Teeth are like snowflakes—they’re all unique! They come in all shapes and sizes. Every mouth is different. So how do you know if your child needs braces or an aligner? The best age to get braces varies depending on the patient, but generally, the ideal time is between 9 and 14 years old. Kids within this range have at least a few adult teeth and are still growing and developing, which makes it easier to make adjustments. If your little ones are showing any of the signs listed below, braces are likely necessary.
- Teeth that come together abnormally, or have large gaps between them
- Unavoidable cheek biting while talking or eating, or teeth grazing the roof of the mouth
- Noticeable crowding, teeth overlapping
- Misplaced teeth
- Thumb sucking, which can cause severe overbites and uneven spacing over time
- Shifting jaws, jaws that make odd noises, protrude or are recessed
- Breathing through the mouth instead of the nose
- Irregular loss of baby teeth
- Difficulty biting and/or chewing
- Excessive food sticking in the teeth, which also causes bad breath
Children are not the only ones who may need braces. According to the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO), over one million American and Canadian adults are being treated by its members.
Some people even invest in braces to correct minor flaws for cosmetic reasons. Invisalign is another convenient option that’s handy for adults reluctant to get braces. As long as your teeth are healthy, they can be moved and adjusted at any age, whether you’re nine years old, or ninety.
Generally, you will only have to wear braces for between 12 and 24 months. However, any worn, decayed, damaged, or missing teeth must be treated before the procedure in order to ensure the best possible outcome.
Dentists are often the first to spot issues that may need orthodontic treatment, so it’s important to keep up with regularly scheduled dental visits. But if you think you notice any of the indicators above, contact us as soon as possible to make an appointment and we can determine if your child needs an orthodontic screening. Their smiles depend on it!