Braces.. Till what age ??

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A 42 year old mother of two teen kids asked me the other day, “one can wear braces till which age”? She wanted to improve her smile line and was exploring permanent yet less invasive options.

Wow! what a question. And that too, a very relevant in today’s time. So, let us first talk about

what are dental braces and why do we need them?

As everybody knows dental braces is the metal wiring in teeth to straighten them out. Yes, this can be accepted as a basic definition. But we would be able to define it more clearly once we know

why any individual would need braces?

So, we can say that due to heredity or local regions, anyone can have maligned or poorly aligned teeth. Like for example if the jaw size comes from one parent and tooth size comes from other parent than there can be a mismatch and it can result in unwanted spacing or crowding of teeth.

Second reason could be over retention or early extraction of milk teeth. This will also create space challenges for the permanent tooth while erupting in the oral cavity.

Now this improper alignment can result in trauma to tongue and other oral tissues, improper chewing of food, harmful and unbalanced forces to the jaw joints, improper cleaning between teeth resulting in gum problems and yes the main reason which people choose is esthetics. Teeth can definitely make or mar a beautiful smile, hence leading to confidence issues and social incompatibility.

These days parents are more conscious or we can say that it’s a small world and children are super informed and more conscious of their general presentation hence more children are reporting for the orthodontic treatment.

But another truth is that I have personally seen lots of TemporoMandibular Joint(TMJ) problems in young adults and more often than not it is because of the faulty teeth alignment in upper and lower jaws. So this TMJ problem is definitely going to worsen with age. To solve this permanently and to avoid any further damage to the oral tissues and joints is the proper alignment of teeth which can only be done by dental braces.

I want to mention once and for all that braces can be worn by any individual irrespective of the age and gender, if the bone support is good (which can be analysed by an x ray).

These days due to advancement in technology there are many kinds of options available apart from the classical metal ones. Now we have a range of white or ceramic braces, lingual i.e. on the inner side of teeth and invisible braces. These provide the flexibility to straighten your teeth without it being noticed and then after few months flaunting a beautiful smile and experiencing a better life.

So, braces can be worn at any age, even moms and dads can wear them and as far as the beginning age is concerned it should preferably be done after the age of 12 years as after that there is a minimal growth in jaws and most of the permanent teeth have erupted in jaws.

At any age braces can be the best investment for a healthy and confident future!!

feel free to post your questions!!!

Till next time

Dr V Thakran



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