Braces are becoming more common than ever before. What used to be a solution for teenage kids to have straighter teeth has turned into an adult orthodontic trend as well. This can have you wondering whether it’s better to start getting braces at an early age or waiting until adulthood to take the plunge.
What Do Braces Do?
Before we jump into the perfect age to get braces, we’re going to go over what these orthodontic devices do. The overall goal of using braces is to enhance a patient’s dental health. This device is used to treat all of the following oral health conditions:
- Teeth That Are Severely Crooked
- Too Much Spacing Between Teeth
- Not Enough Spacing Between Teeth
- Enhance Aesthetic Look Of The Smile
Once braces are installed, they constantly put pressure on the teeth. This allows the teeth to slowly move into an ideal position. Just as the teeth are forced under pressure to a better location, so is the jawbone as the teeth and their roots move.
Talking With An Orthodontist
While a dentist is a patient’s first measure of treatment for any oral health issues, there are many dental specialties that deal with specific problems. In the case of the types of issues listed out above, your dentist will refer you to an orthodontist. This professional specializes in straightening and aligning the teeth.
An orthodontist is responsible for installing the braces, adjusting them, and consistently evaluating their progress. They’re going to be the oral health professional that you’ll want to direct all of your questions to regarding the subject of braces.
A Quick Look At Tooth Growth
To understand the ideal age to get braces, you first need to discover how your teeth grow. We all are familiar with the concept of baby teeth and adult teeth. You start with smaller and fewer teeth when you’re a baby. These teeth fall out, and adult teeth replace them. Adult teeth are bigger, stronger, and more in abundance than baby teeth.
Most children start to lose their baby teeth around ages 5 to 6. This process can take a couple of years to happen. These baby teeth are pushed out by the underlying adult teeth, who end up taking their place. Most children will have all of their adult teeth by the age of 12.
When Should Children See An Orthodontist?
Most dentists will refer patients who have one of the issues mentioned above to an orthodontist around age seven. As you can recall from above, this is around the age when adult teeth will start pushing the baby teeth out of the way. It’s thought that, by having a child evaluated early on, their orthodontist can start to correct issues with adult teeth early.
As it isn’t any surprise that children grow at different rates, some children may not be referred to an orthodontist until age 8 or 12. It really depends on the child’s development of their adult teeth. A good rule of thumb is to ask about braces if your child is experiencing a high loss of baby teeth.
Are Braces Right For Adults?
Braces are right for anyone who has issues like overbite, underbite, and overcrowded teeth. While it’s recommended to get braces early in childhood to correct the issue quickly, braces are still used in adulthood to correct these issues. It’s never too late to consult an orthodontist about getting braces.
One key factor to realize about having braces as an adult is that they may be more expensive. The price of braces highly depends on how much adjustment is needed and how long the braces will be worn. Adults typically take longer to correct oral health issues than children. For this reason, it’s easy to conclude that adult braces may cost more.
How Long Are Braces Worn For?
The bottom line is that braces are usually worn between 18 and 24 months. However, the exact time period that a patient wears braces will highly depend on a number of factors unique to them. These factors include:
When it comes to results, children tend to respond better than adults wearing braces. For this reason, adults can expect to wear braces for a longer period than one of their children may.
Severity Of Correction Needed
Since braces are responsible for fixing numerous alignment issues with the teeth, how they are used is a bit different for each patient. Those who need a lot of teeth shifting will spend more time in braces than those who just require a little movement.
The Body’s Response
Each person’s body will respond differently to braces than the next person’s body. For this reason, someone with the same issues as you may be able to get their braces removed before you because their body responded quicker to the treatment.
Type Of Braces
There are different types of braces available on the market. A patient may choose one over the other due to factors like comfortability, affordability, and overall look. Each style of braces comes along with its own rate of healing.
There are a number of factors that go into determining the rate of correcting that your braces will provide. Your orthodontist can give you an estimated date range for how long you’ll have to wear braces. However, only time will reveal how long it will take. Your orthodontist should be able to provide you with better time estimates at your regular checkups as they evaluate how quickly your teeth are moving.
What Types Of Braces Are Available?
Many of us picture a mouth full of metal and rubber bands when the topic of braces come up. While this was the traditional treatment method for misaligned teeth, many advancements have been made over recent decades. Users now have three different options to choose from.
- Metal Braces Metal braces are the traditional form of treatment that involves the placement of metal brackets and wires on the teeth. These brackets are connected with rubber bands, whose job is to apply constant, directional pressure to the teeth.
- Ceramic Braces Ceramic braces are very similar to traditional metal braces in how they work and their construct. However, instead of using metal brackets, your orthodontist uses ceramic ones. This ceramic color matches the color of your teeth. This makes them more inconspicuous than metal braces.
- Invisalign Invisalign throws out the traditional use of brackets, wires, and rubber bands. This treatment involves clear aligners that are placed on the teeth to force movement. Invisalign trays are removable, which allows for easier cleaning.
Getting braces is a necessity for those who have misaligned teeth. While there are many options on the market to choose from, there’s one fact about braces that it’s important to realize. Anyone who has misaligned teeth can benefit from them at any age. Starting at age seven is ideal for most, but it’s never too late to get braces.