Braces often quintessentially associate with awkward teenagers. But, the truth shows that the appropriate age range for beginning braces can remain more open. As long as you lost your baby teeth and grown in most adult teeth, you may begin braces. Orthodontists really only focus on children in their pre-teens. Because it proves easier to move the teeth in the right direction while the child’s mouth still shows growth. However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t have braces once you reach adulthood.
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Braces Aren’t Just Cosmetic
Although there is a lot of emphasis on the cosmetic role of braces, they also serve an important medical purpose. The truth remains that if your teeth experience crowding or excessive spacing, your oral health will more likely to suffer.
- Crowding: When your teeth are forced too close together, they can overlap. Then it proves impossible to clean them properly. Brushing each tooth turns out far more difficult. And moderate to severe crowding can entirely prevent you from flossing. Without orthodontic correction, crowded teeth will likely to suffer from tooth decay. This often results in inner tooth pain that may require the help of the best endodontist Irvine has. Additionally, the lack of flossing makes patients more susceptible to gingivitis.
- Excessive Spacing: Although excessive spacing doesn’t necessarily prevent you from having a thorough oral hygiene routine, it can still make patients more susceptible to gingivitis and tooth loss. If your teeth are too small or your jaw is too large for your teeth, then you may have areas of gum that are completely exposed while you’re chewing. Food and bacteria can easily get lodged this way, infecting the gum despite your best efforts.
When to Get Started: What is the Best Age for Braces?
Unless you’re a dentist, it isn’t always easy to tell if your child needs braces. You may have some idea based on genetic tendencies, but you won’t really know until their adult teeth begin to come in. Generally speaking, your dentist can usually tell if your child will need braces around the age of 7 or 8. Some orthodontists even prefer to use a two-step program, treating sections of teeth that have grown in during these early stages before moving towards a more traditional set of complete braces. However, many orthodontists continue to prefer the traditional method and will want to start your child’s treatment between the ages of 10 and 14.
That being said, there isn’t an actual cut-off for orthodontic treatment, and you can always talk to your dentist at OC Dental Specialists if you’re considering having braces as an adult. The process may take a little longer, but you also have more options. Do you have concern about the cosmetic appearance of traditional braces? Then Invisalign may prove a preferable option if you can commit to wearing the custom-fitted trays for at least 22 hours per day. Obviously, this isn’t always an option for younger children. But it can be a life-saver for an adult that wants to improve their smile.
Understanding the Importance of Orthodontics
If your teeth are only moderately spaced or crowded, it can be a bit harder to understand the medical purpose behind braces. To get a better understanding of your oral health and the role that braces play, make an appointment with your dentist to discuss any current oral health concerns. If there is evidence of tooth decay or gum disease, then it is in your best interest to determine the cause before they become serious. Ask your dentist to be frank. If there’s a problem in your oral hygiene routine, then you can take charge. However, the arrangement of your teeth could make it physically impossible to take care of your health. In these cases, you need to take the next step.