How Long Does It Take to Expand/widen Arches with Braces?

I am finishing up with my braces, I have had them for 4 years, my orthodontist is going to try to widen the arches a little, he says a couple of months, but I am wondering if it will be more like 6 months, how long does it take to expand/widen upper and lower arches by 1-3mm, also how will effect the contours in my face, will it make my lips look flatter?

Doctor Answers 2

Dentofacial Orthopedics is more effective in widening jaws.

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Dentofacial Orthopedics or bone developing orthodontics is much more effective in widening jaws than braces.  These techniques were developed in Europe over 80 years ago, but mainly used for young patients (under age 12) by USA orthodontists/dentists..  I have proven their validity with older adult patients (late 70s even) treating several thousand patients over the last 25 years.  They are like fancy retainers that are removable and are able to create the most beautifully full smiles possible without surgery or permanent tooth extractions.  See my Before and After photos to be posted soon.

Every orthodontic case is different

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Normally, it doesn't take very long to get arches to widen.  The challenge is keeping them there.  Density of the bone is a major factor in tooth movement, so young patients are easier or quicker than older patients. 

If your orthodontist feels it should only take a few months, he is probably right.

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