Orthodontic treatment for children typically begins between the ages of 9 and 14. At this age they have a mix of permanent front teeth and baby teeth. The benefit of placing braces at this stage is that the orthodontist can improve the alignment of permanent front teeth, guide the incoming new adult teeth into position, and utilize the child’s growth and development to best advantage.
More than half of all orthodontic patients are teenagers between the ages of 12 to 17 years. At this stage of development most of their permanent teeth, with the exception of the wisdom teeth have already erupted into place. Any problems with the alignment of the teeth or bite are readily detectable at this time, making your teen an excellent candidate for orthodontic care.
The teenage years are typically a time of significant physical and emotional development. In addition to acquiring a more adult appearance, teens are developing a heightened sense of self-awareness, building self-confidence, and investing more in peer relationships. Having teeth that are crooked, gapped, crowded, or protruding can have a negative impact on their self-image and self-esteem. In addition to that, a poor bite can predispose teens to TMJ issues, headaches, and dental disease.
Helping your child or teen to achieve a well aligned, more pleasing, and healthier smile means making a commitment to orthodontic care. Although orthodontic treatment involves wearing some type of appliances and takes time, the ultimate reward of a beautiful smile is well worth the effort.
The good news is that, thanks to advances in modern orthodontics today’s image conscious tweens and teens can choose from a wide selection of braces that are far less bulky, much less noticeable, and more comfortable than ever before.