When Should I Start Orthodontic Treatment?
The question of when to begin orthodontic treatment is a common one, particularly for parents and individuals considering treatment. The timing of orthodontic treatment spans various life stages, from childhood to adulthood, each offering distinct advantages and considerations. Learn what time is right for you or your family.
Smile health starts at birth! The ideal age to start orthodontic treatment varies for each child, depending on their situation. Children can get braces as early as age 8, so it’s recommended by the American Association of Orthodontists that children visit an orthodontist at age 7. This is known as “early” or “interceptive” treatment, meaning treatment is done while some baby teeth are still present.
Benefits of early treatment:
- Solves orthodontic problems while your child’s gums and jawbones are more pliable, so treatment will be much quicker and more effective.
- Orthodontic issues are easier to correct at a young age.
- Makes room for adult teeth.
- Greatly reduces and sometimes eliminates the need for full conventional orthodontics later in life.
- Prevents future extraction of adult teeth and developing facial asymmetries.
- Gives your child a jump-start on a healthy smile.
- Invisalign offers easy removability for increased oral hygiene, making it easier for children to brush and floss.
- Younger children need more supervision while caring for their teeth and equipment.
The pre-teen and teenage years are most common for braces. While most adolescents start orthodontic treatment between the ages of 12-14, many don’t get braces until their mid-to-late teens. As with all orthodontic treatment, exact timing depends on a case-by-case basis. The sooner you come in, the sooner you’ll leave smiling bright!
Benefits of teenage treatment:
- Easier to reposition teeth and jaws as they grow.
- Properly aligned teeth help improve speech, chewing, breathing, sleeping, and overall health.
- Increases jaw mobility, reducing the risk of pain and headaches later in life.
- Reduces the likelihood of tooth decay and gum disease.
- Helps improve self-confidence.
- Using Invisalign offers discreet treatment with no brackets or wires.
- Only 64% of teens say they brush their teeth twice daily, and oral hygiene maintenance is generally more challenging with braces, so a strictly enforced oral hygiene routine is necessary.
While many may think orthodontic treatment is only for children and teens, that’s untrue. While early orthodontic treatment is best, there are still many benefits to starting orthodontic treatment in your adult years—there’s no age limit on a beautiful smile! Plus, we offer Invisalign, so your orthodontic treatment can be as discreet as you like.
Benefits of adult treatment:
- Makes your oral hygiene routine easier by correcting crowded or overlapping teeth.
- Improvement in bite and chewing.
- Reduced risk of tooth injury.
- Stronger jaw bones.
- Reduced risk of headaches.
- Improved self-esteem.
- Treatment takes longer due to adults’ jaws being fully developed. Adult teeth are more permanently set in place and much harder to shift than a child's.
Deciding when to get braces or aligners is an important step. It’s never too late to build confidence in your smile! Just remember, whenever you start, your journey to a brighter smile is all your own. Ready to smile bright with Gettysburg Orthodontics? Schedule a consultation today!