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How Long Will It Take to Get My Braces?

how long to put on braces

Round Lake, IL – Millions of people of all ages wear braces to improve the look and health of their smiles. If you are one of the many getting ready to get braces, you probably have some questions, like what you should expect on the day the braces are put on. Dr. Michael Stosich walks potential patients through what to expect when getting braces.

“We’re often asked how long it will take to put the braces on,” says Dr. Stosich. “My answer is about as long as it takes to watch a good movie. You should typically plan on your appointment taking about two hours. Then, you’re free to go about your daily life.”

So, what exactly happens at this appointment?

1. Cleaning and drying

Your teeth are cleaned and dried thoroughly so the brackets will adhere properly.

2. Securing the brackets

Once dried, the bonding material is applied, and the brackets are attached to each tooth. This bonding material is completely harmless, but it may have an unpleasant taste. A tiny bit of the glue goes on each tooth, and a special blue light will help the glue set.

3. Attaching the archwire

Once everything else is in place, the orthodontist will attach the archwire to the brackets. The archwire is held onto each bracket by a tiny rubber band, known as a ligature. Make your orthodontic experience unique by customizing rubber bands to your favorite colors. Once securely in place, the archwire is snipped to ensure it doesn’t poke into the back of your mouth.

Some orthodontists may use bands around the back molars, however, Dr. Stosich does not. Dr. Stosich uses only brackets and archwires, which allows for more precision and increased comfort for the patient.

“This is the process for traditional metal braces,” says Dr. Stosich. “If you choose an option such as lingual braces, your appointment may be a bit longer. Lingual braces are placed on the tongue side of the teeth and can take longer to place.”

If you’ve opted for a clear aligner system, your appointment will be much shorter. To create the aligners, you’ll have impressions and digital images taken. Once ready, you’ll visit your orthodontist to get your aligners and have any adjustments made.

Post-Procedure Care and Adjustments

The experience of having your braces placed should not be painful. However, you will have some tenderness after the appointment and in the days immediately following. You may have a slight headache or jaw discomfort. You can take an over-the-counter pain reliever, such as ibuprofen or naproxen. Stick to a soft food diet for the first few days.

Getting used to the brackets and wires in your mouth will take a few days. Use orthodontic wax over any areas that cause discomfort. Rinsing with warm salt water can relieve discomfort, or use Anbesol or Orajel.

Adjusting to Life with Braces

“There is a learning curve to adjusting to life with braces,” says Dr. Stosich. “But, if you follow our guidelines you’ll be back to normal in no time. And if you ever have any questions or concerns, we’re always here for you.”

Getting your braces on is a big day. It’s the start of your journey to a healthier, straighter smile. If you’re ready to get started, call Dr. Stosich and his team at Stosich Consulting today, 847-548-2400 (Grayslake office) or 224-408-2200 (Kenilworth office).


  • Michael S. Stosich, DMD, MS, MS

    Dr. Michael Stosich is a board-certified orthodontist and the director of orthodontics at the University of Chicago Medicine. He is known for his extensive experience in leading clinical enterprises, publishing, and lecturing both in the U.S. and internationally. Dr. Stosich has expertise in starting, growing, and maintaining successful orthodontic practices, including those in pediatric dentistry, general dentistry, and multi-specialty clinics. He serves on the editorial board of several publications and has been involved in innovating patient care and education, focusing on the future of dental and orthodontic healthcare.

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