The Benefits of Wearing Braces as a Child Versus an Adult

The Benefits of Wearing Braces as a Child Versus an Adult

Posted by Full Smile Orthodontics on Jul 21 2020, 10:49 PM

Both children and adults can benefit from braces. However, the approach that is taken for each age group differs.


When most people hear the word “malocclusion,” they think of a crooked smile or teeth that don’t align as they should. However, having a “malocclusion” doesn’t necessarily mean that your teeth are misaligned at all. Instead, it refers to any situation in which some teeth are further back in the mouth than others, even if those minor differences are barely visible to the naked eye. This situation is called anterior crossbite or posterior crossbite and can be recognized quickly by a dental professional during an examination.

Because our orthodontists care about more than just your appearance, they may suggest that a child receive braces or another form of orthodontic treatment earlier in life in order to prevent malocclusion problems that can require even more extensive treatment in the future. By correcting your child’s bite early on, you may be able to avoid the need for more invasive treatments like jaw surgery later in life. Plus, it will be easier for your child to maintain better dental health throughout childhood when his or her mouth is fully functioning the way that it should be.

What Are The Benefits of Treating Malocclusion Early?

The most common reason why orthodontists treat children is to prevent misalignment issues from worsening as they grow. It can help guide the growth of the jaw so that it is properly aligned when the permanent teeth arrive. This can help minimize the need for additional treatment in the future.

Orthodontic treatment can also help improve your child’s appearance. It can improve self-confidence and boost self-esteem in children who feel insecure about their smiles. It can also make it easier for them to eat and speak correctly. Besides, adults may also need to wear their braces for longer periods of time compared to kids since their mouths are fully developed and will not continue to change as much when new teeth are added.

Children can also have shorter treatment times than adults since they are still growing. When adult patients undergo the same treatment plan as children, they can be in treatment for much longer. There is also the risk of them being referred for a surgical procedure to correct severe misalignment. This is generally only necessary for severe cases of crowding or spacing. Most treatment plans focus on guiding the alignment of the teeth and correcting any issues with bite position. In some cases, orthognathic surgery may be recommended if the patient has severely misaligned teeth with a skeletal problem that will not respond to traditional orthodontic treatment. These risks can be avoided by undergoing orthodontic treatment as a child. 

What Are The Drawbacks of Not Treating A Malocclusion Early?

Missing out on the chance to have your child’s smile corrected at an early age also means missing out on the benefits of orthodontic treatment as a child, including:

  • Easier treatment: When children are still growing, their teeth are much easier to correct. By waiting until they are older, they could be left with crooked teeth and require a more aggressive treatment plan.
  • Less expensive treatment: Since a child’s jaw is still developing, less orthodontic work is needed to correct their bite.
  • More efficient care: It’s far easier for orthodontists to monitor the growth of your child’s teeth. As an adult, it can be difficult to tell if your teeth are shifting over time without an X-ray or photo analysis.
  • Shorter time in braces: Most kids need braces for around two years or less. Adults who wait to have their teeth straightened may need treatment for an average of four years or more.
  • Better overall oral health: Straighter teeth help gums fit more securely around each tooth, allowing for healthier gums and a stronger jawbone. Malocclusion can cause problems with your bite, lead to gum disease, and cause the teeth to wear down faster on the edges due to the impact of repetitive chewing.
  • Improved self-confidence: Straighter teeth can have a big impact on your self-esteem. Having a smile, you are proud of can give you the confidence to pursue your career goals and passions, as well as improve your social interactions.
  • A lifetime of healthy smiles: Early orthodontic treatment can help pave the way for a lifetime of healthy, beautiful smiles. Orthodontic issues can continue into adulthood, meaning patients may need to wear retainers or undergo further orthodontic treatment later in life. Correcting your smile at a young age can reduce the risk of needing future treatment.

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