Orthodontic braces are associated with youth and childishness, and this is because in the past, most patients who got them were people in their early teens. This is the perfect time, biologically speaking, to get orthodontic reasons, for reasons that we will dive into below. But there is a catch: people in their early teens may not be willing to get orthodontic treatment. This is because there are negative associations with wearing braces, albeit much less than there used to be. Here is all the information you may need for getting braces for teenagers.
Biologically perfect timing
In the early teens, after the all of the molars have erupted (except for the wisdom teeth, of course) is the time when orthodontic treatment is by far the most effective. In certain cases orthodontic treatment can be started earlier, although it is customary for a number of reasons to wait for all of the teeth to erupt into the oral cavity before trying to regulate how they should grow. The reason that this time is perfect is because all of the teeth are in the mouth, but the jaws are still relatively supple. As you age, your bones grow harder and more brittle each year, but the bones of a pre-teen or someone in their early teens are still supple like the bones of children. So once we can see how all of the teeth erupt, and how they will grow, but the jaws are as supple as possible is the perfect time for orthodontics. This is around 12-13 years of age for most people, but for some, it can be as early as 10, and as late as 15 even.
The problem is that at this particular stage in life, children are just beginning to understand their role in society, and how society actually works, and as such, are very sensitive. This is a time when people bully each other because of their own insecurities, and when fierce social orders with absolute laws are formed. This is when we, as a species, are still learning how to interact with each other and be social. At this stage, appearances are very important, and asserting control of your own body (because you start to realise how little control you have over other things) may be an extremely important thing for you.
Because braces are considered ugly, clunky and are portrayed in movies on nerds and socially inept individuals, many youngsters do not want to get them. But this association with childishness is changing as oral health is becoming more and more important for the general population, and as more and more people get braces in their early teens. There are nearly invisible braces and aesthetic ones, you can get colourful ones or disguised ones as well, so there are much more options. Maybe one of them is one that the child likes or is less opposed to.
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