Orthodontic braces aren’t exclusively used to fix crooked teeth. Braces also help achieve proper spacing and jaw alignment. Since these problems aren’t as apparent as crooked teeth, it can be challenging for parents to know if or when their child needs to see an orthodontist.
We recommend all children receive an orthodontic evaluation between the ages of 8-11. This is the age kids can be evaluated for current and future misalignments, improper bite patterns, crowding, spacing problems, and missing teeth. At this point, we can determine whether a child needs orthodontic treatment, and if so, which of the many orthodontic treatments would be most helpful. This evaluation also helps narrow down the best age for your child to receive dental braces or other orthodontic treatment.
The Best Age for Orthodontic Braces
Orthodontic problems can be diagnosed and fixed at any age, including childhood, adolescence, teen year, and adulthood. However, it’s been found that the ideal time to undergo orthodontic treatment is while a child’s mouth and jaw are still growing. Middle school-aged children (between 11-14) are the best candidates for orthodontic treatment! By this age, your child should be responsible for his or her oral hygiene routine. Make sure this includes brushing twice a day, flossing daily, and visiting their general dentist for a cleaning and a checkup.
Orthodontic Treatment Duration
The orthodontic treatment duration is based on how severe the misalignment is, the age of the patient, and the type of orthodontic device used. During your initial consultation, Dr. Garlock will provide a time range for treatment. But keep in mind that these timelines aren’t set in stone! Some teeth and jaws are more receptive to orthodontic treatment than others.
The average amount of time an orthodontic patient wears braces is around 18 months to 2 years. Once the braces are removed, it may be necessary for your child to wear dental retainers.
If it’s time for your child to get an orthodontic evaluation, or if you have concerns about his or her teeth, please contact Garlock Orthodontics! Our Centennial orthodontist has provided countless patients with the smiles of their dreams!