When it comes to orthodontic treatment, age is only a number. That’s right, you’re never too old to get the smile you’ve always wanted! Maybe you’re getting braces for the first time or this is your second go-round. Whether you’re 8 or 80 years old, healthy teeth can be moved at any age. Did you know: 1 in 4 orthodontic patients is an adult with more than one million people over 18 years old getting braces. While braces are for all ages and used in 80% of orthodontics cases, there are important age-related considerations. Here are signs to look for that may indicate it’s time to seek orthodontic treatment.
Orthodontic Treatment for Children: Check Teeth Early to Help Problems Before They Start
When is the best time for your child to get his/her first orthodontic evaluation? The American Association of Orthodontists says no later than age 7. By this time, most children have a mix of baby and permanent teeth that make it easier to detect issues with your child’s bite or jaw growth. Here are some signs to look for that may indicate you or your child needs to see an orthodontist:
- Crowded or crooked teeth
- Baby teeth lost too early
- Mouth breathing
- Difficulty chewing or biting into food
- Oral habits, such as thumb sucking or pacifier use
- Teeth that have gaps or don’t come together normally
- Speech difficulties
- Jaws that aren’t proportionate to the face
Orthodontic Treatment for Teens: Options for a Great Smile
While there is no age limit to get braces, the best time is usually between 10 and 14 years old. And teens make up a majority of patients who need braces. Fortunately, advances in technology have made braces much more comfortable in as little time as possible. In addition to metal braces, other options are available to teens, such as ceramic braces. Ceramic braces are translucent and the same color as teeth. Some ceramic braces don’t require elastics, making them virtually unnoticeable.
Orthodontic Treatment for Adults: Improve Your Smile and Oral Health
It’s true: Braces are for all ages and adult teeth can be moved just as easily as they are for children and teens. The primary difference between treating adults vs. teens is that adults have mature and denser bone tissue. Therefore, treatment time may take slightly longer, but the treatment is just as successful. Fillings, worn/missing teeth, dental disease, and teeth grinding – to name a few—also need to be taken into consideration before placing braces for adults.
The great news for those who seek braces: Treatment can prevent future dental issues! Crowded or overlapping teeth are difficult to clean, which leads to tooth decay and gum disease. Malocclusion, when teeth don’t properly come together, can cause chewing and swallowing problems. Excessive strain on the chewing muscles may even be causing pain.
For some orthodontic cases, there are exciting, innovative alternatives to braces that gently straighten teeth. Very discreet options such as clear aligners are designed to be worn most of the day and are removable. Also, there is an option to bond flexible, hidden wires to the back of your teeth where no one will see them.
Braces for All Ages: Beautiful Smiles for Children, Teens, and Adults
Everyone deserves a beautifully aligned and healthy smile! And you’re never too old to make it happen. At ALTA SMILES locations, they offer braces for all ages and a variety of innovative treatment options to ensure you get an amazing smile. We also strive for a pleasant and fun patient care experience that goes above and beyond. Each patient has unique orthodontic needs, and our team will make sure you get the best treatment in a comfortable environment. Book your free in-person or virtual consultation today!