Don’t assume that just because you didn’t get braces as a teenager, you have to continue living with uneven, crooked teeth. Orthodontists do not use age to determine if you are a good candidate for braces. Other factors, such as the health of your teeth and the type of problems you are experiencing, will determine what, if any, type of orthodontic treatment will help you improve your smile.
There is No Perfect Age for Getting Braces
While certain age groups respond better to orthodontic treatment, there isn’t a set age for when someone should get braces. Orthodontists can treat patients of all ages. There have been cases where patients were as young as seven or eight, or as old as 75, 80, or 85.
Ultimately, it really doesn’t matter how old you are. If you want to improve your smile and you have healthy teeth and gums, you are more than likely a good candidate for orthodontic treatment.
Childhood/Adolescence is the Best Time to Undergo Orthodontic Treatment
Ideally, the best time to seek orthodontic treatment is between the ages of 11 and 13. This is the ideal age because teeth tend to respond better to treatment. The reason being - because most of their baby teeth have fallen out and permanent teeth are growing in.
Since the teeth are starting to grow in and the roots have not fully formed and set in the jaw, they can easily be guided to their proper position with the use of orthodontic appliances, such as brackets, wires, and clear aligner trays.
Some of the other benefits of braces for this age group include:
- Faster treatment times – Since teeth are easier to move into their proper position, treatment times tend to be shorter. Treatment times are also shorter because problems are caught in their early stages and are not left to get severe.
- Surgery may not be needed – Orthodontists may be able to improve your smile without having to require you, or your child, to have to need a surgical tooth extraction or jaw realignment surgery.
- Orthodontic treatment may cost less – Faster treatment times often means the overall cost of orthodontic treatment is less.
- Helps establish good oral hygiene habits – Straight teeth are easier to brush and floss because there aren’t any hard-to-reach areas caused by crooked or overlapping teeth.
- Reduces the chances of dental problems in the future – Dental problems such as chipped or cracked teeth, teeth grinding, and TMJ can be caused by misaligned or crooked teeth, as well as an uneven bite. Straightening your teeth at a younger age could reduce your chances of experiencing these types of problems.
Early Orthodontic Treatment Helps Prevent Severe Problems
It is often recommended that children see an orthodontist around their seventh birthday. This may seem a little too young for braces, but it can help with the early detection and treatment of some types of orthodontic problems.
Early orthodontic treatment, which is what is typically done during the ages of 7 and 11, is designed to help create space in the mouth so permanent teeth can properly grow in. Space can be created by using partial braces, retainers, spacers, or in severe cases removing teeth.
By creating space in the mouth, the permanent teeth can grow in as close to their proper position as possible. Once all the permanent teeth have grown in, a child can start comprehensive treatment which uses braces or other orthodontic appliances, such as clear aligners, to straighten their teeth.
It is Never Too Late to Get Braces
It is never too late to get braces. Adults of all ages can enjoy the benefits of braces. Some of the benefits of braces you get if you get them as an adult include:
- Teeth cleaning will be easier – Your newly-aligned teeth will be extremely easy to brush and floss. Easier brushing and flossing reduce your risk of experiencing gum disease, cavities, and other oral health problems.
- Food is easier to chew – Misaligned bites can often cause pain or discomfort when eating. Braces can correct that problem and make it easier for you to chew your food without any pain or discomfort.
- Eliminates bad breath – Bacteria and plaque can form around misaligned or crooked teeth. If left in between the teeth, the plaque and bacteria can cause bad breath. Once your teeth are properly aligned, you can easily remove bacteria and plaque from between and around your teeth, which will eliminate your bad breath.
- Reduced risk of damaging tooth enamel – Uneven teeth and a misaligned jaw can cause your teeth to rub against each other when you are eating or cause you to grind your teeth at night. This can result in extensive damage to the enamel, the protective layer, of your teeth. Properly aligned teeth won’t rub together as often which reduces your risk of experiencing these problems.
- Increased confidence – People often feel better when they have a straighter smile.
While it is possible to get braces as an adult, it is important to remember that because the teeth are fully grown and the jawbone is set, it could take longer to shift and move your teeth into proper alignment. It will take longer to change the position of your teeth because they are more resistant to change.
In addition to longer treatment times, sometimes surgery may be needed in order to get adult braces. Dental extractions could be needed if you need extra space in your mouth for teeth to move around or jaw surgery could be needed if you have a severe over or underbite.
Not every individual will need surgery or have lengthy treatment times if they start orthodontic treatment as an adult. It will depend upon the types of problems that need to be corrected and the severity of those problems.
Want to Improve Your Smile? Schedule a Consultation to See How Braces Can Improve Your Smile
See how orthodontic treatment could help you improve your smile by calling OrthoCare Orthodontics to schedule an appointment for a consultation. Our orthodontists will assess your unique case and create a treatment plan that will give you a better, more improved smile.
Our orthodontists have experience treating patients of all ages. We provide a wide range of services including early orthodontic care, corrective jaw surgery, and comprehensive orthodontic treatment which can include the use of metal braces, Invisalign, and clear braces. If you want to improve your smile, we can help you.
Call any of our four office locations to learn more about our new patient promotion or schedule a consultation. We look forward to helping you improve your smile!