I often get the question: “What is the best age for braces?” To answer it, here are some general guidelines when trying to decide when you should consult an orthodontist about straightening your kiddos’ pearly whites:
The average age to wear braces is about 12 years old. However, this does not necessarily mean that your child will get braces right away. It simply means that after a consult, I will be able to identify any problems that may exist and determine the best time to start any needed treatment. Orthodontic problems vary, depending on tooth position, jaw growth, or a combination. Each of the many problems that can be present affects the best time to start braces– some as early as age 7 or 8, and others as late as 18 or 19!
To help you identify when it’s time to see an orthodontist for a consult, here are 3 signs to look for:
- Over-jet, Crowding and Spacing: Front teeth that stick out too much (overjet), are crowded, or are spaced.
- Overbite: Bites where the lower front teeth are near or biting the roof of the mouth.
- Crossbite: Trickier to see, but very important, bites where any upper teeth hit behind or inside the lower teeth. This is known as crossbite, which can harm the teeth and cause the lower jaw to grow to one side.
Additionally, here are 2 tips for timing of braces:
1) Start braces early enough so the alignment or bite problem doesn’t become more complicated to treat. Let’s not let a problem worsen so that getting a great result might not happen.
2) Delay treatment until the braces can be on the shortest period of time and still get a complete and beautiful result.
By timing braces correctly, the patient gets the best result the easiest way. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends the first orthodontic consult at age 7, when the first set of permanent molars are in and the new incisors are showing up. Then, we follow young patients every 6-12 months to make sure the new teeth come in properly and to time the braces for the very best and easiest result.
Moms come to us as orthodontic experts to evaluate these features and many other ones harder to see to be sure braces treatment starts on time. This ensures that their youngsters wind up with a beautiful smile for a lifetime, and get it the easiest, most cost-effective way possible. With an early orthodontic evaluation, you’ll be giving your child the best opportunity for a healthy, straight, glowing smile. Feel free to ask me more about the best age for braces for your child. You can call 919-847-6364, or visit raleighorthodontics.com.
Thanks for taking such great care of your kids!