More than 4 million people in the United States have braces at the moment. These help to correct teeth misalignment and – in some cases – misaligned jaws.
While adults braces are becoming more popular than ever before, most people with braces are still in their teens. However, identifying if and when to get braces for your child can be challenging.
So what is the best age to get braces, and why is this important? Read on to find out more.
How Do Braces Work?
Whether you use traditional braces or invisible tray braces, they work in similar ways.
Essentially, braces attach to your teeth in their current position using brackets. They then slowly shift your teeth into a new position as the wires attached to each bracket tighten.
With tray braces, your child will move through a series of trays that are slightly different shapes. Over time their teeth will shift to fit their current tray, at which point they are ready to move into their next one.
Why Are Braces Important for Your Child?
Obviously, getting braces for most people is a choice. After all, having misaligned teeth isn’t going to cause immeasurable damage to their quality of life.
However, it can make a big difference in two areas: happiness and hygiene.
When it comes to your child’s happiness, feeling confident is key, and their smile can have a big impact on this. More people than ever have access to teeth straightening treatments. And this can leave people with misaligned teeth feeling self-conscious.
On top of this, misaligned teeth a more difficult to take care of properly. These require a more complex cleaning regime. If your child doesn’t follow this, then this could create some serious oral hygiene complications further down the line.
So how do you know whether or not your child needs braces to straighten their teeth?
Signs That a Child Needs Braces
If you’re asking yourself, ‘does my child need braces?’ there are a few things you should look out for. Any teen orthodontist will tell you that there are several signs that your child might need braces. These include:
- Unevenly spaced teeth
- Overcrowded teeth
- Jaw misalignment (such as an overbite or underbite)
- Prolonged thumb sucking
- Frequent mouth breathing
In some cases, children lose their baby teeth early or late. In this situation, the new adult teeth may need more help finding a good position in your child’s mouth so that they may be more in need of braces.
Why Does It Matter When You Get Braces?
Choosing to get braces for yourself or your child is a big decision and a financial commitment.
So it’s important to make sure that they’re ready for them. Because of this, if you’re wondering, ‘does my teen need braces?’ it’s worth asking them how they feel about them.
However, it’s also important to understand why finding the perfect time to get braces makes a difference in the process.
First and foremost, getting braces when you’re younger can speed up the process. This is because a child or teenager’s jawline is softer than an adult’s.
This makes moving the teeth in it much easier. It also means the process can be less painful overall.
Depending on the severity of their dental misalignment, your child may have to wear their braces for months or even years. Most patients have to wear their braces for 12 months, although in severe cases, this can take much longer.
This is why starting the process early is important. That way, as your child gets older, they won’t have to have their braces on during college or in graduation photos.
When to Get Braces as a Teen
As you can see, the best age for braces is during your teen years, as this is when your teeth are easiest to move.
In particular, your child’s jawline is easiest to reposition during their early teen years. Because of this, the ideal age for getting teen braces is anytime between the age of 10 and 14.
The exact perfect age for braces depends a little on your child and their dental history.
In general, orthodontists will not give braces to children until all of their adult teeth (excluding their wisdom teeth) have come through. That way, they know exactly what sort of alignment they’re working with.
Because of this, most children getting teen braces tend to be between the ages of 12 and 14. If your child’s molars do come through earlier then, they can get their braces fitted around the age of 10 or 11.
Can You Get Braces as an Adult?
While it is ideal to get braces during your early teenage years, they still work effectively for adults. In fact, a huge number of adults invest in adult braces every single year.
As an adult, your teeth may move more slowly, and because of this, your treatment may take a little longer. However, there is nothing to say that it will be any less effective than it would be for a teenager with braces!
Help Your Child Find the Perfect Smile Today
As you can see, when it comes to braces, it is possible to have them during adulthood. However, for the quickest and easiest results, it’s a good idea to get them between the ages of 10 and 14.
If you aren’t still aren’t sure when to get braces for your child, then your dentist or orthodontist will happily talk you through your options.
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