Orthodontic treatments are used to improve the appearance of your teeth and restore functionality to your bite. When you have crooked teeth, an underbite, overbite, or your teeth are too crowded, it's time to see what orthodontic treatments can do for you. When you get your teeth corrected, this can reduce or eliminate jaw pain and help you have a healthy, great-looking smile. Your orthodontist may suggest treatment as early as 10 years old, as early treatment can make it easier for your teeth to be corrected. Children from 10 to 14 are at the perfect age to seek treatment from an orthodontist, as this is when teeth are the easiest to straighten.
Good Times to Get Started with Braces
If your dentist determines that your child is a good candidate for braces, you can start as early as 10. The teeth and jaw are still growing, and this makes the teeth easier to move into the correct position with orthodontics. Adults can benefit from braces too, but the time it takes to straighten the teeth will be longer. From teenagers to adults, teeth straightening can be accomplished when you work with an orthodontist for your specific needs.
How Long It Takes to Straighten Teeth
The length of time spent correcting a bite or straightening teeth varies widely among patients. In general, people can expect to wear a full set of braces anywhere from 18 months to 30 months. For complex situations, the time spent wearing braces will be on the longer end of the range. You may need to wear a retainer after you get your braces off, for either a few months or even a few years to keep your teeth properly aligned.
Aligners vs. Traditional Braces
If your dental problem isn't significant, your orthodontist may be able to use aligners instead of traditional braces to align your teeth. If traditional braces are necessary, your orthodontist can talk to you about using ones that go behind the teeth if you are self-conscious about wearing braces. If your orthodontist goes with aligners, you will need to have a set created specifically for your use and may need to have changes made to the set over time.
Braces can correct a wide range of dental problems. People as young as ten can start with corrective measures to help straighten teeth and improve bite mechanics. Talk to an orthodontist when you are told you need braces to find out more.