At our dental practice in Cheadle Hulme, orthodontics are extremely common. But one question that many people (especially parents) ask their dentist in Manchester is: what’s the best age to have braces fitted? Getting them too early may mean further treatment is required later in life; getting them too late might mean braces need to be worn for a longer period or cause confidence issues during the teenage or adult years. Now while there’s no universally correct answer to this question, let’s take a look at some factors that your dentist in Stockport will consider to help you decide on the best age for wearing braces.
Early assessment: Ages 7-10
While this may seem young, we sometimes recommend that a child is assessed for braces as early as 7 years old. This doesn’t mean that the braces will be fitted at this age but it gives parents a good idea of what future treatment is needed and at what cost. By the age of 7, quite a few milk teeth will have fallen out so your orthodontist or family dentist in Manchester should be able to get a good idea of how the new teeth will likely be aligned.
That being said, if a child is struggling to eat or talk due to poor teeth alignment, sometimes partial teeth aligners might need to be fitted at this age. Another reason for maybe needing braces early could be if your child has a cross-bite, tooth crowding or protruding teeth because catching and treating these issues early can prevent further problems as more big teeth arrive. If your child does need to wear a brace at this age, you’ll likely need to help them take care of it – especially until good habits are formed.
Prime time: Ages 11-14
Generally speaking, most children start brace treatment somewhere between the ages of 11-14 years old. By this age, all baby teeth should have fallen out and the jaw will now be stable enough to support brace treatment. Here at our dental practice in Cheadle Hulme, orthodontics can be provided in several different ways, from wearing traditional metal wires to clear aligners – whatever suits your child best.
Nowadays, we find that wearing braces no longer carries a stigma, thanks to the popularity of orthodontic treatment among adolescents. But it’s still important to chat with your child and let them know about the changes that wearing a brace will make their appearance and the need to care for it properly. At this age, your child should be responsible enough to look after and manage their braces and oral health with very little intervention from you.
Older options: Ages 15+
Despite what you might think, you’re never too old for braces! For some adults that visit us here in Cheadle Hulme, orthodontics may not have been an option as a child. If so, you haven’t missed your chance. While your teeth do stop growing at the end of adolescence and there are definitely certain benefits to treatment as a youth, it’s still possible to have your smiled corrected later in life by your dentist in Stockport.
As an adult, you’ve likely got a great oral hygiene routine in place, however it might need to be adapted once you’re wearing braces. It may well mean making changes to your diet, certain activities and your morning and evening schedules. But, it’s worth keeping in mind that no matter what sacrifices you might need to make, they’re only temporary and worth it in the long-run to gain a beautiful smile! Wearing braces for a short while could save you from dental problems later down the road, not to mention the powerful impact it could have on your self-esteem.
How long will I have to wear braces?
Again, there’s no set answer to this question, as every situation differs. But on average, most people wear their braces for around one to two years. Once they’re removed, you’ll need to make sure that you wear a retainer to help keep your teeth in their new position and prevent them from moving again.
Are there different types of braces?
Most people are familiar with traditional metal braces but thanks to technological advances in dentistry, there are now a few other ways to straighten your teeth that you might not be aware of. The types of braces available today include:
• Contemporary metal braces – These are a modern version of the braces of old and are newer versions are made of high-grade stainless steel. Braces of this type are more durable and lightweight than their predecessors and although they are still attached to the front surfaces of your teeth, they also provide greater comfort.
• Clear braces – Just like metal style braces, clear braces also fitted to the front of your teeth. They function in exactly the same way as above utilising brackets and wire, except that they’re made from tooth coloured ceramic or polycarbonate instead. This means that they’ll blend in with your teeth and be much less noticeable.
• Lingual braces – Unlike the above, any wiring and brackets are attached to the back of your teeth instead of the front. This means they’re completely hidden from view and are therefore truly ‘invisible’ when you smile. Here in our practice in Cheadle Hulme, Orthodontics such as lingual braces can be used to fix a variety of bite problems.
• Clear aligners – This type of orthodontic treatment does away with brackets and wiring altogether in favour of a series of custom-made polyurethane plastic aligners. These are worn over the teeth just as you would a gumshield or a transparent mouthguard. Unlike the above options, clear aligners are designed to be easily removed particularly when eating and drinking.
Our Hulme Orthodontics Consultation
At the end of the day, the only real way to know the best age and type of brace for your situation is to receive a thorough orthodontic evaluation by your dentist in Stockport. If you’re interested in straightening your smile and improving your confidence, why not visit us at Church Road & Cosmetic for a free consultation? As your local cosmetic dentist in Manchester, we look forward to meeting you and helping you smile with confidence. Call us to book today on 0161 486 0743.