19 Jul How Old Do You Have To Be To Get Braces?
How Old Do You Have To Be To Get Braces?
Whether or not you or your child needs braces can be a hard decision to make, as the process can be costly and time-consuming. However, the benefits of getting orthodontic treatment generally outweigh the cons as it can leave you with a perfect smile, offer oral health benefits, and treat common problems such as crooked teeth, crowded teeth, underbites or jaw positioning.
But how old do you have to be to get braces, and do you really need them? Here’s an article on what is the best age to get braces, signs you or your child may need braces, and the types of braces options available.
For personalised advice, book an appointment at Booroondara Family Dentist today.
What Is The Best Age For Braces?
There is no ‘best age’ for braces – when to get them depends on the individual and the specific issue that is being treated. However, according to Mayo Clinic, it is recommended for children to get braces between the ages of 8 and 14 years old when their adult permanent teeth have grown in.
The earlier the orthodontic treatment, the better, as it will be easier to straighten and align the teeth due to the softer tissue in the mouth and jawbones. Children’s jaws and bites are also still growing and changing shape during their formative years so the teeth can be more easily guided into position.
The Australian Society of Orthodontists recommends children to receive an assessment by a registered specialist orthodontist between the ages of 8 to 10 years old. This will allow the orthodontist to determine if they may need early treatment, such as braces.
Can Adults Get Braces?
It is never too late to get braces, no matter how old you are. Adults can benefit from orthodontic treatment, but the treatment time might take a bit longer.
It is also becoming a lot more common for adults to wear braces in recent years. This is due in part to the modern technology and materials that we have available, enabling adults to wear braces that are much less conspicuous than the traditional metal ones. For example, Invisalign braces are clear aligners that have become popular for straightening and realigning teeth.
However, factors that might prevent you from being eligible for braces include gum disease, crowns, missing teeth and implants. Since the chances of these issues occurring are higher as we get older, this may prevent you from being a suitable candidate for orthodontic treatment.
What Are The Signs My Child Needs Braces?
Some signs that you or your child may need orthodontic treatment include:
- Teeth that do not meet or connect properly when biting
- Snoring and mouth breathing
- Crowded front teeth
- Protruding front teeth
- Difficulty biting and chewing
- Trouble speaking or pronouncing certain words
- Underbite (when the bottom front teeth protrude beyond the upper front teeth)
- Overbite (when the upper front teeth protrude beyond the bottom front teeth)
- Thumb sucking beyond five years old
- Jaws and teeth that are disproportionate to the rest of the face
- Difficulty flossing and brushing around crooked teeth
- Frequently biting your tongue
How Long Will I Need To Wear Braces?
Depending on the severity of the problems and your treatment needs, the length of time you or your child will need to wear braces can vary. It can range from several months to upwards of three years.
Your behaviours may impact how long you wear braces, including your oral hygiene routine and appointment attendance. That is why it is important to follow the advice of your orthodontist by brushing your teeth regularly and seeking regular check-ups with your dentist. By maintaining healthy habits and behaviours, you can avoid wearing braces for a longer amount of time than necessary.
What types of braces options are out there?
There are many different types of braces, but the two main types are fixed and removable braces.
- Fixed braces – These kinds of braces involve wires fitted to your teeth using brackets and elastic bands and require removal by a dental professional only. Traditional metal braces are the oldest and most well-known type of fixed braces. They are also generally the least expensive option for teeth straightening. Other less noticeable types of fixed braces include clear or tooth-coloured ceramic braces, and lingual braces, which are invisible braces stuck to the inside of your teeth.
- Removable braces – Removable braces include invisible braces (also known as clear aligners or custom-made plastic trays that align your teeth) and can be removed by the patient. They have become very popular with adults because they are much less conspicuous than traditional fixed metal braces and can make eating and sleeping a lot more comfortable once easily removed. Clear aligners are suitable options for those with mild to moderate cases of teeth misalignment. They put pressure to gradually move the teeth into the desired position over time.
Ready To Straighten Your Teeth With Braces?
No matter how old you are, orthodontic treatments can benefit anyone, from children to adults alike. If you are considering getting braces for yourself or your child, we offer teeth straightening services to help you enhance your smile. Contact us today to book an appointment, and we can help you decide if braces are the right course of action for you.