Is there an ideal age to get braces? Braces can be beneficial for patients of all ages. Braces help to straighten your teeth, align your bite, and ensure the long term health of your teeth and jaw. At what age can you get the most benefit from braces?
Why You Most Often See Braces on Preteens and Teenagers
There’s a reason why upper elementary, middle school, and sometimes high schoolers are so often seen sporting a mouth full of metal. Adolescence is the best time to get braces for a number of reasons:
- Growth Spurts. Braces are most effective when the patient is still growing. It makes the teeth easier to move, especially during significant growth spurts. When the body is growing it releases hormones that make the bones and tissues more pliable and susceptible to change. This is why adolescents don’t usually need to wear braces for as long as adults do to achieve the same results.
- Puberty. Getting braces during the awkwardness of puberty may seem like rubbing salt in a wound, but there is a reason for that. During puberty preteens and teens experience some of their biggest growth spurts, such as those discussed above that allow for faster progress in orthodontic treatment. If appearance is a major concern for your child, consider clear options like Invisalign or clear brackets.
- Permanent Teeth. Braces are also most effective when the patient has all or most of their permanent teeth in place. This is usually the case by the time a child reaches 11 or 12 years old.
Should Adults Get Braces?
Even though the preteen and teenage years are the best for orthodontic treatment, it is still very effective and beneficial to get braces as an adult. The process may take a bit longer, but it is still possible to achieve the desired results. Whether you want to improve your smile or correct an ongoing orthodontic issue that was never corrected when you were younger, getting braces as an adult is a wise choice.
Many adults avoid braces because they don’t want their appearance to be affected. Invisalign is an ideal option in this case, as the clear aligners are virtually invisible, allowing adults to straighten their teeth more subtly.
Should Younger Children Get Braces?
Most orthodontists recommend that all children have their first evaluation around age 7. This doesn’t mean that it is appropriate to get braces at this age, but other orthodontic interventions can help correct early issues and pave the way for braces at a later date. When the majority of the primary teeth are still in the mouth, braces are not as effective. Properly positioning the baby teeth can help the permanent teeth come in correctly, but it is not a guarantee.
Early orthodontic care may consist of a pallet expander, tooth extraction, or retainers. A pallet expander widens the roof of mouth to relieve crowding and make more room for the permanent teeth to come in. Sometimes it is helpful to extract baby teeth and even permanent teeth to relieve extreme crowding. Retainers are often used to hold places for permanent teeth to come in after extractions or to retain the results of pallet expansion.
Lake Minnetonka Orthodontics Treats Patients of All Ages
If you’re looking for an orthodontist at any age, Lake Minnetonka Orthodontics provides early treatment, adolescent treatment, and adult treatment. Whether you have a child in need of a consultation or you’re considering braces for yourself, we can help you find the best treatment option for you.
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We look forward to helping you determine the right time to improve your smile with braces.