Starting the process towards a straighter smile can be exciting for the patient, but may also cause some confusion or concern.
Fortunately, understanding when you should start orthodontic treatment is relatively straightforward, which may alleviate some nervousness on the part of patients or family members. Generally, braces are placed between 10-14 years of age, but there are some factors that could cause braces to be more effective a few years earlier — or even much later.
Nearly Any Age is the Right Age
Older children’s faces and teeth are still shifting and growing, making this an ideal time to apply braces or other orthodontics. Many practitioners recommend having a child evaluated around their seventh birthday, so any severe issues can be caught early and adjusted before the child hits their more formative years. A general rule of thumb is to apply braces and other appliances once the child has lost the majority of their baby, or primary, teeth but before the age of 14. That way, any preventative care has additional time to work as your child grows.
For children who will need significant changes — such as severe over- or underbites, incorrect jaw positioning or jaw joint disorders — it’s possible that orthodontists will recommend a multi-phase approach. This could include a non-orthodontic appliance at an earlier age, combined with braces a few years in the future. This helps redirect any abnormal growth patterns early, and then adjust teeth for an alignment once the majority of adult teeth have grown in.
Want to learn more about how Perfect Smiles Orthodontics can help you or your child get the beautiful, straight smile that you like? Contact us today for an initial appointment by calling +1 703-750-0147 or fill out our quick online appointment request and our professionals will return your call shortly!