Does your child have crooked teeth? If so, you’re probably thinking about getting braces for them. But you’re curious: when is the best age to get braces for kids?
In truth, it depends. There are a variety of factors that affect when it’s time for a child to get braces. We’re going to discuss those factors and more now!
What Is the Typical Age to Get Braces for Kids?
First, let’s discuss the typical age range for kids to get braces. Generally speaking, a child will get braces between the ages of 10 and 14. This is after the baby teeth have fallen out, and after most of the adult teeth have grown in.
Now, there can be some wiggle room here. For instance, some children can get braces as early as 8 years old, while others have to wait until they’re 15 or 16. However, in general, 10 to 14 is the range to aim for.
Factors That Affect the Age at Which a Child Should Get Braces
As was noted above, there are a number of factors that can affect the age at which a child should get braces. We’ll review those factors in detail below.
The Arrival of Adult Teeth
Generally speaking, it’s best to initiate orthodontic treatment after all of the adult teeth have grown in. This is because, without having all of the adult teeth in place, it can be difficult to determine the manner in which the teeth should be straightened. As was stated, most children have had all of their adult teeth come in between the ages of 10 and 14.
Impending Adult Teeth That Could Lead to Issues
In some cases, it’s wise to provide a child with braces prior to all of their adult teeth coming in. This is because, in these scenarios, there’s a risk of an impending tooth growing in a manner in which it will disturb existing teeth. By applying braces before the tooth bursts, you can guide it and ensure that it doesn’t do any damage.
To determine whether this might be a problem for your child, you should see an orthodontist after your child’s baby teeth have fallen out. Your orthodontist will take x-rays of your child’s teeth and gums, helping to gauge future tooth growth. A plan of action will then be built.
Another factor that could affect the age at which a child gets braces is whether or not the child has a jaw misalignment. If a child’s jaw is misaligned, orthodontic treatment will generally be started earlier as a means of correcting the jaw’s positioning. This can be vital down the road, as it helps ensure that the adult teeth grow without issue.
If your child has teeth that protrude to an extreme degree, your orthodontist might deem it necessary to have them straightened before all of the other adult teeth grow in. This is done to prevent damage to the protruding teeth, which are vulnerable in their current position.
Consequences of Not Getting Braces at the Correct Age
Now, you might be wondering whether there are any consequences for not getting braces at the correct age. The answer is yes, there are, though they’re generally fairly mild. They include the following.
Greater Difficulty in Straightening the Teeth
Perhaps the biggest consequence of not getting braces at the appropriate age is that it makes it more difficult to straighten the teeth. You can get braces at any age. However, they’re most effective when children are between the ages of 10 and 14.
This is because, at these ages, the teeth have just grown in, and are still quite malleable. The further you get past these ages, the more the teeth set, and the longer it takes to reposition them.
So, if you want the orthodontic process to go as quickly as possible, have your child get braces between the ages of 10 and 14.
The fact of the matter is that the state of a person’s teeth is integral to their overall appearance. As such, getting braces past the ideal age range can subject the patient to undesirable aesthetics.
This works in two facets. The first facet is that the patient has crooked teeth throughout their adolescence, a time at which self-consciousness is at its peak. The second facet is that the patient has braces as an adult, which, while not completely unusual, could affect the way that others look at the patient.
Braces are expected on young teenagers. So, if you want your child to fit in aesthetically, it’s best for them to get braces between the ages of 10 and 14.
Increased Risk of Dental Problems
Crooked teeth aren’t just an aesthetic problem. They can have real consequences as it pertains to overall dental health.
For instance, crooked teeth are more difficult to brush between. As such, they tend to trap plaque and bacteria over long periods of time. This can result in undue tooth decay.
In addition, crooked teeth can affect a person’s bite. When the bite comes down incorrectly time and time again, it can lead to chronic pain, including tooth, mouth, and jaw (TMJ) issues.
Tooth breakage is a risk as well. Again, this has to do with an uneven bite.
So, if you want to protect your child’s teeth as much as possible, you should make sure they get braces between the ages of 10 and 14.
Does Your Child Need Braces Treatments?
Does your child have crooked or misaligned teeth? Need dental treatment to help realign them? If so, and if you’re in the Provo, Utah area, look no further than Edge Orthodontics.
We’re Provo’s leader in braces for kids. Offering only the best of orthodontic dental care, we’ll have your child’s smile perfected in no time.
Contact us now to schedule an appointment!