What is the Best Age to Get Braces?

 | Health

There are different perceptions on wearing braces, especially for kids. There are some kids that cannot wait to wear braces, as it can make them feel mature, especially with all the options available to customize the way they look such as colored rubber bands or transparent ones. There are some kids that are scared that it might hurt or worry about what they will look like while wearing them.

What is the Best Age to Get Braces?

One question that is in everyone’s minds is what is the best time to get braces? The truth is there is no perfect time on when a kid should wear braces. The important thing is that the children and the parents know what they want to achieve in seeking orthodontic treatment and the reason why braces are needed. If there is an immediate need to have orthodontic treatment, then there is no reason to for delay.

The Need for Braces
Having braces takes a lot of preparation, money, work and time on your teeth. So, it should first be established if you really need them. You cannot just decide to have braces and one day change your mind and have them removed. In order to avoid regret and disappointment, a visit to an “Edmonton Orthodontist is necessary to determine if there is a need. If you have over or underbites, crooked teeth, crowded teeth, or jaw alignment issues, then you are likely to be a candidate for braces.

Right Time for Braces
Most orthodontists say that the best time to have the first orthodontic visit is around age 7 or 8, when most of the milk teeth have fallen out and the permanent teeth have come in. At this age, several conditions such as uneven bites or overcrowding can be determined. The first orthodontic visit does not necessarily mean that a child would be wearing braces right away. It is just a means to determine the possible conditions that the child might have growing up and how their teeth might need to be treated in the future. Several methods would be used such as x-rays and getting a mold impression of the kid’s teeth to determine the necessary treatment.

The ideal time to get braces in Edmonton is around 10 to 16 years old, where the teeth are still easier to correct, and the head and mouth are still growing. During these years, the teeth are already permanent and conducive for alignment and straightening. This doesn’t mean that during the adult years the teeth will not be suitable for orthodontic treatment. Another advantage of having braces during earlier years is that they will not have to wear braces during their adult years, however, there are plenty of adult patients now seeking orthodontic treatment to correct their smiles.

Types of Braces
The most common type of braces are traditional metal braces that include brackets, wires, and rubber bands. What makes it popular with children and teenagers is that the rubber bands can be different colors for self-expression. However, there is also a transparent or clear option for those who don’t want to draw too much attention to their braces. Another orthodontic option is Ceramic Braces, which comes in a white color, making it less noticeable. Lingual braces work like the usual metal bracket braces, except that the brackets are attached to the back of the teeth, making it almost invisible.

Aligners are removable, lighter, and less noticeable type of orthodontic treatment. They are used to correct minor alignment issues. Aligners are transparent so that they can be discretely worn while correction is taking place. They can be removed to eat, be cleaned, or to sleep. Periodic adjustmentsare made with each set of aligners until the teeth reach the correct alignment.

For some cases, kids might be required to wear a headgear that uses wires that gets attached at the back of the teeth for it to get aligned using a sturdier force. The headgear is only to be worn at night where there is less activity and so that the kid wearing it would not feel embarrassed.

Whatever the option is, there will still be regular visits to the orthodontist for adjustment and checkups on how your Edmonton braces are doing with the correction and alignment of your teeth.

How Long Should Braces Be Worn
The number of months or years that a person has to wear braces depends on the condition of their teeth. On the average, people wear braces for about 18 to 30 months with periodic visits to the orthodontist for adjustment. After the prescribed period, the patient has to wear a retainer for a time being, again depending on the situation, for up to two years, to maintain the teeth in the corrected position. After this point, it is recommended the retainers be worn while sleeping.

Taking Care of Braces
People with braces may find it initially challenging to clean their teeth while wearing braces. There will be more gaps and holes where food particles can get stuck and can cause bacteria build-up. Braces are not removable, so there will be hard to reach places where a toothbrush might not be able to clean thoroughly.

The good thing is that there are specially designed toothbrushes and floss for people with braces. Using these dental instruments, regular oral hygiene should continue. Brushing and flossing should be after every meal to avoid bacteria and cavity build-up.

Food intake would also be limited to soft foods. Hard foods can damage the braces. There should also be a limit of intake of sugary foods as sugar greatly contributes to tooth decay. For those that have removable braces, the clear aligners should be removed before every meal.

Regular visits to the dentist and orthodontist are necessary when wearing braces. Aside from the adjustments made, there might also be instances that braces should be repaired due to damage from eating specific foods. Dental cleaning and cavity inspection are also done during visits to the dentist.

There might be discomfort and pain whenever adjustments are made with the braces. However, this pain will eventually wear off, taking pain relievers and eating soft foods would be a good help to alleviate the pain.