At What Age Should Braces be Applied?

One question that many parents face is at what age are braces recommended? Too early and even more treatment might be needed later in life; too late and they may end up being used for a longer period of time or create additional issues in the teenage years.

There’s no universal response to this concern that would be considered an absolute, but we can rely on our years of experience to supply some advice on elements to factor in when making the decision.

Early Intervention: Ages 7-9

We suggest having a child in this age range examined for braces as early as age 7. This does not suggest that braces must used that early, however it can offer you an indication of what future treatment might be necessary.

By age 7, most baby teeth are gone and an orthodontist can get a good idea of what the positioning of permanent teeth will look like. In many cases, braces or partial teeth aligners may be used at this stage, especially if a child is having challenges with talking or eating because of teeth positioning.

Other circumstances where a child may require early braces is if she or he has tooth crowding, a cross-bite, or protruding teeth. Catching and dealing with these challenges early on may prevent them from getting worse as permanent teeth come in.

Be prepared to help them look after them if your child needs braces at this early age. Your assistance will help establish good habits and provide a valuable lesson in caring for oneself.

Prime Treatment Time: Ages 10-14

This is the most common age that braces become utilized. Baby teeth are gone and the jaw has stabilized and is able to support the long-term orthodontic treatment inherent with braces.

Braces are available in several varieties, from traditional metal brackets to ceramics and undetectable aligners. As braces become more prevalent in young people, much of the former stigma has been eliminated, however it’s important to discuss with your child what effect braces will have on their appearance.

Unlike younger children, teenagers and pre-teens should be able to responsibly manage maintaining their braces without much parental supervision.  Usually they’ll be required to wear them at this age is about 1.5 – 2 years.

Once braces are removed, a retainer will likely be required to maintain the alignment and avoid future treatment.

Older Choices: Ages 14+.

You are never too old for braces, despite what you might believe. Many adults didn’t have access to orthodontics as children or have other reasons to wait til later in life.

Consider teeth as you would other bones in your body. They stop growing by the time your teenage years are over, however it’s still possible to correct them. If your arm breaks, it can be set and mended using a cast. Teeth are no different.

Be aware that as an adult, you will need to adjust your established routine to manage wearing braces.  Diet modifications, daily routines, and perhaps even some activities may need to change for a time.

Keep in mind any changes you need to make will be for the short term, sacrifices for long-lasting improvements in self-confidence and oral health. Braces worn for the short term can rescue you from more serious issues in the long term.

Orthodontic Consultation

The best way to determine the appropriate age for braces is to receive an evaluation from your dentist and orthodontist.  Schedule an appointment today and discover what’s right for you and your family.

ABOUT DR. KATHRYN JODRY, DDS:
As one of the premier Dentist In Richardson Tx, Dr. Jodry provides affordable dental care, cosmetic dentistry, sedation dentistry restorative care in Richardson, Texas and the surrounding areas. Call us today at: (972) 235-6752 or Email: kjodrydds@yahoo.com

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