Best Ages For Braces Santa Barbara CA

What Is the Best Age for Dental Braces?

Are you considering braces for yourself or your child? Braces are an excellent way to straighten crooked teeth and fix gaps between teeth. Braces are a tried and true way to correct orthodontic problems (called malocclusions). Modern braces are safe, reliable, and affordable.

If you are already an adult, then any age is the best age for braces - although, we might argue that the best age is "now." Why wait to get the beautiful, straight smile you've always dreamed of?

If you are considering braces for your child or teenager, you may be wondering: What is the best age for braces?

When Can You Start Your Child's Braces Treatment?

When it comes to correcting orthodontic issues in a child such as crooked teeth, earlier is not always better. For example, you do not want to put braces on a child who has not lost all of their baby teeth.

However, by the age of 7, your child is ready for an orthodontic evaluation and you can bring your child to our See Me Smile Dental & Orthodontics office in Santa Barbara, California. Our knowledgeable orthodontist specializes in straightening and aligning teeth. We will give your child a thorough oral exam and discuss and plan treatment options with you, if needed.

The exact right time for your child to get braces (if needed) depends on a variety of factors. These include:

The typical ages for child braces are between ages 8 and 14 years old. However, teenagers older than 14 can also be good candidates for braces, as well as adults.

For young children who do not have their permanent teeth in place yet, preventative or preparatory care may be instituted until the child is ready for braces. This "interceptive approach" may involve the use of dental appliances that can prepare the child for braces before their adult teeth grow in.

For some young children, wearing braces may be scary or otherwise be an issue due to the extra care that is required. In some of these cases, depending on the severity of the malocclusion, it may be fine to wait a little until a child is ready before installing braces. And, while braces are a lot "cooler" than they used to be due to modern fashion colors, some teens don't like the look of braces. In these cases, Invisalign clear aligners (which serve as "invisible braces") may be a good option.

We will work with you and your child or teen to determine the best course of treatment as well as type of braces. Invisalign clear aligners are generally better for older children and teens (and great for adults), so we will review all options with you.

Preparing for Your Child's Visit to the Orthodontist

At our See Me Smile Dental & Orthodontics office in Santa Barbara, California, we know how to help our child patients feel at ease. Our staff will do everything we can to help your child feel relaxed and safe. Age 7 is the perfect time for a child to see our orthodontist for an evaluation.

We will perform a thorough exam to see what, if anything, is going on that may need correction. X-rays of the mouth will be taken, as well as any other types of imagery or photos that can help with our evaluation. Once your child has been fitted with braces, they will need to return to our office to get regular adjustments. These adjustments will help guide the teeth to their ideal position.

Different Types of Braces for Children of All Ages

It used to be that braces were poorly looked upon by teenagers, as they were considered to be "nerdy." Nowadays, with so many stylish colors available for traditional metal braces, kids don't mind having braces. In fact, they can be desired or even trendy.

We also offer Invisalign clear aligners, which can be a great alternative to braces, depending on the malocclusion. Invisalign clear aligners are generally a better option for older or more mature kids. This alternative to traditional metal braces involves the use of clear plastic "trays" that sit over the teeth. They are worn most of the time but can be removed for eating. The Invisalign trays need to be changed every few weeks, and because they may require more responsibility and more frequent trips to the dentist, they may not be the best option for younger children.

Invisalign clear aligners now have an option to monitor "compliance" - that is, how often they are being worn - with an area that can signify how much use they have gotten. This feature has been specifically developed to monitor teenagers who may be taking out their Invisalign clear aligners too frequently.

Why Are Braces Important for Dental Health?

Orthodontics is the dental specialty that focuses on what are formally called "malocclusions." These are malformations with the teeth and jaw, and can include crooked teeth, crowded teeth, spacing issues, missing teeth, and jaw placement variations such as underbites or overbites.

If these issues are not treated, a number of problems can occur either currently or down the line, including problems with speaking, chewing, or biting down on food. Teeth that aren't properly spaced can be harder to clean, resulting in more gum issues or cavities. Incorrect jaw positioning can cause tension and other problems such as TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint Syndrome).

How Long Do Braces Need to Be Worn?

How long braces need to be worn depends on the age of the patient and the severity of the malocclusion. Younger children who are growing will not need braces as long as adults, generally speaking. Typically, braces may need to be worn for 1.5 to 3 years.

We offer the highest quality braces at See Me Smile Dental & Orthodontics in Santa Barbara, California. Contact us today for more information on braces for you or your child.


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