“What Is the Best Age to Get Braces?” And Other Questions, Answered
Talk to any reputable orthodontist in NYC, and they’ll tell you that braces are beneficial at any age. In fact, according to the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO), one in four orthodontic patients is an adult.
However, that same orthodontist will tell you that if you suspect your child might need orthodontic treatment someday, it’s better to begin sooner rather than later.
The Right Age for Braces
A child with a malocclusion — crooked or misaligned teeth — will benefit from having their first orthodontist’s appointment at the age of 7.
The orthodontist can advise whether the child needs braces and, if so, at what age. Generally, the answer to the question “what is the right age to get braces” is when the patient is still a child whose head and mouth are still growing or between 7 to 12 years of age.
At these ages, children would have already lost most of their primary teeth. Orthodontic care at this stage can help prevent future problems with their bite and guide the proper development of their adult teeth.
Adolescents between the ages of 12 and 18 are also excellent candidates to get orthodontic treatment. At these ages, any problems with the bite that weren’t corrected during the childhood years can still be corrected. Quite often, an adolescent is still actively growing and it is much easier and faster to correct orthodontic issues at this stage rather than wait until adulthood.
Adults who have a poor “bite” or have crooked teeth can get braces at any age. Your dentist or orthodontist will be able to tell you that as long as you have a healthy jawbone and permanent teeth, you’re a good candidate for braces.
However, any existing dental problems such as gum disease and missing teeth have to be addressed first. Also, some structural changes to your bite and the appearance of your teeth cannot be made because your bones are no longer growing.
Is It Safe to Get Braces During a Pandemic?
If you’ve already decided on getting braces, you might be wondering if you should put it off until after the pandemic is over. You’ll be happy to know that reputable dental practices have stringent protocols in place to prevent COVID-19 transmission and protect their patients, as well as employees.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and OSHA have released guidelines to help dental service providers minimize the risk of COVID-19 within their facilities. You may reach out to your orthodontist to find out what measures they’re taking to keep patients safe.
Since the pandemic has most of us working remotely, you or your child can get used to wearing braces in the comfort of your home. You also don’t have to worry about others seeing your smile before you’re ready, as you — along with most everyone else — will be wearing masks when outside the home.
The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted daily life to a huge extent. However, it doesn’t mean that you have to delay orthodontic treatment, as long as you and your orthodontist work together to keep your appointments as safe and hygienic as possible.
Achieve a Beautiful Smile With Braces
There is no age limit to getting braces. Orthodontists can help people, from children to older adults, achieve straight, even teeth and experience the benefits that come with them. Apart from a pretty smile, these include improved chewing ability, better oral health, and higher self-esteem.
JBL New York City is passionate about helping patients achieve the smile they’ve always wanted. We offer orthodontic treatments, such as braces, lingual braces (braces hidden behind the teeth), and aligners, among other options for straightening teeth and correcting the bite.
Get in touch with us today to learn more or to make an appointment.