What Is the Best Age to Begin Orthodontic Treatment?

Did you know you can correct your crooked teeth and misaligned bite at any age?

You may think orthodontic treatment is meant for grade-schoolers and junior high students. But The American Association of Orthodontists says one in five people who wear braces are more than 18-years-old. Adult skull bones may have stopped developing, but most misalignment can be fixed with the correct orthodontic treatment.

Dr. Karen Reese at Reese Orthodontics in New Hope and Chanhassen, MN, wants you to love your smile no matter what your age, even though wearing braces for adults is different than for children. Here’s how adults can fix their crooked and misaligned teeth.

The age of braces

The orthodontic treatment Dr. Reese uses to straighten crooked teeth and correct improper bites depend, in part, on the patients’ age.

Children and teenagers

After age seven, children should see an orthodontist, who will examine their mouths and determine if they have any misalignments that need to be corrected. Some orthodontists even examine babies and put braces on their teeth, which are easy to shift to create a beautiful smile.

Wearing braces as a child or teenager can reduce the length of treatment, which will save time and money. Also, most children won’t need oral surgery or other treatments along with braces because their bones are still developing, and their jaws can be realigned merely by applying pressure in the right places. 

Post-treatment, children should wear their retainers diligently to avoid needing further treatment later in life. 

Adults

You may have missed the perfect age to wear braces, but even adults over 50 can expect excellent results.

Adult treatments may last longer than treatments for younger patients, but grown-ups aren’t stuck with a metal-mouth of uncomfortable braces. Some adults choose Invisalign®, a set of clear, plastic aligners that gradually nudge teeth into their proper place.

For the best results, patients should wear aligners 22 hours each day. You can remove them to eat, drink, brush, floss, or attend a special event.

One disadvantage of straightening your teeth later in life is that you may have to undergo surgery to reshape your face to accommodate your new, straight teeth. But every case is different. During your consultation, Dr. Reese will go over expectations with you. 

Whether you’re 15 or 45, dental braces or aligners can give you the Hollywood smile you want. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Reese to discuss your orthodontic options visit us online today.

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