What’s the best age for braces? Do you judge by the teeth, the responsibility level or when the ortho tells you? You might be surprised.
Thanks to the Texas Association of Orthodontists for helping me figure out one more #mamachallenge. Affiliate links may also be included.
There are many things my hubs is good at…however, noticing when I get a haircut (or anything above my neck prettified), is not his strong suit. (Sigh.)
However, a few weeks ago, he came home and we began talking about our days. We exchanges woes and wees of the day as we made dinner and caught up (as we normally do.) Around an hour had passed by when I looked up and noticed, he had braces!
Yep, the tables has turned. He had been less than two feet from me for an hour and I never even noticed…
At the ripe old age of more than 30 and less than 40, he was sporting braces.
Now understand, we had discussed it, but I didn’t know if he would go through with it. But after an appointment with his orthodontist, Dr. Kapadia, they determined he needed braces.
While he hasn’t loved every minute of it (let’s face it, braces are moving your teeth and anyone who has ever had braces will tell you there are uncomfortable moments), he looked great and his braces are almost invisible.
The only real difference is that he never leaves home without his toothbrush and he’s made good friends with the waterpik.
On the flipside, around the same time that week, my my 8-year-old son shot me his beautiful smile. He’s pretty good at knowing just how and when to smile at his mama. (Boys just know how to melt their mama’s hearts, huh?) However, I couldn’t help but giggle to myself with his cute dimples and several missing teeth. I love his smile, but all the crazy holes from his newly missing baby teeth and his now grown in crooked adult teeth are hard not to stare at.
It seemed like the time had come to head to get braces.
But after a visit to our dentist and the orthodontist, I found out, not so fast.
I was right that he needed to see the orthodontist – but I wasn’t right on when he needed the orthodontic treatment.
The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) actually recommends that all children have a check-up with an orthodontic specialist no later than age 7.
A check-up may reveal that your child’s bite is fine but it might also reveal that there are kinds of things that need to be addressed before braces should even be put on. There could be underlying problems with the way adult teeth are coming in—with the relationship of the upper and lower jaw, with tooth crowding, or problems that may be occurring due to thumb sucking or other habits.
Signs by your child that show you may need to look into scheduling an orthodontic exam:
- Early or late loss of baby teeth
- Difficulty in chewing or biting
- Mouth breathing
- Thumb sucking
- Crowding, misplaced or blocked-out teeth
- Jaws that shift or make sounds
- Speech difficulties
- Biting the cheek or the roof of the mouth
- Teeth that meet abnormally, or don’t meet at all
- Facial imbalance
- Jaws that are too far forward or back
- Grinding or clenching of the teeth
Orthodontists can spot subtle problems with jaw growth or teeth ruption by age 7 – even though baby teeth may still be present.
In our case, thankfully, there wasn’t any issues, but a few more baby teeth needed to come in before the braces could be put on his teeth.
However, do you want to know the moral of this story?
There isn’t a right age for braces.
Heck, I got mine in high school. (Ugh.)
But in reality, you just need to make sure you are seen by your dentist and if you have a kiddo, they should see the ortho around 7 years old, but it’s never too late if you haven’t made it yet!