Coil Springs Braces: Types, Purpose, How Long They Last

During the orthodontic treatment, you get various attachments including different types of springs for braces. Coil springs for braces are one of them.

But, did you ever think about why you get these springs, and what if it takes so long to complete the treatment?

In this article, you will know what coil springs on braces do and how long they last.

What do coil springs do on braces?

Coil springs are special types of metal springs that are used to create space or close gaps between two teeth. Coil springs have two ends. One end is attached to the molar band and another end is attached near the bracket of the canine of the same jaw.

Coil springs do on braces

Coil springs are of three types, such as open, closed, and passive. Your orthodontist determines which one you’ll need. Sometimes you may not need any of them.

Open coil springs are used when your orthodontist decides to create space between your teeth. So, he or she will place the springs between your teeth to move them apart. You may need them if you have crowded teeth or there is no space between the teeth which needs to be adjusted.

How long do you need to wear open coil springs? Springs can move a tooth 1 mm approximately every month. So, it depends on how much space you need for the treatment. Only your orthodontist can tell the time. But, someone can’t tell the exact timetable.

Closed coil springs help close the gap between teeth. Before getting them, you may have a few teeth extracted for braces treatment. After the removal of the teeth, it’s necessary to close the gap. So, your orthodontist takes help from closed coil springs.

He or she attaches the springs in the teeth placed on each side of the gap. This aids in the movement of the teeth. Eventually, it closes the gap.

How long do you need to wear closed coil springs? Closed coil springs can close about 1 mm of space every month. Therefore, the width of the gap is a determining factor. It can take anywhere from 6 to 8 months on average, or longer.

To know detail about braces and missing teeth gaps, read our other article.

Passive coil springs don’t move your tooth. In fact, they hold the teeth in position. This may take less time than the above two.

How do Springs on braces work?

An open coil spring pushes two brackets apart by sliding over them and creating space between 2 teeth in the same jaw whereas a closed coil spring pushes two brackets toward each other and closes the gaps. When braces coil springs are activated, they provide an extra force on the teeth which puts pressure on the bones and helps in tooth movement.

At this moment, bones start to dissolve at the site of pressure, while on the other side, bones start to form. This helps the tooth to move along the bones and change its position.

Over time, it will help you achieve what your orthodontist planned. After getting new springs it may hurt for the first few days.

Learn what to do if coil springs hurt.

How long do coil springs last on braces?

Coil springs take 4-8 months to open up space or close gaps between teeth. However, the duration of coil springs on braces depends on several factors and the purpose of using the coil springs. There is no exact time after which coil springs are taken off. The treatment period may be increased or decreased depending on the case and planning of your orthodontist.

Factors that may determine the length of time of wearing coil springs are-

  • Purpose of treatment
  • Types of coil spring used
  • Condition of periodontal tissue
  • Density of bones
  • Position and health of teeth
  • Patient’s age and health condition
  • Habits of patient
  • Maintenance of coil springs by patient

In this article, we’ll discuss all of these factors and know how you can decrease the time length.

However, you can read our other article regarding coil springs – what to do with broken coil springs, and what to eat with them.

Factors that determine how long coil springs stay on braces

After extraction for your orthodontic treatment to close the gap or without extraction create space between teeth, you, your orthodontist may suggest you get coil springs. It’s common you get worried about how long you have to wear them.

Wearing coil springs for someone may not be so comfortable, especially for the first few days. You may also want to know if they are going to hurt you. Read my other article to know pain from coil springs.

Now let’s talk about the factors that can control the duration of coil springs on braces.

1. Purpose of treatment

Coil springs can be used for various purposes as we have discussed earlier and obviously duration of treatment will vary for each type of treatment.

2. Types of coil springs used

Depending on the types of treatment, you get different types of coil springs. So, the timeframe will be different for each type.

3. Condition of periodontal tissue

Periodontal tissue is the structure that surrounds your tooth. For an ideal orthodontic tooth movement, periodontal tissue should be healthy. But, the condition can vary from person to person.

Good periodontal health is favorable for fast tooth movement. This means the duration of coil springs treatment reduces if you have good periodontal tissue.

So, you should always. maintain good oral hygiene.

4. Density of bones

Bones that hold your teeth are very important for the duration of orthodontic treatment. As bones play a major role in the movement of the tooth, they must be healthy. Moreover, the density of bones isn’t in all individuals. So, the length of time of coil springs on braces also varies from person to person.

Another thing is the difference in bone density between the upper and lower jaw. a tooth of the lower jaw can be moved slower with coil springs than a tooth of the upper jaw because the density of bones is more in the lower than upper.

5. Position and health of teeth

As coil springs create a force on the teeth, teeth should be healthy. If you have an unhealthy tooth, your orthodontist will repair it first or take proper measurements and then plan the treatment.

Some conditions need special considerations such as a tooth with a crown, tooth canal treatment, bridge or dental prosthesis, and dental implant. All of these affect the duration of treatment.

Another situation is the position of the tooth to be moved with the coil springs. All cases aren’t the same. A tooth, placed in an unfavorable position, needs more time to move with coil springs.

6. Patient’s age and health condition

We can expect rapid tooth movement with coil springs or braces from a growing or young individual. But, in adults, it may be a delay. Growth and development of bone are completed in adults, So, bones don’t favor much. But, it’s possible to get the end result.

7. Habits of patient

Abnormal bitting or tongue habits may delay the treatment with coil springs with braces. It has a greater impact on closed coil springs. Because some people have a bad habit of sticking their tongues in the space left by tooth removal. So, you need to remain cautious about that.

8. Maintenance of coil springs by patient

Those, who don’t follow the instructions of the orthodontist, need more time to complete their treatment with braces or coil springs. Sometimes, patients break or damage the coil springs. It may happen due to negligence or an accident. This increases the period.

How to reduce the duration of wearing coil springs on braces?

All factors which determine how long coil springs stay on braces aren’t in your hand. But, the following things are in your hand-

  1. Maintain oral hygiene properly. Brush and floss your teeth regularly according to your orthodontist’s instructions to improve your periodontal health. Avoid damage to your coil springs at the time of brushing and flossing. Otherwise, you have to wear coil springs for a long time.
  2. Avoid hard and sticky foods that can damage your coil springs and delay your treatment.
  3. Eat soft and liquid foods that favor coils springs to work properly.
  4. If you have bad habits like placing the tongue in the springs or into the gap created after extraction of the tooth, stop doing that. It may damage or loosen the springs and delay the treatment.

Alternative to Coil springs for braces

Power chain is the best alternative to coil spring on braces to close or create gaps between teeth for orthodontic purposes. However, the orthodontist decides what’s the best option for you.


How long you need to wear coil springs on braces depends on several factors. Only your orthodontist gives an idea about that. But, to make the progress fast, you must follow the advice provided by your orthodontist.

Coil springs may not make you happy. But, after the treatment, you must be happy when you see your beautiful smile.