When is the right time to see an orthodontist? The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children see an orthodontic specialist at age seven. However, there is no set age for braces! You can seek orthodontic treatment at any time of your life once the majority of your adult teeth have erupted.
Age for Braces: Why Age 7?
Traditionally braces are associated with preteens or teenagers, so why age seven? First of all, at age seven most kids have started losing their baby teeth and have started getting their adult teeth. At this age an orthodontic specialist, like Dr. Britton or Dr. Farnsworth, can evaluate the jaws and see how they are developing. Our doctors are experienced in finding the potential for a more severe case and creating a unique treatment plan that will help avoid more serious problems later on.
In addition, if there are concerns, the child may need early treatment. You do not need to have all of your adult teeth to have braces! If the patient has a severe case, our doctors can suggest phased treatment plan where the patient gets braces in two stages. Phased treatment begins at a younger age to prepare the mouth for adult teeth to come in. Some cases are much quicker to treat the earlier they are caught.
Last, if the patient does not need early treatment, it is great for them to be in our observation program. These patients come in every 6-12 months for a check up which allows us to monitor their dental development and optimal time. Our goal is to create a treatment plan that is in each patient’s best interest for their health and oral development. Having patients in observation helps us catch any changes or needs as time passes. We want every child to have the opportunity for a healthy, confident smile in their life and experience the power of smiles!
Other Reasons to See an Orthodontist
If you or your child are older than age seven, you can still benefit from orthodontic treatment. There is no age limit on braces or Invisalign® treatment. We see many adult patients in our office as well!
As you age, your teeth naturally want to shift because of many reasons. Like the rest of your body, your teeth and jaws change over time. Both your jaw and your teeth grow and shift. In addition, your teeth will change due to eating, grinding, and age. Issues due to shifted teeth are very common. Our team is experienced in treating patients who have had orthodontic treatment in the past and need it again due to shifted teeth.
Another reason to see an orthodontist after age seven is to replace a lost retainer. Retainers are the key for keeping your teeth in their new positions after orthodontic treatment and this retention period is very important. If you do not have a retainer that fits, your teeth will begin shifting again. As a result, you could potentially need orthodontic treatment again.
Looking for an Orthodontist in San Antonio?
We are excited to serve smiles in San Antonio at our two office locations in Alamo Heights and Stone Oak. If you have a child close to the age for braces or if you are looking for adult treatment, we can help! We offer complimentary consultations and are here to help with any questions you may have. You can request an appointment online or call the office closest to you. We look forward to seeing you smile!