It’s estimated that 9 million Americans get orthodontic work done yearly. Even though many people begin their orthodontic work in their teenage years, and some are even younger. In fact, many older adults are curious about getting orthodontic work.
Which raises the question: is there a best age to get orthodontic treatment? Does it matter which age you choose to get orthodontic work done?
In this article, you’ll learn more about the best age to get orthodontic treatment and what that requires. Keep reading to learn more about orthodontic treatment.
The Best Age for Orthodontic Work
Most orthodontists agree that the best time to get orthodontics is when you’re a child, starting around the age of 10 or older. This is because the jaw of children is still malleable, and any misalignment can be manipulated. Some children still have teeth to come in, and the orthodontist guides them to come in straight.
Most children visit an orthodontist at the age of 7 to see if it’s a prime time to begin orthodontic work. Some children are ready, while others benefit from waiting a few more years.
Another reason why preteens are a great candidate for orthodontic work is that dentists can foresee certain dental problems and use orthodontics to fix them. This avoids future dental issues and expensive bills.
When you’re an adult, you have all of your teeth and your jaw is fully grown. Adults are also great candidates for orthodontic work, however, it might be more intense because your jaw is not as malleable. The treatment depends on the case and what’s the best option for the patient.
If you’re an adult and you’re thinking about getting braces, it’s still possible! Many adults get braces in their later years and do well.
Types of Orthodontic Treatments
There are different types of orthodontic treatments dentists use to correct a variety of problems. Some common dental problems are:
- Crowded teeth
- Jaw misalignment
- Protruding teeth
- Jaw grinding
The most common type of orthodontic treatment to fix these problems is braces. There are two types of braces available today.
The first is traditional braces composed of metal brackets that are bonded to the teeth and held in place with a metal wire. At your dental appointments, your orthodontist adjusts the wire that moves your teeth into a straighter position. Traditional braces have a long-standing history of working well for nearly every type of orthodontic problem, including more complex ones.
Traditional braces also come in other types of materials such as ceramic and lingual, which are bonded to the inside of your teeth. Lingual braces cannot be seen, but work the same way.
Invisalign braces are not really braces, but consist of clear plastic aligners that you wear over your teeth. These aligners put gentle pressure on the teeth to move them, similar to metal braces. However, you can remove the aligners for eating and drinking and they’re more comfortable than metal braces.
Similar to adjusting metal braces, if you opt for Invisalign you receive a new set of aligners every 4-6 weeks. The new aligners work for the next phase of your treatment. You may feel some discomfort with the newer aligners, but it should subside after a few weeks.
Both metal braces and Invisalign work well for children, teenagers, and adults. For teenagers and adults that are more responsible, Invisalign might be a better choice because of its transparency. Children who’ve not yet mastered discipline in brushing and caring for their teeth may have difficulty remembering to clean and replace their aligners after eating.
The timeframe for orthodontic work really depends on the patient and the type of braces that work best for them. Invisalign may take less time, but if the patient has a more complicated case, it could take longer. Generally speaking, you can expect orthodontic treatment to last anywhere from 6 months to 24 months.
The Cost of Orthodontic Work
The cost of orthodontic work may seem expensive at first, but it’s important to remember that it’s an investment in your smile. When you have straighter teeth, they’re often healthier and they improve your confidence.
Metal braces may cost anywhere from 2,000-to 3,000 dollars depending on location and the patient’s case. The cost of Invisalign is similar but slightly more expensive.
Many dental offices understand the financial pressure to pay for braces and some offer payment plans with no interest to help patients pay for their treatment. Talk to your dental office today about what financial services they offer.
Some insurance companies do pay a portion of orthodontic work, but not all of them. Reach out to your insurance company to see if they cover any orthodontic work.
Finding the Best Orthodontist
When you’re looking for an orthodontist, it’s important to keep a few things in mind.
Ask your dentist for a referral. Many dentists network with each other, and if your dentist doesn’t offer orthodontics, they can likely recommend an orthodontist.
Research the orthodontist you’re looking for. Find out where they went to school, how long they’ve practiced, and why they’re the best. Reading reviews of other patients’ experiences helps you get a feel for the orthodontist and their demeanor.
Set up a consultation with an orthodontist in your area. Look at pictures online of the orthodontist’s work to see before and after photos of patients.
Orthodontic Work For You
When you’re thinking about getting orthodontic work done, rest assured that braces from the best orthodontist will help you achieve your goal. Braces at any age can help your smile become more brilliant and beautiful.
Are you thinking about getting braces for yourself or your family? Schedule a consultation with our orthodontist today and get started on your new smile.