Just as every person is different, there is no “right” age to get braces. However, with most people, the ideal time is in their pre-teen and teenage years.
If you took your child for an orthodontic evaluation around the time they were 7, you have gotten a good idea on the kind of treatment they would need in the coming years. If your child needed early treatment, they should have already completed Phase 1 (completed usually between 6 and 10 years of age) and are now ready for Phase 2.
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Braces are recommended to treat a number of dental problems such as crooked or overcrowded teeth or an under/overbite. While you can get braces at any age, there are certain benefits to getting braces as a teenager.
By the time your child is 12-14 years old, they should have lost all of their baby teeth and gotten their 12 year molars. Until you have your adult teeth, braces typically aren’t used in treatment. The main problems treated before a child gets their permanent teeth are issues related to bite and structural problems.
Since teenagers are continually growing, this makes it easier to successfully move their teeth to the desired positions, even if the realignment is intensive. However, if you get braces too early, you could possibly need additional orthodontic work as you keep growing. This is why those teenage years are usually the prime time to get braces.
While braces certainly improve the cosmetics of your mouth, they also correct your jaw alignment and prevent the need for possible dental corrective surgery later on. When your jaw is improperly aligned, it can lead to problems chewing and speaking, tooth loss, gum disease, and more.
Having a beautiful, straight smile can be a confidence booster for an otherwise self-conscious and insecure teenager. Your teenage years are hard enough, especially with the need to look perfect on social media. Not only will straight teeth make your teenager’s selfies look better and boost their confidence, it will improve their oral health for years to come.
The typical length of braces treatment is anywhere from 18 to 30 months. If you are in need of more intensive realignment, it will take longer than if you have just a few mildly crooked teeth.
After the consultation, your orthodontist will come up with a comprehensive plan detailing how long they will need braces for, as well as the after care that will come with it. It takes roughly about two hours to get metal or clear braces put on.
The teeth will first be cleaned, then the brackets will be attached to the teeth with a bonding glue. Wires are inserted to connect the brackets and are held in place with rubber bands.
Your child’s teeth will probably be pretty sore for a few days after getting braces put on. This is normal and will go away. They will regularly have to go back to the orthodontist for check ups and to get their braces tightened. By tightening the wires, the orthodontist is using gentle pressure to gradually move the teeth into the desired positions.
We also offer Invisalign to both teens and adults with certain orthodontic problems.
After getting their braces removed, your child will be fitted with a retainer. They will need to wear their retainer to keep their teeth from shifting back. The amount of time they have to wear their retainer can vary from several months to several years.
Parris Orthodontics has over 30 years of experience in giving our patients great smiles. We are located in Germantown, Tennessee, but we serve patients all over Memphis and Collierville. If you want a compassionate orthodontist who will give you or your child dedicated, personalized care, call Parris Orthodontics for a consultation.
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