In terms of an age group or development period, there is not a best time to think about getting braces. Sometimes personal situations and finances can influence the decision as to when the best time to get braces or have orthodontic treatment is.
According to the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO), children should have an evaluation performed by an orthodontist at 7 years old. It is right around the time when the permanent upper teeth begin to erupt.
This does not mean that your child will immediately be put forward for—or even benefit from—Phase I treatment (or interceptive treatment as it is also known); but it is a good way to get ahead of any issues or malocclusions that might start to present themselves, and prepare for the next stage.
Timing normally depends on the severity of the malocclusion (or “bad bite”) and what is causing the particular misalignment. The earliest that orthodontists generally start treatment with braces is when most of the permanent teeth have erupted (usually between 8-14 years old). But this still will depend on tooth growth as well as how quickly those new teeth come through.
The 8-14 year-old range when dentists will start treatments has the added benefit of working with bones structures that are still growing and not fully developed, allowing orthodontists to guide teeth and jaws into an optimal position.
It’s Never Too Late
The good news is that you’re not too old to get braces. The stigma of braces being for children and anxiety-ridden teens simply isn’t true anymore.
In fact, a 2012 study determined that there was a 14% increase in adults opting for orthodontic work between 2010 and 2012, and overall, there has been a 40% increase in the number of adults opting for braces in the last 20 years. As it stands currently, there are more than 1 million patients over the age of 18 getting braces on an annual basis.
Regardless of age or situation, it is a good idea to talk to an orthodontist to discuss your best course of action and the options available to you for you or a family member. Some orthodontists will perform a free initial consultation to ascertain if there is a need for orthodontic treatment.
If you have questions or would like to determine if orthodontic treatment is something that can benefit you or your family, you can contact one of our friendly staff at Orthodontic Associates and come into one of our nine convenient locations around Baltimore for your initial consultation.