The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that the right age for an orthodontic treatment should be no later than 7 years. By the age of 7, enough of the permanent teeth have erupted for your orthodontist to detect the potential problems.
Gone is the time when your dentist used to advise you to wait for all the permanent teeth to erupt before starting the orthodontic treatment. Today with the advent of orthodontic appliances, we can detect the problems early leading to less complicated treatment plan. Starting orthodontic treatment early in life may have many advantages. For example, while children are still growing, expansion devices can be used to widen the palate. This can help teeth come in straighter by providing more space. It also may help to correct the way the top teeth and bottom teeth meet or come together. Such treatment should be done at an early age for best results.
Today, many patients opt for orthodontic treatment at an early age. Thanks to the parents who are more than willing to give there kids a beautiful and perfect smile. I see more teenagers opting for orthodontic treatment, at this time, most of the permanent teeth have come in and treatment can be most effective. About 3 million teenagers in the United States and Canada wear braces. Millions more would benefit from treatment. But orthodontics is not limited only to the teenagers.
With the advent of new mechanics, an increasing number of adults now have orthodontic treatment done as well. Today, we have various bracket systems to choose as per demand of the patient. For example, we have transparent braces (Invisalign), lingual braces etc. for adults who wish there braces should not be visible to the world. We have self ligating braces systems for adults who wish to undergo orthodontic treatment without extracting their tooth. Of course, your orthodontist can suggest you the best braces that will suit your case.
Limitations to adult orthodontics is that their jaw growth is already complete so jaw growth can not be modulated.Hence, most of the adults are left with the options of dental camouflage or orthognathic surgeries. Mild to moderate jaw discrepancies can be treated by dental camouflage with the help of braces, however, severe jaw discrepancies can be corrected with the help of suitable orthognathic surgeries. Another limitation to adult orthodontics may be that adults are more susceptible to gum diseases. Hence, an extra periodontist visit may be required to take care of the gums before and during the orthodontic treatment.
I personally believe in the philosophy of “Prevention is better than cure” hence, would suggest all the parents to consider periodic orthodontic visit a must after the age of 7 yrs.