A lot of people only picture teenagers when they think about braces. But the truth is that the right age to start braces might be earlier than you think. And, you may not know that a person is never too old for treatment!
Starting at Age 7
Did you know that the American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children see an orthodontist by age 7? It may seem early, especially because most seven-year-olds don’t even have many of their permanent teeth yet. But guess what – that’s what makes it the best time for them to see an orthodontist for the first time. By scheduling a child’s first consult before the permanent teeth erupt, Dr. Lauren can see potential problems before they occur. Problems with bite or overcrowding are common concerns that can be helped by early appointments.
The perfect time for a patient to start treatment is determined by their individual diagnosis, rather than their age. Some patients will need to begin treatment at a younger age and some may be able to wait until they’re a little older. Phased treatment is a common plan for kids, preteens and teens. The exact schedule will vary from patient to patient, but generally looks like this:
- Phase 1 treatment is usually for younger children who need to be fitted with partial braces, an orthodontic appliance, or a retainer.
- The resting period takes place after Phase 1 and is the period where no orthodontic treatment is needed until the patient is ready for the next phase. Patients who don’t need Phase 1 will automatically skip to the resting period.
- Phase 2 is the final stage of treatment and is most often when a patient will be fitted for traditional braces or clear aligners.
Adult patients often come to our office to get the perfect smile that they’ve always wanted. Common adult concerns are very similar to those that teens experience – overcrowding, underbite, overbite and the appearance of crooked teeth. There’s no such thing as being too old for orthodontic treatment when it gives you healthier, more beautiful smile.
Subtle Treatment Options
The way that braces look is a major reason many adults may be scared of adult orthodontic treatment. But good news! Technology has given us several options that can help you achieve a look that you are comfortable with during treatment. Some services we offer are virtually invisible!