Parents are rightly concerned about protecting their children’s teeth. They realize that in addition to affecting a child’s self-esteem, having strong, straight teeth will improve the child’s ability to eat and speak and will improve their appearance. When determining when to get braces for teens, many parents get multiple opinions from orthodontic professionals. Parents are often surprised that two well-respected orthodontists might have drastically different opinions about when a teenager should start to wear braces.
When faced with this dilemma, how can parents decide when the best time is to put braces on their teenager’s teeth? Many parents have found it best to look at the situation from a different standpoint. When teenagers get braces, their primary concern is when they can get those braces off. Interestingly, the answer to that question is directly linked to when they get braces. Most patients will need to have braces for one year to 30 months. It is usually only necessary to have braces on for an extended period of time if the teenager has some serious dental issues that need to be addressed.
In most cases, teenagers will need to have braces on for longer than 30 months if their braces were applied before their final baby teeth fell out and their permanent molars have erupted. Or they may need to have braces on for an extended period of time if tooth extractions connected to straightening their teeth were not performed in a timely way. The final reason for having braces on for more than 30 months is if mid-course something happens where the original treatment plan needs to be changed.
Most parents will work with the orthodontic specialists to determine when their teenagers should get braces. Most parents and orthodontic specialists agree that teenagers should not get braces until all of their baby teeth have fallen out and their 12 year molars have erupted. If patients do not wait for the aforementioned events to take place, the treatment could easily drag on for two years or more. This is because teeth cannot be bracketed, moved or corrected if they have not yet erupted in the mouth.
One thing that Dr. Ragan knows for sure is that every single teenager he treats is different. Their experience is unique, as are their treatment goals. Dr. Ragan wants what is best for his patients. As such, he will first take the time to thoroughly examine the teen’s dental issues and then based on that information, make a decision that is in the best interest of the teen. So when is the best time for teenagers to get braces? It depends on the person. Good treatment is treatment that is applied at the appropriate time, has the best results and leaves the patient feeling happy. With three locations in the Dallas area, Ragan Orthodontics is committed to providing the best treatment available. Contact our office today to schedule an appointment for your teen.