A person typically inherits tooth spacing, malocclusion, crowding, misalignment or similar problems from their parents. However, these conditions also may be caused by habits such as thumb-sucking, tongue thrusting, lip wedging, mouth breathing due to allergies or large tonsils and adenoids, premature loss of teeth or trauma, and generally begin to appear between the ages of six and 12 years old — the time when the permanent teeth start to erupt.
Therefore, orthodontic treatment with dental braces should begin between the ages of eight and 14 in order to achieve optimal results. It is generally considered ideal to have an orthodontic evaluation no later than the age of seven, since this is when there is a good mix of primary (baby) and adult teeth in the mouth.
Also, dentists are better able to spot developing teeth and jaw growth at this time in a child’s life. This enables them to anticipate problems that may arise and plan braces treatment accordingly.
Adults and Dental Braces
Children are not the only ones who may benefit from dental braces. Adults also can undergo orthodontic treatment with dental braces to correct alignment, spacing, crowding and malocclusion problems. The process for moving teeth is basically the same at any age, but the treatment may take longer for adults. This is due to the fact that adult facial bones are no longer growing, and certain corrections may not be possible utilizing braces alone. Depending on the specific type and severity of your alignment or malocclusion problem, tooth extraction or maxillofacial surgery may be required.