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    When we think about braces, the image that usually springs to mind is the embarrassed teen with a face full of acne and a mouth full of metal, but this is not always the case. People from as young as seven to as old as 67 have been known to use braces to correct problems with their bite, so if you’re wondering what age is best to get braces, you can be confident that you’re never too old to benefit.

    Although there is no right or wrong age to get braces, it’s certainly more common in younger people. Let’s take a look at what you need to know about getting braces, and what age is ideal for you or your child.

     

    At what age can you tell if your child needs braces?

    If you’ve already had an inkling that your child may need braces, you’re probably wondering when the best time would be to visit the orthodontist. Your child’s mouth is constantly changing, with new teeth emerging and the shape of the jaw altering as they grow. Your dentist will usually refer you on to an orthodontist if they agree they could benefit from braces, but some of the most common signs of needing this treatment include:

    • Unusual loss of baby teeth; later or earlier than expected, or in a very irregular way
    • Problems eating caused by issues chewing or biting down
    • A long habit of sucking fingers or thumbs, or using a dummy for many years
    • Teeth that look crooked, overcrowded or misplaced
    • Frequent biting of the inside of the cheek, tongue or the roof of the mouth
    • Teeth that don’t meet properly or meet in an unusual way
    • Jaws that click while chewing or are particularly recessed or protruding

    Orthodontic treatment doesn’t often happen before the age of around nine, but if your child is experiencing any of these problems at a young age, you don’t have to wait to see an orthodontist. Even if they mostly have their baby teeth, there is still the potential for corrective treatment to benefit them when they are very young.

     

    The perfect age for braces?

    The ideal age to have braces fitted will depend greatly on the individual and the issues they are experiencing. As a general rule, orthodontists won’t look to fit braces until around the ages of nine to 14, when there are at least some permanent teeth in the jaw. Ideally, braces will not be fitted until the 12-year molars are through, also known as the second molars, which usually erupt around the ages of 11 to 13.

    If your child is experiencing severe problems but doesn’t yet have their 12-year molars, there are ways in which your orthodontist can start to correct teeth alignment without waiting for the baby teeth to fall out. This type of treatment is only for the most drastic of cases and can include the use of dental appliances and some braces to adjust adult teeth while waiting for the primary teeth to fall out.

    For teens and pre-teens getting braces, the thought of having a metal filled mouth can be very off-putting. However, there are ways to benefit from braces without any embarrassment too. These days you can choose from invisible braces, which really can hardly be seen at all, or rear mounted braces placed on the inside of your teeth. The Inman aligner offers a high-speed treatment process, so you won’t have to wear braces for months and months, or you can make a statement with customised braces in your favourite colours.

     

    Can adults get braces?

    If you’re wondering is there an age limit to getting braces, the simple answer is ‘no’. As with many things in life, the earlier you can start treatment, the more effective it’s likely to be, but there is no upper age limit for getting braces. Although we see most changes in the mouth during childhood, adults can experience changes that cause problems with their bite too, such as after losing a tooth or experiencing trauma to the face or mouth.

    Of course, it could just be that you weren’t offered braces at a young age, but now are concerned about your appearance or the health of your teeth and want to investigate your options. Take comfort from the fact that around one in five people who come to us for braces are over the age of 18, so they’re really not just for kids anymore!

    There are numerous benefits to having braces at any age, including:

    • Better speech
    • Healthy gums
    • Care for the jaw
    • Stop tooth grinding
    • Less chance of damage to teeth
    • Better physical appearance

    It can be hard admitting that you need braces at an older age, but modern treatment methods are highly effective and painless, and the benefits could change your life. If you’re concerned about the way braces look, talk to your orthodontist about options for invisible or concealed braces which will hardly be noticeable at all.

     

    Do braces cost more at different ages?

    The cost of braces will depend entirely on your personal situation. The cost of your braces is not so much related to your age, but to how much adjustment is required to your teeth position. The more adjustment required, the more consultations you’ll need with the orthodontist and the longer you’ll need to wear braces.

    However, adult braces can sometimes cost more due to the fact that their teeth move less easily than a child’s, so often treatment is longer. Adults may also have problems with weakened roots, gum disease and other factors, which may add to the cost of treatment.

    If you’re thinking about getting braces at any age and want to know what the cost would be, why not pop in and see our orthodontic specialists for more advice and a quote? We’ve worked with people from primary schoolers to pensioners to help correct issues with the positions of their teeth, so whatever your age, we can help find the right braces for you. Call today for more information or to book an appointment to come in.