Frequently Asked Questions: Orthodontic Treatment for Adolescents

Frequently Asked Questions: Orthodontic Treatment for Adolescents

As orthodontists Rancho Mission Viejo, CA patients recommend will share that the best way to ensure that your child has received proper oral care is by taking them to the dentist regularly. However, when a dentist refers their patient to an orthodontist for a consultation, or parents suspect their child may need to see an orthodontist, it’s essential not to delay. Most children are recommended to have a talk with an orthodontist at the age of 7. However, this may not be necessary in some cases until later. Seeking dental care ensures that any issues are identified, and a proper course of treatment is developed.

Additionally, the sooner individuals meet with John Redmond Orthodontics, the sooner they can begin planning for treatment. It’s not uncommon for adolescents to wear braces. Many children and teens wear braces today to correct bite and misalignment problems. The following are commonly asked questions parents may have about orthodontics:

When should a child receive their first orthodontic consultation?

According to the American Association of Orthodontics, children should be seen by an orthodontist by age 7. At this age, an orthodontist will assess how a child’s baby teeth are coming in and examine the positioning of their jaw. During this meeting, parents can ask questions, and an orthodontist can determine whether treatment may be necessary for the future. Depending upon your child’s specifics, an orthodontist may request you come back for future visits so they can continue monitoring permanent teeth as they grow in. 

When should an adolescent begin orthodontic treatments?

Orthodontists in Rancho Mission Viejo, CA, share that, despite the recommendation to see an orthodontist at the age of 7, most orthodontic treatments don’t start until later. Typically, children don’t wear braces until they are between the ages of 9-14; however, it’s important to note that most children don’t require braces until they have all their adult teeth. Additionally, know that braces may be appropriate for people of all ages, even adults! 

Are teenagers candidates for Invisalign?

Yes- some teens may be candidates for Invisalign. It’s essential to always speak with your orthodontist when determining candidacy, be aware that Invisalign is often more appropriate for those who have more mild to moderate issues. Invisalign or aligners is a desirable option for those who want an option that is less visible than traditional braces. 

Are braces painful? 

Yes- braces and aligners can cause minor discomfort. Typically the discomfort comes after recent appointments where your orthodontist first fits a patient for braces or has recently tightened them. The pain is usually manageable with over-the-counter pain medication, eating soft foods, and applying oral anesthetic to teeth and gums. 

What is the length of treatment time for braces?

One of the first questions parents and teens have is how long they will have to wear braces. Keep in mind that everyone is different; each patient will have their own set of unique needs. The length of time will depend upon several factors, including the severity of their alignment or bite, their age, the patient’s ability to follow treatment recommendations, and how they respond to treatments. On average, most patients wear braces for up to 2 years, but this can be longer or shorter depending upon the case.

When determining whether your child needs braces, preparing as early as possible is helpful. While there are many options to choose from, working with John Redmond Orthodontics provides patients with comprehensive orthodontic care that patients can rely on.