The Right Age for Orthodontics
When asked about the impact of orthodontics on our teeth, many refer to the enhancement of beauty, harmony, and alignment of the teeth. We go along with this view, but we also aim to highlight that aesthetics and alignment are essential aspects of orthodontic results. Still, they are only part of the picture, not the entirety of orthodontics effects.
To represent the complete image, functional and therapeutic outcomes should also be added to this list, such as correcting biting issues, reducing the risk of problems like tooth decay and gum disease, improving speech difficulties, and enhancing chewing function.
Contrary to the belief that dental orthodontics is solely for teenagers, it benefits everyone who needs this treatment, regardless of age.
Still, have some questions?
So, let’s take a closer look to find out how orthodontics work for different ages.
The Biological Factors
Age-related Changes in Jaw Structure
Observing how our jaw structure changes over time is quite interesting. This factor plays a crucial role, especially with orthodontic treatment. The studies discovered that jaw length decreases as you move from young to middle age, and there’s a noticeable drop in jaw height from middle age to old age. The jaw and facial growth are typically completed around 16 in females and 18-21 in males.
Skeletal maturity means how much the bones have grown in an individual’s body. The level of skeletal maturity is usually determined by imaging tools like X-rays, providing a crucial guide for orthodontists to help them choose the right time and proper strategy for achieving the best possible outcomes for both aesthetics and oral health for each person.
Permanent Teeth Eruption
By the age of 7, the first permanent teeth start to appear in the mouth. This age is ideal for the early orthodontic assessment to check the condition of baby teeth, adult teeth, and jawbone and consider the need for orthodontics. However, usually, children do not get braces at that age. After the final set of baby teeth, which are the back molars, fall out; you can start the treatment with braces or any other orthodontic appliance your orthodontist deems necessary.
The Early Odyssey to Harmonious Smiles
According to dental experts’ recommendations, all children’s teeth must be examined by a specialist at an early age, almost 7. Orthodontic assessments for young children can benefit them because of the ongoing growth of their jawbone and teeth. It also helps proper jawbone growth and facial structures, reducing the risk of potential issues in the future and contributing to better oral hygiene and self-esteem enhancement. But there are still some noticeable points that must be considered.
Most kids have their permanent teeth entirely by the age of 12 or 13. However, it is not always an accurate rule because, by this age, some children experience complete tooth growth while others may not. Seeing a 9-year-old child with entire permanent teeth and a 15-year-old with some baby teeth is not very uncommon. Early orthodontic treatment at an inappropriate age often leads to negative outcomes, such as an extended treatment timeline. According to research, the right time for orthodontics in Oakville is typically around 12-14 years old, ideally before losing the last baby molars.
Has the Perfect Time Passed for Adults?
It’s a question that is commonly asked. According to the American Association of Orthodontists, 1 in 4 orthodontics patients are adults. They may visit an orthodontist for several reasons, including cosmetics, chewing and speech issues, or gum problems. Various options are available depending on their needs, such as traditional metal or ceramic braces, retainers, aligners, etc.
However, if you are an adult candidate for orthodontic treatment, you should gather information about probable issues to make a suitable decision.
1. Adult jaws are fully developed: Changing bone structure in adults is more complicated than in children or teenagers, and may need some surgery to prepare the jaw for the treatment.
2. Higher density of the teeth: Adult teeth are denser, affecting movement and alignment.
3. Having existing dental work: Many adults already have crowns, bridges, or dental implants.
4. Bone or gum issues: Many grapple with gum and bone problems, adding more complexity to orthodontics.
5. Difficulties with treatment guidelines: Adults may find it challenging to follow treatment plans like wearing braces or aligners with adherence.
6. Longer time: Due to the abovementioned factors, achieving results may take longer for adults.
Does Orthodontics Have Any Psychological Impact?
The answer to this question is yes. Orthodontics has many essential effects on increasing self-confidence, especially in teenagers. It improves social communication skills and reduces social anxiety.
The Facilitation through Technological Advancement
Nevertheless, amid all the specific considerations, advancements in the contemporary age have gradually introduced and simplified accessibility for all. This has led individuals facing challenging problems to embrace the treatment, which used to seem daunting.
Clear aligners: These are personalized clear trays that move teeth into the correct positions, providing a proper alternative to traditional braces. Clear aligners make cleaning and eating much easier due to their removable nature.
3D Printing: This modern technology facilitates the creation of orthodontic appliances such as braces, leading to more accuracy in planning and customization.
Digital imaging and impressions: Instead of using traditional molds, which were uncomfortable for some, the new digital scanners generate detailed pictures of your teeth while minimizing planning mistakes.
To Sum Up
Orthodontics is a meeting point for cosmetic and therapeutic approaches. It not only enhances the aesthetics of your smile but also offers therapeutic benefits, including improved chewing and speaking functions and reduced probability of tooth decay and gum disease. Orthodontics has no age limitations, but the outcome will be more effective if done at the right time. Their impact on self-confidence is also significant and has resulted in more practical social interactions. The jaw and skeletal structure conditions are essential factors for orthodontics treatment success. An orthodontist must examine them to reach a final decision. Technological advances also facilitate the entire process and bring more comfort during treatment procedures. Lastly, we should know that paying attention to dental health is a lifetime investment for our life and well-being in both physical and mental aspects.
Amirad Family Dentistry provides a wide range of dental cosmetics and treatment services, with a professional dentist in Oakville and the most affordable prices. You can call us for more information about the orthodontics treatment process and other services or to book your initial orthodontic assessment.
Count on us for a perfectly symmetrical and shining smile.