What's the Best Age for Braces?

May 01, 2023
What's the Best Age for Braces?
Chewing and talking are things we take for granted, but if you have issues with misaligned teeth, you can’t afford to. Braces are a common choice to align teeth, but when is the best time to begin treatment?

Teeth are essential to your digestive health and your ability to communicate. They start the process of digestion by chewing food and are necessary for proper speech. The 32 adult teeth also shape your face.

Malocclusions are misalignments of the teeth. Depending on the severity, a malocclusion can significantly impact eating and speaking. Fortunately, braces can treat the issue, but when is the best time to begin treatment? Read on to find out.

If you live in Richmond Hill, Georgia, and are looking for braces or other ways to correct misalignments in your teeth, Dr. Nils Anderson and our team at Village Dental can help you find the best option for your needs.

How braces work

Braces correct misaligned teeth by gradually shifting them into place. Traditional braces use metal or ceramic brackets placed on each tooth and held together by wires. They’re often placed on the front of teeth but can also be placed behind them (lingual braces). Another option is clear aligners.

No matter your choice, the process works by using slow, constant pressure, forcing teeth from their current position into normal alignment. The treatment duration depends on the severity of your misalignment. 

Dental issues requiring braces

A normal bite should have your upper jaw slightly overlap your lower jaw. Here are the dental misalignments braces can treat:

  • Crowded teeth: when crowded teeth overlap or rotate.
  • Protruded teeth: also called buck teeth or overbite, these teeth stick out from your mouth.
  • Gapped teeth: excess space between teeth can result from missing or undersized teeth, as well as oversized jaws.
  • Underbite: when your lower teeth sit in front of your upper teeth. It can wear down teeth and stress the joints in your jaw.
  • Crossbite: a misalignment where groups of your upper teeth fit behind your lower ones.

Sometimes malocclusions can change your facial appearance or cause discomfort while eating.  

When should I begin treatment with braces?

Different misalignments may need to be addressed at different times. The first orthodontic assessment should occur at seven years (around the time your permanent teeth start coming in). 

Treatment with braces usually begins between 8-11 years. If the misaligned teeth are due to problems in a developing upper or lower jaw, treatment with braces can begin before all of the permanent teeth emerge. Another approach uses a two-phase method. 

While treatment with braces is often suggested during childhood, there are plenty of orthodontic options for adults. Our team can discuss which option is best for you or your child. 

If you think you or your child may need braces, make an appointment with Dr. Anderson and Village Dental today.