The best time to get braces, whether you are an adult or a child, is when your orthodontist recommends it. The age at which most people can get them is a bit subjective. However, we do have some guidelines that are generally followed when it comes to getting braces. Here’s a closer look.
When to Get Braces
Most children should be brought in for their first visit to the orthodontist no later than age 7. This allows the doctor to examine the child’s bite, their airway and their oral habits. During that first visit, the doctor will be able to predict whether a child will benefit from orthodontic treatment, such as braces.
The majority of kids who receive treatment with braces do so between the ages of 9 and 14. This is a general age range. Once all of a child’s primary teeth have fallen out and all of their adult teeth have erupted, they are likely ready for braces. Another reason why this age range is optimal for kids is because the gums are more pliable and it’s easier to make major shifts to the teeth with braces.
Does that mean that a child can’t receive braces at age 7 or 8, or after they hit the age of 15? No, absolutely not.
Your orthodontist might recommend braces even when a child still has primary teeth in their mouth. A parent might decide that their 10-year-old isn’t responsible or mature enough for braces yet, and can opt to wait another year or two.
Depending on your teeth, Dr. Reddick might suggest braces if you’re an adult as well. Braces can still work well for mild shifting of the teeth as a person gets older. There are other treatments and procedures that might be recommended as well.
Reasons Why Kids Need Braces
Braces are not simply a tool for straightening a person’s teeth. There are a number of oral health problems or issues that they can be used to correct. Here are some of the most common reasons why we might recommend braces for a child:
- Baby teeth coming out too early or too late
- Difficulty chewing or biting
- Crowded or misplaced teeth
- Mouth breathing
- Teeth biting into the roof of the mouth or cheeks
- Speech problems
- Teeth that don’t meet normally
- Teeth grinding or clenching
- Facial asymmetry
This is only a partial list. There are many additional reasons why braces might be recommended for a patient. Don’t assume that just because a child’s adult teeth are coming in a little bit crooked that they will definitely need them. That might not be the case depending on how they grow and develop. The best way to tell for certain is to schedule regular appointments with Dr. Reddick.
Early Orthodontic Treatment
If a parent spots any sort of issue with their child’s teeth, or clicking sounds in their jaw, they don’t have to wait until a certain age to visit the orthodontist. By all means, if you spot a problem, call us for an appointment. The earlier a problem is identified, the sooner we can begin orthodontic treatment for your child.
Early intervention can help to prevent an orthodontic problem from becoming worse later on. Some jaw problems that are fixable while your child is still growing, for example, might become more difficult to correct when they are fully grown.
Early treatment can create additional room in the child’s mouth if they are going to need braces later on. It can also improve a child’s facial symmetry or their bite. Some early interventions can even accelerate the amount of time that will be needed for treatment with braces. If some adjustments to the teeth can be accomplished early on, it can mean that your child won’t need to wear braces for as long.
Call an Orthodontist
Braces are just one of the oral health care treatments that we provide at Melbourne Orthodontics. No matter what your age or your child’s age, we will make the best treatment recommendation suited for you. Contact us to schedule an appointment today!