What is the Best Age to Get Braces, and Why?

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“You need braces” are three words no kid wants to hear.  But today, a lot of adults are hearing those words, too, or they decide on their own that they want braces to straighten their smiles.  Whether for medical or cosmetic purposes—people of all ages are getting braces.

Advancements in orthodontics have come such a long way over the past few decades that having braces isn’t the dreaded thing it once was, regardless of your age.  They’re more comfortable, more efficient, and less intrusive than they used to be, so the age range for getting them is wide open.  But is there a  “magic number” for the best time to get them?

Best Age for Braces It’s All Relative

Actually, there is no one age-specific time to get braces.  Generally, children who need them are in the 10-14 age group, after all their baby teeth are gone.  This is usually the best time to get braces.  But everybody’s different, and the need for braces can come earlier or later—much later—than the early teen years.  It’s more about what’s going on in your mouth than it is about your age, and it’s determined by several factors, most of which present serious health concerns such as when:

  • A child’s permanent (adult) teeth are coming in crooked or are crowding each other—or, in the case of an adult, the situation’s getting worse as they get older
  • There are early signs that an overbite, underbite, or crossbite is forming
  • Noticeable speech problems such as a lisp are detected and are unrelated to any other health problems
  • Difficulty chewing makes it hard to eat, which can actually lead to serious digestion problems and nutrition deficiencies
  • An abnormality with the jaw bone, either because of irregular development or an accident calls for correction
  • So it’s not just about appearance—even though getting your teeth straightened out can give you a hardy boost of self-esteem—but braces can also address a lot of potentially serious health issues at any age of a person’s adolescence or adulthood, and that helps determine when you’re ready for braces.

Braces in The Early Years

All of that being said, braces are common for children, and the need for them can come much earlier for some kids than for others.

According to the American Association of Orthodontists, it’s important for children to have an early orthodontic assessment as early as age seven.  This is a preemptive technique to detect potential future problems as a child transition from infant teeth to adult teeth. Typically, this initial examination doesn’t result in any procedure; it’s more to ensure that dental development is progressing normally and to keep an early eye on any problems as they develop.

When an early evaluation identifies a potential problem, a pre-adolescent child may undergo what’s called Phase I treatment, also referred to as interceptive orthodontics.  This process is used for small-scale correction of one or several teeth, and can include a number of what’s called dental “appliances” such as bite springs or spacers to guide teeth to grow in the right direction, perhaps avoiding the need for braces at a later date.  In some cases, baby teeth may be pulled, and limited or temporary braces may also be used.  The Phase I approach usually lasts around one year.

Phase II orthodontics is reserved for the pre-teen/early teen years and involves full braces, sometimes to   reinforce Phase I corrections.  This more comprehensive range of treatment is used only after all of the baby teeth have been removed and the permanent teeth are coming in and usually takes 1-2 years, depending on the degree of correction.

Braces for Adults

The reasons for getting braces later in life are similar to those of our younger counterparts.  Maybe some of us more mature folks should have had them as kids, but for whatever reason—often financial—we didn’t get them.  In some cases, dental problems can occur at any point in life; natural bone structure changes happen, accidents can create a medical need for braces, or adults may simply want cosmetic intervention that they just couldn’t afford in earlier years.  Getting braces also involves a time commitment and regular maintenance, which is something our busy lives often don’t allow when we were younger.

Getting The Right Help

Even though having braces is so much easier than it used to be, it’s still a big decision.  You need the right professionals to help.

The Dental District is there for you. Our renowned medical staff can provide whatever dental work you need, whether it’s braces, implants, crowns, bridges, or even deep cleaning and whitening.  We’re located in scenic Tijuana, just minutes away from San Diego, but our services are more affordable than you’d find in the U.S.  Contact us today for a free initial consultation and start your journey toward healthier, pretty teeth! Ask about best services such as dental bone graft Mexico, dental crowns in Tijuana, root canal in Mexico, all on 4 Mexico, braces in Mexico.

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