When to Get Braces: As a Child or Teenager

You have been dreaming of straighter teeth for a while now. You finally have the time and resources to get the braces you’ve been wanting so bad. But it dawns on you that maybe you are just too old to be wearing braces. After all most people who have braces seem to be teenagers and seldom do you run into a grown-up with braces on their teeth. Is it really better to have braces on earlier in life? Or could you still get receive them as a grown up without any problems?

Pros of Wearing Braces as a Child or Teenager

1. It is easier to move teeth in teenagers since the bones are softer. Children and teenagers have softer and more flexible bones since they are still growing and their skeletal growth palates haven’t fused yet. This means the teeth will move easier and quicker within the upper and lower jaws. Moving teeth is always easier on children and teenagers and gets more difficult on adults. Adults have stiffer bone and moving their teeth is more challenging which may limit your orthodontist treatment to an extent.

2. It is more socially acceptable to wear metal braces as a teenager. When you are in high-school or junior-high many of your classmates have braces on just like you do. Wearing braces is cool and easier to deal with at this age. As an adult you might not want to show the brackets and wires on your teeth.

  • As an adult you may be a candidate for clear-braces which disguises better and is also easier to wear. Many adults opt to go for the clear-braces over the traditional metal ones based on how discreet they look.
  • This is the other reason you don’t see as many adults with braces because many that have them are often wearing the clear-braces which are far less noticeable.

3. There are more existing dental work on adults which can complicate treatment. Children and teenagers may have a few fillings on their teeth or at most a crown or two here or there. Minor amount of existing dental work doesn’t really interfere with putting braces on. But as you age you may end up with more extensive dental work like crowns and implants on your broken and missing teeth. Some of these restorations will interfere with receiving braces.

  • If you have a crown on a tooth it can be difficult to move it or you may require a new crown once you are done with your braces.
  • A fixed dental restoration to replace a missing tooth, such as a bridge or a dental implant can be very challenging to deal with and having them may exclude you from being able to receive braces altogether.
  • If you have extensive dental treatment already but still insist on straightening your teeth you may have to look into cosmetic dentistry as an alternative. A cosmetic dentist may be able to place veneers to cover your teeth and correct the smaller gaps and discrepancies to help both straighten your teeth and make them white and beautiful at the same time. Not everyone qualifies for veneers and not every dentist can do them. So do some research to find a qualified cosmetic dentist or prosthodontist to see if you can place veneers to correct your bite and get a nicer and more beautiful smile all at once.

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When to Get Braces: How to Decide