There is no fixed rule as to the best age for starting with braces. Many of our patients are adults, some of them over age 55. The teeth can be realigned at any age.
However, there is an advantage to starting orthodontic work in early adolescence. That is because all the adult teeth (except wisdom teeth) have emerged, but the facial shape and jawline are still developing. In fact this growth is happening quickly in adolescence.
When braces are planned, it is not just tooth positioning that is being considered. The bite is also part of the plan – the way the lower jaw moves to meet the upper jaw. Tooth alignment and the bite are closely related and braces can correct the bite while they correct tooth alignment.
It is a good idea to bring your child to our office for an initial examination by about age seven. This is the age recommended by the American Association of Orthodontists. A child’s dental misalignment may not cause any pain and you may not realize there is any present problem, or any likely future problem, until the child has an orthodontic exam.
Some children may have problems before the age of seven, and the sooner dental problems are corrected, the better the long-term outcome will be.
Alternatives to Conventional Braces
Many adults feel reluctant to have any orthodontic work done because of the change metal braces will make to their facial appearance. But metal braces are not the only way to perform orthodontic work. We also offer Invisalign, which uses clear, removable plastic aligners to reposition the teeth and iBraces, which are worn on the back surfaces of the teeth and are therefore completely invisible.
If you are feeling unhappy with your own tooth alignment and wonder if it can be corrected, or if you would like you child’s teeth to be checked, please contact us today. Dr. Rudman will be happy to talk with you and your child, listen to your concerns, and explain the options. There is no charge for this initial consultation. Our office serves Denver and Stapleton in Colorado.