Many people wonder what a good age to get braces is. Here, our orthodontic specialist in St. Augustine will go answer all of your questions from the ideal age to the types of braces available.
Remember those good times as kids when we got so excited over a packet of gummy bears? And how, even now, those tasty treats still get us amped?
They’re timeless, and the same goes for braces nowadays, so even adults aren’t too old for them — but please resist the gummies if you get braces.
There are many questions, however, as to when the “perfect age” to get braces done for children is. The truth is, there’s no perfect time since every individual is different- but there is an ideal time frame which works wonders for most kids and leaves them with dazzling smiles.
Read on to discover the perfect time for your child to get braces.
How Will You Know If A Child Needs Braces?
A study conducted by the American Dental Association found that leaving teeth unattended will cause more problems down the road. That’s why it’s best to act early enough to prevent a child from having to live with health and cosmetic problems.
The simplest and the best way around this is to book an appointment with your orthodontist. An orthodontist specializes in diagnosing and correcting irregularities in jaws and teeth. If you don’t know how and where to find one, your dentist could very well recommend you to one.
The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children should get evaluated before they hit seven years old. In some situations, however, it may be necessary to take action earlier if a child has:
- Overcrowded teeth
- Open bites
- Crossbites where the upper and lower jaw don’t perfectly line up
- Underbites where lower teeth extend past upper teeth
- Overbites where the upper teeth extend past lower teeth
The list goes on and on. Having them examined earlier than seven years old will help their orthodontist determine a long-term treatment plan properly after identifying any oral problems.
What Is the Ideal Age for Braces?
The ages of 10-14 years are usually considered ideal to have braces installed because younger teens have already gotten their permanent teeth by then. Their jawbones also have softer tissue, which is easier to reposition than that of adults.
Braces work best when children have lost all milk teeth and received their second molars. The exact age for every child differs as it depends on whether they’ve gotten all their permanent teeth and the treatment they are set to receive.
Some orthodontists even recommend a two-phase approach when it comes to getting braces. In the first phase, they use dental appliances, not braces necessarily, when a child mostly has baby teeth.
The second phase begins when a child has no baby teeth left, and this is when treatment involves dental braces. The approach makes it easier to correct irregularities, but it largely depends on how severe a child’s condition is.
However, adjusting a child’s facial appearance at such a sensitive age can be traumatizing, so it’s best to discuss the issue with them so that they can be mentally prepared.
If a child is reluctant, you could show them the different kind of braces available as getting them installed this early will provide numerous benefits, like:
- Reducing the need for tooth extraction or jaw surgery
- Reducing treatment time
- Correcting bad bites that may otherwise cause speech impediments, tooth decay, or gum disease
- Giving them fabulous smiles and facial symmetry
What Kind of Braces Are Available?
You might need to show a kid these options, which are better discussed in the presence of an orthodontic specialist.
In general, braces work by putting steady pressure on teeth, resulting in them moving into a straighter position.
Most braces for kids consist of metal brackets attached to the teeth. The brackets have interconnecting wires and rubber bands. The wires are usually tightened slowly during each visit, so they exert mild pressure, which helps line teeth up.
If a child feels the wire poking around in their mouth, yet the specialist finds no problem, they may get some orthodontic wax applied to ease discomfort.
The best thing is that the rubber bands come in various colors, which is usually the least expensive option.
Depending on the condition, a child may need other devices like a headgear where a wire shaped like a horseshoe is attached to the back teeth. It applies more force to help align the teeth. No need to panic; headgear is usually worn at night only!
But while metal brackets are smaller these days, a child might still feel self-conscious about them. These other options are available.
- Ceramic braces
These are similar to metal braces, but their brackets are tooth-colored to make them inconspicuous. However, they are more expensive and could stain easily if not taken care of properly. They are also more prone to breakage.
- Lingual braces
These are mostly similar to metal braces as well, but the brackets and wires are applied behind the teeth, making them completely invincible. However, they are more time-intensive and expensive than their metal counterparts and are mostly ineffective for severe cases.
The material is clear plastic, and the orthodontist makes lots of them that look like mouth guards. A child gets to put a new one in every few weeks. A huge plus is the wearer gets to eat and brush teeth normally.
However, they can be easy to lose for kids, might not work for severe cases, and work slower than the other braces.
How Long Will A Child Have to Wear Braces?
The average time is usually two years, but it may differ based on the problem the orthodontist is rectifying. Afterward, a child might be required to wear a molded retainer made just for them. It’s a hard piece of plastic in the shape of a mouthguard that helps keep teeth in place.
Visit an Orthodontic Specialist in St. Augustine
Are you looking for an orthodontic specialist in St. Augustine? The earlier you get dental problems assessed, the easier the correction process will be. Even if you feel like a child’s teeth are flourishing, it’s a good idea to schedule an examination for added reassurance. There’s always a chance that the orthodontist may find something that you initially missed.
At Henry Orthodontics, we take pride in holding our clients’ hands through every step of the way, from checkups to dental procedures and aftercare.
Our services are open to children, teens, and adults in St. Augustine, St. Johns, and the surrounding FL communities. Are you ready to make your child’s smile fabulous? Get in touch with us today!