What Is the Best Age to Begin Orthodontic Treatment?

There’s no way to put a value on straight teeth and a beautiful smile that makes you confident and happy. But orthodontic treatment is about more than your appearance; it also affects the health of your teeth and even the structure of your face and your ability to breathe.

Crooked and overcrowded teeth increase your risk of cavities, gum disease, and damaged teeth. And in children, straight teeth are important for developing normal speech. At Glow Orthodontics, we work with patients of all ages, helping them find the best orthodontic treatment to ensure their dental health.

Recommended age for your child’s first orthodontic checkup

The American Association of Orthodontists suggests that children receive their first orthodontic evaluation at the earliest sign of a problem, or no later than the age of 7 years. Early signs that your child may need an appointment at Glow Orthodontics include:

  •       Early or late loss of baby teeth
  •       Difficulty chewing or biting
  •       Mouth breathing
  •       Thumb sucking
  •       Protruding front teeth
  •       Jaws that shift or click
  •       Crowded, misplaced, or blocked teeth
  •       Jaws or teeth that are out of proportion for the face
  •       Teeth that don’t meet when your child bites down
  •       Snoring

Most children have all their baby teeth by the age of 3 years, and then they start to lose them around the age of 6-7. This is the perfect time for an orthodontic evaluation because we can determine if treatment is needed and when it should begin.

Early orthodontic treatment (before permanent teeth come in) doesn’t mean your young child will get braces. However, we specialize in many types of children’s orthodontic appliances that may be appropriate. For example, we may remove a baby tooth that’s blocking a permanent tooth or use an expander to gently widen the roof of the mouth, giving teeth more room to grow.

The best age for children to begin orthodontic treatment

The best age for children to get braces is between the ages of 9-14 years. At this stage, children have most of their permanent teeth, but at the same time, they are still growing. This makes it easier to change the position of misaligned or crooked teeth. It also gives us the opportunity to guide the growth of permanent teeth to ensure they’re straight.

Adults can start orthodontic treatment at any age

As long as your teeth are healthy, you can start adult orthodontic treatment at any age. We always begin with a routine medical and dental history review because dental problems like gum disease and tooth decay must be treated before you get braces.

Once we determine your teeth are ready for orthodontic care, you have several choices of appliances. Many adults love clear aligners that straighten teeth and correct bite problems while remaining virtually invisible. However, not all adults are good candidates for aligner appliances.

The main difference between children and adults receiving orthodontic treatment is that it may take longer to move teeth in adults. If you’re eager to finish treatment as quickly as possible, you may be a good candidate for accelerated treatment using the PROPEL® Orthodontics system.

The PROPEL device makes tiny dimples in the bone around the teeth being moved by your braces. This process makes it possible to move your teeth more easily. With PROPEL, you can finish your orthodontic treatment in a year or so.

Whether it’s time for your child’s first orthodontic checkup or you’re ready to finally straighten your teeth, you can count on our expertise for beautiful and healthy results. To schedule an appointment, call Glow Orthodontics for a complimentary evaluation.

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