the optimum speed, we can ensure a stable, long-lasting result.

On average, you can expect a millimetre of movement each month. A millimetre may not sound like much, but you’ll quickly notice your smiling improving.

There are cosmetic braces that claim to straighten teeth faster than traditional appliances, but there’s little evidence to support these headlines. They usually achieve faster treatment times because they’re treating less complex cases such as simple crowding.

You may also come across products and even surgical treatments that supposedly speed up braces. Again, approach these techniques with caution. There is a lack of good quality evidence, and they can be costly and invasive.

How long does Invisalign take to straighten teeth?

Invisalign is a popular alternative to fixed braces that uses clear, removable aligners to straighten teeth. It’s very discreet, and patients enjoy the convenience of removing their aligners to eat and drink.

Invisalign treatment consists of a series of custom-made aligners that gradually guide your teeth into the perfect position. You’ll need to wear your aligners for at least 20 hours every day. Every 1–2 weeks you’ll change to the next set of aligners in the sequence.

Invisalign isn’t consistently faster than fixed braces, but it’s very predictable. We’ll plan every millimetre of tooth movement before we start your treatment. You’ll be able to see a preview of your smile and how your teeth will look at every aligner change.

If you don’t wear your aligners for long enough each day, it could take us longer to align your teeth. So, if you think that compliance could be an issue, you might see faster results with fixed braces.

Invisalign aligner

Is there a faster alternative to braces?

Veneers are another way to achieve straight teeth that offer almost instant results. They work by disguising your natural tooth behind a thin façade that’s custom-made to look like your perfect tooth.

The downside of veneers is that your teeth usually need to be filed down to achieve a natural result. If your teeth are crowded and protrude then considerable amounts of enamel will need removing to achieve a good outcome.

Enamel is your tooth’s protective layer, and once it’s gone, it can’t be restored. Veneers will be a lifelong commitment, and you’ll need to replace them over the years.

Find out more at your no-obligation consultation

Unfortunately, there aren’t any shortcuts to a natural, straight smile. However, the results of orthodontic treatment are more than worth the wait. Most patients quickly adapt to wearing braces, and if you opt for Invisalign, your treatment will be virtually invisible.

To learn more about braces and find out how long your smile makeover could take, contact us to arrange a consultation online or in-person.