How Many Adolescents Need Orthodontics? And 5 Other Braces FAQs

All about adolescent orthodontics

Do all adolescents need orthodontic work?

Orthodontists estimate that nearly half of children need braces to address functional problems like a misaligned bite. Up to three-fourths could benefit from braces to improve their teeth alignment and overall facial structure. Those are some significant statistics, which explain why your child has so many friends who have braces or will be getting them soon. After all, though the best age to get braces can range between 8 and 14, it really does vary. 

We know that your child probably has many questions about adolescent orthodontics, especially if they just found out that they will be getting braces soon. And the good news is, we’ve got the answers.

5 FAQs on Adolescent Orthodontics

While getting braces as a teenager may seem overwhelming for your adolescent, it’s a common experience for many young people. Regardless, they probably have questions. We’ve compiled our answers to the questions we tend to get asked the most about adolescent orthodontics. We encourage parents to share these five FAQs with their kids and talk to them about the history of braces. Sometimes being in the know makes all the difference. 

1. What are the main reasons that kids get braces?

Kids get braces to correct functional issues, such as an overbite, underbite, jaw misalignment, overcrowding, and spacing. The main reason is an overbite, where the upper front teeth extend over the lower teeth. Correcting these issues improves oral health and promotes proper chewing and speech.

2. How long is the average braces treatment?

The treatment time for braces can vary from person to person. But in most cases, you can expect your orthodontic treatment to take between one and three years. Here are some of the factors that can influence how long you will need to wear your braces:

  • How crooked your teeth are
  • The position of your bite
  • The type of braces for teens that you get (metal braces or clear aligners)

The good news is, you may be able to shave some time off your overall treatment time by diligently following any specific instructions your dentist or orthodontist gives you.

3. How old should kids be for their first orthodontic evaluation?

Most dentists recommend that kids have their first orthodontic evaluation around age 7. At this point, we’ll look for deep bites, underbites, overbites, crossbites, overcrowding, and extra teeth, to name a few. There are several benefits to checking on these dental conditions when kids are young:

  • It gives us time to address poor oral hygiene habits that can’t be corrected with brushing and flossing alone.
  • We can influence jaw growth to ensure proper alignment and prevent future problems.
  • Early intervention helps permanent teeth move into better positions, leading to a healthier smile.
  • It reduces the risk of injury related to protruding front teeth.
  • It can enhance the way the lips fit together for improved appearance and function.

As a result of this assessment, your dentist will make one of the following three determinations:

  • No treatment is necessary.
  • Treatment may be necessary later as your child continues to develop.
  • Early treatment may be warranted.

4. Why does age matter when it comes to getting braces?

Age matters when it comes to braces because certain stages of dental development make treatment easier. For instance, braces are typically most effective for children and teenagers because their teeth and jaws are still developing, making it easier to guide them into the desired positions. 

Overall, it’s best to consult with your pediatric dentist or orthodontist to determine the best time to start braces based on your child’s specific circumstances.

5. Does wearing braces hurt?

If your child or teen knows they need braces, it’s only natural for them to wonder if their braces treatment will hurt. While braces may take some getting used to at first, they are typically not painful. During the first few days after getting braces or after adjustments, there may be some soreness as the teeth and mouth adjust to the pressure and new positioning. Over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen can help alleviate any initial discomfort. Maintaining good oral hygiene and following the dentist’s or orthodontist’s instructions are essential to minimizing discomfort and ensuring the best possible outcome.

Schedule an evaluation for adolescent orthodontics in Vancouver, Washington, with Must Love Kids. 

If you are considering braces for your child, it’s important to understand the process and benefits of orthodontic treatment. While getting braces can seem intimidating, it is a common experience for many young people and adults alike. By addressing functional issues like an overbite, braces improve oral health and promote proper chewing and speech. 

If you have further questions or concerns, it’s always best to consult with Dr. Mo. And if your child is ready for their early orthodontic evaluation, request an appointment with Must Love Kids today. Our experienced team can help determine the best time to start braces based on individual needs and provide a personalized treatment plan for a straight, healthy smile.