If you’ve been thinking about getting braces, don’t worry. There are plenty of other people considering the same. Most people are used to seeing pre-teen kids, teens, and young adults with braces and thus believe that braces are best for the younger age groups.
While braces are more common among the younger crowd than they are among adults, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you still can’t have them as an adult if you missed out on getting them as a child.
This post will look at the best age to get braces and explore why.
What Is The Best Age for Braces?
According to experts, braces work best on adolescents aged 10 to 14 years. Children have all their permanent teeth in place at this age, and their jawbone is softer. As a result, the jawbone tissue responds to repositioning better, making it the best time to get braces.
However, if you think your child needs braces, the age at which they can get them depends on two factors:
- The scope of their treatment needs
- Whether they already have most or all their permanent teeth
As a parent, you’ll want to ensure your child gets braces when they are most likely to help them get a perfectly aligned set of teeth as they grow into adulthood. As such, prepare to get your children braces when they have lost all their primary teeth and after their second molar erupts.
Typically, this will be when they’re between 11 and 13 years old. Still, like most children, yours might only require braces once they’re well into their mid-to-late teens.
Can Children Under 10 Years Get Braces?
Even if they have misalignment or other orthodontic problems that require braces to fix, children under 10 are not ideal candidates for braces. However, that doesn’t mean they have to wait until they’re in their teens to get their smile fixed.
In fact, the AAO (American Association of Orthodontists) recommends that kids see a dental specialist before their seventh birthday, which is well before they hit the recommended age for braces.
At this point, an orthodontist will be able to spot any bite misalignments and jaw problems early and develop an early orthodontic treatment. The goal of early intervention is to set the stage for easier and faster brace treatment once the child hits a brace-ready age.
In the long run, an early intervention plan will not only save you money but will also reduce how much time your child needs to wear braces once they get them.
Typical interventions that often form part of an early orthodontic intervention regimen may include one or a combination of the following:
- Wearing a retainer
- Wearing an appliance that modifies teeth and jawbone growth
- Wearing a palatal extender, which creates more room in the child’s mouth for misaligned teeth to fit better
- Wearing partial braces for a short period to correct minor crooked teeth earlier in the child’s life
When the fundamental underlying structural orthodontic issues are corrected between ages 7 to 10, often, braces will straighten and fix teeth alignment issues faster later on in life.
It’s Never Too Late to Get Braces
While we’ve established the best age to get braces, it doesn’t mean that if you’re past the ages above, you can’t get braces. There are plenty of reasons you may not have gotten braces earlier in life, but now that you can, it’s not too late.
Besides, out of all orthodontic patients, adults account for approximately 20%, so you’re not alone. Additionally, the benefits of getting braces, even in adulthood, are nothing to scoff at. Not only do they give you a smile you’re proud of, but they also boost your self-esteem.
The only downside to getting braces in adulthood is that your jawbone is harder and grows less as you age. As a result, adults typically need to wear braces longer than kids for them to be effective.
Fortunately, if you’re self-conscious about how metal braces may make you look, there are plenty of inconspicuous options thanks to technology. Today, you can get clear braces that blend in with your teeth seamlessly – without attracting any attention.
While clear braces will cost more than metal braces, they’re a better option for those who want a subtle but effective solution.
The Most Common Types of Braces
There are three most common types of braces. They include:
- Metal braces – these are the traditional type and were the first type of braces to be used for orthodontic corrections. While they used to be bulky and highly noticeable back in the day, today’s metal braces are smaller and less noticeable.
- Ceramic braces – these types of braces look like the traditional metallic ones although they don’t stand out as much. Ceramic braces are manufactured as clear or tooth-colored orthodontic correction tools, which makes them more salient than their metallic counterparts. This makes them an excellent option for self-conscious children and adults who don’t want to draw attention to their teeth while getting them aligned.
- Invisalign – these are not your typical braces. Instead, they’re clear retainer trays that are custom-made to fit a specific individual’s needs. The biggest advantage of Invisalign is they’re fully clear and conform to your teeth structure perfectly. Thus, even people who look closely will have a hard time noticing them.
While clear braces are a great option if you want an indistinct look, clear braces don’t work as fast as metal braces, and they’re less durable. Still, they do the job as well as their metallic counterparts if you’re patient and have the budget to get them.
Signs Your Child May Need Braces
Now that you know when and who can get braces, it’s essential that you know what to look for to determine if you or your child needs to consult an orthodontist to find out if and what type of braces you need.
Below are some signs to look out for:
- Crowded teeth
- Crossbite, overbite, or underbite
- Speech problems
- Misaligned teeth and unproportional jaws
- Difficulty eating or breathing (breathing through the mouth)
Braces are effective at any age, although they work faster and better for teens and young adults. However, the most important preventative and treatment measure you can take is to see an orthodontist regularly. That way, they can identify problems and recommend early interventions before things get out of hand.
If you need a free dental consult in Surrey, BC, Canada, get in touch with one of our orthodontists today.