Getting braces is a common, yet frustrating thing for many of our patients. One of the most interesting questions we get asked all the time is “When is the best time for me or my child to get braces?” In reality, there is no perfect answer to this question. Let’s go over some braces basics so you can get a better feel for when your perfect time for braces is.
What Braces Do
Braces are classified as any teeth or jaw alignment treatment. While we typically think of metal braces when we think of braces, our teeth alignment treatments can be in the form of invisible aligners, lingual braces and more. Braces work to slowly shift the position of the teeth and jaws over time so patients can achieve a perfectly healthy and aesthetically pleasing smile.
Patients typically associate having braces as a pre-teen or teenager, as that’s the age most parents seek out orthodontic help for their children. But, is this really the best time for braces to come into play?
The Best Ages for Braces
While there is no perfect time for a patient to get braces, we typically recommend parents who are interested in getting braces for their children to do so between the ages of 10 and 14. These four years tend to be a more optimal time for our patients to receive braces for the following reasons:
- Children between 10 and 14 are likely to have all or most of their permanent teeth.
- Children between 10 and 14 still have softer bone tissue than older patients.
- Children between 11 and 13 have typically lost all of their baby teeth, but have not yet seen their second molars appear.
Each of the above factors play into being able to address the patients’ permanent teeth alignment while still being able to manipulate the pliable and growing bones within the jaw. This makes for an easier shifting process and quicker results compared to patients with fully formed jaws and hard to shift molars.
When to See an Orthodontist
While the “ideal” age for patients to get braces is between 10 and 14, many orthodontic professionals suggest bringing your child in to see their first orthodontist as early as seven years old. While your child won’t be getting braces this young, your orthodontist can start taking preventative measures to ensure your child’s oral development is going smoothly. Preventative intervention may include the use of a retainer at night or expanders throughout the day.
Braces as an Adult
No matter what anyone says, getting braces as an adult is always an option. Many of our adult patients didn’t have the means to receive braces growing up and are finally able to align their teeth a little later in life. For our adult patients, we take the time to address their individual needs and encourage them to consider options like Invisalign®, which provides a slower alignment with a discrete look.
If you’re interested in learning more about when or how to get started with your orthodontic treatment, we encourage you to contact us and set up your private consultation with Dr. Wright. He’ll be happy to sit down with you, listen to your concerns, evaluate your teeth, and develop a personalized treatment plan to help you get a smile you can be proud of.