Kid oral health is a serious thing. If maintained, your child doesn’t have to worry about cavities as they age. If untreated, tooth decay, periodontal disease, and serious injury are more than likely. In our modern society, the appearance of straight teeth has a social advantage.
With that said, it is crucial to ensure a healthy mouth. If you can afford dental braces, make sure your child gets them. In doing so, you help their teeth and the self-esteem that comes with teeth straightening.
To determine the best age for dental braces, read further below!
When is the Optimal Time to Get Braces?
A variety of factors determine the best age for braces. According to the American Association of Orthodontists, children should have an orthodontic evaluation by age seven. This is because, by this age, most children have a mix of adult and baby teeth, allowing orthodontists to see if there are any issues with the jaw or teeth’s growth.
Braces are typically worn by children between 10 and 14 when most of their permanent teeth have emerged, but their jaws are still growing. This makes it easier to correct any bite or alignment issues.
However, it is important to remember that braces can be used by people of any age, including adults. Indeed, an increasing number of adults opt for orthodontic treatment later in life to improve the health and appearance of their teeth.
What Are the Factors to Consider When Determining the Best Age
There are several factors that an orthodontist will consider when determining the best age for an individual to get dental braces. These factors include:
The stage of tooth development is a crucial factor in determining when to start orthodontic treatment. Braces are typically more effective once all the adult teeth have come in, usually around age 12 or 13. If treatment is started too early, before all the teeth have emerged, there is a risk that the teeth will shift back into their original position after treatment is completed.
The growth of the jaw can affect the alignment of the teeth, and orthodontic treatment may be more effective during periods of growth. For example, if an individual has an underdeveloped jaw, orthodontic treatment may be recommended earlier to guide the growth of the jaw and prevent more serious problems from developing.
Bite problems, such as overbites, underbites, and crossbites, can cause functional issues with the teeth and jaw and may require early intervention. If left untreated, bite problems can lead to problems with speaking, chewing, and overall oral health. Early intervention can help to correct bite problems before they become more serious.
Crowding and Spacing
Braces can be used to correct overcrowding or spacing issues with the teeth, which can affect oral hygiene and overall dental health. Overcrowded teeth can make it difficult to clean between the teeth and increase the risk of tooth decay and gum disease. Spacing issues can affect the appearance of the teeth and make it difficult to chew and speak properly.
The Pros & Cons of Getting Braces at Different Ages
There are both pros and cons to getting braces at different ages. Here’s a breakdown of the advantages and disadvantages of getting braces at various stages of life:
Children (ages 7-12)
The benefits of getting braces at this age include getting early help, which can stop problems from worsening. The fact that a child’s bones and jaw are still growing makes it easier to guide their growth. Orthodontists can use early treatment options like palatal expanders to help widen the jaw and prepare for future treatment. Also, parents can be involved in their child’s orthodontic treatment and help ensure their child has good oral health.
On the other hand, some kids may not want to wear braces or feel bad about themselves when they do. This can make treatment harder. Also, the treatment may take longer if the child still has baby teeth that need to fall out before braces can be put on. Also, if the child doesn’t do what the doctor says, the treatment might not work.
Teenagers (ages 13-19)
When a person is a teenager, most of their adult teeth have come in, making fixing problems with their bite and alignment easier. Many teenagers are already self-conscious about their appearance, which may make them more likely to get help. Depending on what works best for them, they can choose from different braces, such as clear braces and lingual braces. Also, many schools have orthodontic clinics that can make treatment easier for teens while in school.
But treatment can get in the way of social activities like sports and dating, and it can be hard for teens to maintain good oral hygiene while getting treatment. Treatment may also involve limiting what you eat and making other changes to your lifestyle, which can be hard for some teenagers. Lastly, some teens may feel pain or discomfort during treatment, especially when braces are put on or adjusted for the first time.
Adults (age 20+)
The benefits of getting braces as an adult include the fact that adults can select from various braces, including clear braces and Invisalign, which are more discreet than traditional metal braces. Many adults now have the financial means to pay for treatment, which is only sometimes possible.
One of the most common concerns among adults considering braces is the impact traditional metal braces may have on their professional appearance. However, thanks to advancements in orthodontic technology, there are now more ways to get straight teeth as an adult.
Another benefit of getting braces as an adult is improving oral health and lowering the risk of gum disease and tooth decay. Straight teeth are less difficult to clean and maintain than crooked teeth, and they can help prevent bite alignment issues, jaw pain, and headaches.
However, there are some disadvantages to consider. Because the jawbone has stopped growing in adults, treatment may take longer. Adults may also suffer from more complex dental problems requiring extensive treatment, such as implants or periodontal disease.
A Straight Smile at Any Age With Dental Braces
Adults and teens can benefit from dental braces if they are well-maintained; the best age for this is around 8-14 years of age. The earlier the braces are applied, the better the chance of a positive and successful outcome.
If you have any concerns or questions regarding getting braces, please speak to your local orthodontist for further advice.
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