What’s the Best Age to Get Braces?

Patients with orthodontic problems can benefit from braces at any age. While most people think of children when they think of orthodontics, there are plenty of reasons for adults to seek orthodontic care. It’s true that many orthodontists advocate for early intervention. However, sometimes issues don’t show up until you’re older.

For example, your wisdom teeth may have come in during early adulthood and caused crowding. Or perhaps you’re an adult who has decided you want straighter teeth. Regardless of the reason, braces are a good option regardless of age. If you’re considering braces, this information may help you make some decisions.

Orthodontic screening

Schedule an orthodontic consultation if you’re considering braces. Orthodontists specialize in diagnosing and treating dental and facial irregularities and can assess your teeth, or your child’s, to see whether braces are needed. During the consultation, Dr. Navin Hukmani performs a dental exam and determines your orthodontic treatment needs.

Children should see an orthodontist for an evaluation at around age seven, so that Dr. Hukmani can spot any issues, such as problems with jaw growth, misalignment of teeth or poor airway for normal breathing.

Who needs braces?

Dr. Hukmani may recommend braces if you have orthodontic issues, such as crowded teeth, a misaligned bite, a misaligned jaw position, or a jaw joint disorder. Braces apply continuous pressure to slowly move your teeth in a certain direction to correct problems. Children commonly get braces between the ages of 8-14. However, there’s no perfect age since patients of all age groups can benefit from correcting orthodontic issues.

Types of braces

Dr. Hukmani helps you decide which types of braces are right for you. There are several types, and your age and lifestyle may be in factor in choosing one over the other.

Traditional

Metal braces are a common option and typically the most affordable. They consist of silver metal brackets that adhere to your teeth, which make it the most noticeable option. Traditional braces are a popular option for children. They can even choose colored bands to give their braces an individual and fun look.

While modern metal braces are smaller than they used to be, adults often choose less noticeable options.

Ceramic

Made of materials that match your tooth color, ceramic braces are designed the same as traditional braces. Since the color blends in with your teeth better, ceramic brackets are a better choice for teens and adults who may feel that regular braces impact their social life and self-image. And while they typically cost more than traditional braces, patients are usually highly satisfied with their choice.

Lingual

While traditional braces are still very common, you now have more diverse options like lingual braces. They’re placed behind your teeth, making them invisible from the outside. They straighten your teeth in the same amount of time as traditional metal braces.

Because they’re placed behind your teeth, lingual braces take special care to clean. They’re not the best choice for children who may have a hard time cleaning around the brackets.

Lingual braces are a better option for adults who are better able to provide the special care necessary to avoid dental decay. Lingual braces do cost more than traditional braces or clear aligners. Also, some patients feel more sensitivity and discomfort as braces are placed on the tongue side.

Clear aligners

We offer the Invisalign® brand of clear aligners at Lansdowne Orthodontics, and they’re an excellent option for teens and adults. You’ll wear a series of custom, clear aligners that gradually straighten your teeth. While the aligners are removable, you’ll need to wear them for at least 22 hours a day for the treatment to work. You can take them out to eat and to brush your teeth.

Adults and teens often prefer Invisalign or clear aligners because there are no brackets or metal and no dietary restrictions to worry about. However, clear aligners require more discipline on the part of the patient to be consistent with their wear pattern.

Whether you’re considering braces for yourself or your child, it’s best to consult with an orthodontist. Stop in to see Dr. Hukmani and our team at Lansdowne Orthodontics. We’re eager to discuss how we can help you improve your oral health and the aesthetics of your smile. Call our office or book an appointment online today.

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