The best time to get braces varies depending on the unique needs of your mouth. Usually, your dentist lets you know if you should consider braces, but to be on the safe side, you may want to consult with an orthodontist to see what you need. Here are a few situations and times where braces tend to be the most effective.
1. Ages Seven to Ten
A generation ago, no one got braces this young, but orthodontic research shows that this is a very advantageous time to start treatment. At these ages, your child has all their primary teeth, and their adult teeth are also starting to come in. Their jaws are still relatively malleable, which makes their mouths more receptive to treatment.
Note that in a lot of cases, if your child gets braces at this young age, they may need braces again when they are teens, but their teen treatment won’t take as long.
2. Ages 10 to 13
When children don’t get braces around age seven, they may need to consider braces when they are “tweens”. At these ages, it is easy to see if your child has an overbite, an underbite, crooked teeth, or other issues that need correction.
Additionally, kids in these age group often see braces as “cool”. They may think that braces make them look like a teen, and because of that, they may be more open to the experience than they would be as teens. Additionally, because they are a bit older, they tend to be more responsible about brushing, wearing retainers, or some of the other habits that can be important when you’re getting orthodontic treatment.
3. Teen Years
If a child doesn’t get braces when they are young, they can get them during their teen years, and that is perfectly fine. Note that the treatment may take longer than it would have if you started when your child is young, and because of that, if your child is young, you shouldn’t delay treatment to their teen years. However, if they didn’t get a chance to have braces previously or if your dentist never introduced the idea, it’s never too late.
You can fix a wide range of issues when someone is a teen or even an adult. That includes overlapping teeth, unwanted spaces between the teeth, misaligned bites, and more.
4. When Your Child Has Pain or Other Issues
Braces don’t just correct cosmetic issues. When you get braces for your child, they can also correct issues that are potentially painful. If your child has pain while chewing, that can be due to cavities, but if you rule out that culprit, the issue may be related to something orthodontic.
Similarly, some people suffer from jaw pain or conditions such as TMJ. That can often be resolved with braces. In still other cases, malocclusion (when the teeth don’t line up properly) can affect your child’s ability to speak, chew, or perform other routine tasks. Again, braces can help at this time as well.
To learn more, contact Nia Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics today. We can start with a consultation and help you decide if now is the best time for your child to get braces.