Most of us think of braces as being something that is best left for the teen years. You don’t really picture a six-year-old when thinking of braces, do you? But are the teens really the best age to get braces? Should we be considering braces for our pre-teens as well?
Today we cover the best age to get Orthodontic Braces. We will look at whether or not you should consider starting off with braces at a younger age, or whether you can put it off until later.
Let’s be frank here; if you are looking into this issue already, you probably have a concern about your child’s teeth already. Maybe they are crowding the mouth, maybe they are crooked, or there are problems with the bite.
The point is that you wouldn’t be researching this issue if there wasn’t some sort of problem already. The question then becomes, “When is the best time to do something about it?”
And this can be a tough question to answer. Children grow rapidly, and as they do so, their jaws develop as well. The jawline strengthens and becomes longer. They lose their baby teeth, and their permanent teeth start to come in.
To be completely sure whether or not the time is right for braces, you will need to talk to your orthodontist. There is no rule that says that you cannot take your child in for a checkup with an orthodontist early on.
In fact, it makes good sense if you have concerns about their teeth. They will be able to tell you whether or not it is too soon and what corrective measures should be taken.
It doesn’t make sense to start this kind of corrective orthodontic treatment before your child’s permanent teeth come in, but once they have, starting sooner could have some significant advantages.
First off, teeth in a pre-teen tend to move into place more easily. Braces, therefore, will not have to be worn for as long. The downside to this is that because the teeth move faster, more adjustments might need to be made, and this could add to the cost.
On the whole, though, the reduction in overall treatment time should balance this out.
In general, the sooner you start, the easier it is to treat potential issues.
Another advantage is that younger children are less likely to have serious issues when it comes to the health of their teeth. They are not likely to have compromised roots or gum disease. This is a huge plus when it comes to maintaining the health of the teeth.
The work involved in maintaining the braces is something else to consider. Children need to be responsible enough to clean their teeth properly and to be careful about what they eat.
It might also be easier to start off earlier from a confidence perspective. Younger children are not as self-conscious as teens might be. Their peers are also less likely to make fun of them for having braces at a younger age.
You still also have access to the same types of braces for teeth no matter what age the child is. If you are concerned that your kid is going to feel self-conscious, Invisalign might be the best alternative for them.
Possibly the biggest advantage of getting the work done early is that your child will be less self-conscious as a teenager. Considering all the issues that accompany hitting puberty, taking care of this small one upfront could be very helpful.
Before making any final decision, however, do go and see your orthodontist. It is a good idea to make an appointment before as the permanent teeth start coming in so that you can determine the best treatment plan going forward.
While the orthodontist might not prescribe braces straight away, the main pro of going in as early as possible is that you get to catch problems very early on.
The ideal age is going to depend on your child. Each case must be handled individually, so it is difficult to say what the exact ideal age is. At least some of your child’s permanent teeth must have started coming in so that you can tell if there is an actual issue to be concerned about.
It could be an advantage to get a consultation when some of the baby teeth still remain. That way, if there is serious crowding, correction is a lot easier.
A question we are often asked is, “How many teeth do you have to lose to get braces?” The answer is hopefully none. It will all depend on what the situation in the mouth is.
If the process is started early enough, the teeth are corrected before there is too much of an issue. Generally speaking, it is not necessary to extract teeth to be able to fit the braces themselves.
Extraction may be deemed necessary if there is a serious issue with a tooth, but the orthodontist will usually prefer to keep all the natural teeth.
Aside from that, your child should be mature enough to handle the process. There is bound to be some pain as the teeth straighten and your child must be able to understand what is going on.
While there is no official braces age limit, starting off as early as possible makes the most sense. The earlier you start, the better the results are likely to be and the faster the treatment will be overall. A small adjustment or two now could save years of unnecessary misery later on in life.
Braces can be applied at any age, but generally, it is better to view 18 as the absolute latest time to get these done. The disadvantage of waiting for the later teen years is that this is the time that the child is most self-conscious.
Older teens could be willful and refuse to wear the apparatus or find ways of removing it themselves. Getting the whole process done when your child is a little more malleable to your will can be a lot easier.
Every case is different, though, and so what might be considered the ideal age for one child, might not be the same for another. Your best bet is to take the child in to see an orthodontist at a fairly young age. That way, you can come up with the correct treatment plan together.
And, if it is necessary to make corrections to the teeth, these can be done in a timely fashion.