In today’s orthodontic world, braces are extremely common devices used to correct teeth issues. While most people regularly spot braces in the mouths of children and teens, there is much confusion surrounding when individuals should seek to have braces. At Ashfield Dental Centre, we value patient understanding and education and wish to provide beneficial information for your optimal orthodontic health, and the health of children and young people in your life. Today, we will answer the longstanding question: at what age should you get braces?
But firstly, what are braces?
Braces are orthodontic appliances that are used to correct misaligned or crooked teeth, as well as other orthodontic problems such as overbite, underbite, and overcrowding. Typically, braces consist of brackets, wires, and sometimes elastic bands, and are attached to the teeth using a special adhesive. The brackets are then connected to each other by wires, which are tightened over time to gradually shift the teeth into their desired position.
There are also several different types of braces available, and the best option for you will depend on your specific orthodontic needs and personal preferences. At Ashfield Dental Centre, we offer both metal braces and ceramic braces.
Benefits of getting braces
Getting braces can provide many benefits to our patients, and we are proud to offer this quality-of-life-improving service. At face value, braces offer improved aesthetics, straightening crooked teeth and the appearance of one’s smile. With this often comes an increase in confidence and self-esteem.
Braces can also make it easier to clean your teeth, which can reduce your risk of developing gum disease, tooth decay, and other oral health problems; braces ultimately improve overall oral health. Risks of developing temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders are also decreased by improved jaw alignment achieved via braces.
As misaligned teeth can cause speech impediments, correcting these issues through braces can improve speech, which has many everyday benefits. Misaligned teeth can also affect the way you chew food, which can lead to digestive problems. Thus, braces can improve digestion.
Now: At what age should you get braces?
Knowing these benefits, it seems clear that braces can be effective means of increasing oral health. But, the question remains: at what age can you hone into these benefits? It is recommended by the Australian Society of Orthodontists that children have their teeth assessed for braces by an orthodontist at 7-10 years old. This early assessment allows orthodontists to identify if a child would benefit from early braces treatment. At this age, tooth problems that are likely to create more serious issues as the child develops can be identified and treated more easily than if the child was older. The jawbones of younger children are also softer, meaning their mouths are more responsive to corrective procedures.
However, most children will not require early intervention. Most individuals with braces get them in their early teens (usually from 12-13). Many dental bodies view this as the ideal age for braces treatment as early teens normally have had all their permanent teeth come through, and their mouth and jaw are still developing, and are therefore receptive to repositioning.
There is no upper age restriction for braces treatment. Adults concerned about their teeth can visit orthodontists to have their mouth assessed for braces.
What are the alternatives to wearing braces?
Modern orthodontics has welcomed numerous other options for teeth straightening. One beneficial device with quality results is a clear aligner, with clear aligner services offered at Ashfield Dental Centre. The aligners are made of strong, clear plastic which fits over your teeth and gradually and gently moves them into position without the need for wires or brackets.
Ashfield Dental Centre is here to enact your orthodontic needs. If you have a child aged 8 onwards, it’s a good idea to have an assessment for braces. Call us on 02 9798 4111 or book online for a consultation with one of our experienced doctors. We look forward to making smiles shine with the confidence of optimal oral health!