There is no set age to get orthodontic treatment. Anyone, regardless of age, can obtain orthodontic treatment. Orthodontic treatment can both minimize oral health issues and boost confidence in one’s smile. With how oral health affects your overall health, it’s vital to take care of your teeth, and part of protecting your oral health may involve orthodontics. But is there a certain age you should start? When do you know when you should start orthodontic treatment?
Different Ages Have Different Reasons
Different ages come with different reasons for starting orthodontic treatment. It is important to be aware of what age is best for what issue so as to stay on top of your oral health. Here is what you need to know about orthodontic treatment through the years.
Orthodontists usually recommend children start having their mouths checked when they are as young as 7. Getting early treatment can make any future treatment either more effective or entirely unnecessary. 7 is the recommended age to start taking a child to check-ups because that is when a child has enough permanent teeth for an orthodontist to see how their teeth and jaw are developing, and if there are any serious issues that would lend themselves to early treatment.
Early treatment is best if it looks like there are current issues that could become more severe, if left untreated. Sometimes, an orthodontist will highlight teeth that may become a problem later, but leave them be for the moment. Early treatment is best for serious issues like underbites, overbites, very crowded teeth, big gaps between teeth, teeth that meet abnormally, jaw disharmony, or if there are issues impacting teeth and jaw growth/health. The earlier you treat serious orthodontic issues, the easier it is to correct. In severe or persistent cases, even if a child obtains orthodontic treatment young, they may still require it in the future.
Treatment as A Tween/Teen
In some cases, it’s best to wait until most of a child’s adult teeth are in before starting any orthodontic treatment. Tweens and teens often get orthodontic treatment after losing their baby teeth, which can be best to lessen the chances of enamel decalcification and root resorption. With how rapid growth is during adolescence, this increases effectiveness. Orthodontic treatment doesn’t just improve one’s bite, but can also improve one’s speech, which is why having it done in one’s developmental years can be important, to prevent issues arising in other areas of adolescence.
After all of one’s adult teeth come it, certain treatments are more highly recommended. Simple teeth straightening and teeth that stick out are problems easiest to resolve in one’s teens. As mentioned above with early childhood treatment, some orthodontists may recommend waiting until the teens to seek treatment for less severe problems. In these cases, it helps ensure one only has to be treated once, as opposed to multiple times.
While getting treatment in your younger years can be best for preventing and fixing orthodontic issues, teeth can shift as you age. Teeth shift for a variety of reasons, varying from aging itself, to grinding your teeth, to gum disease. Teeth shifting is natural, and can usually be stopped from causing serious problems through proper dental hygiene. Because teeth can shift, though, some people grow up with straight teeth that become more crooked as they grow up. Accidents and injuries can impact teeth too, creating orthodontic problems that weren’t there before.
Adults may also seek out orthodontic treatment to improve their overall oral health and confidence in their smiles. Perhaps they could not afford orthodontic treatment when they were younger, but now they can. Or perhaps they were not bothered by their teeth when they were younger, but now they are. Whatever the reason, approximately 20% of orthodontic patients are adults, so starting treatment as an adult is not uncommon!
Adult teeth can be harder to move because adults have denser bones than children. Because adult teeth have stopped growing, this means that some orthodontic changes require surgery to fix. Though it may take more time, adult orthodontic treatment can be just as successful as treatment received in one’s childhood or teens. There is no such thing as too old for orthodontic treatment. Some people receive it in their 60’s and 70’s. If you are considering it, consult with an orthodontist to figure out what would work best for you.
When Is The Best Age to Start Orthodontic Treatment?
As you can see, it depends on a variety of factors, but orthodontic treatment is not restricted to any age. Anyone can seek out treatment.
Here at Bailey Orthodontics, we are passionate about providing expert orthodontic treatment. It is important to seek out orthodontic treatment whenever you need it for the good of your oral and overall health. To learn more about orthodontic options or to schedule an appointment, contact us at Bailey Orthodontics today!