When to start orthodontics: Is summer really the best time?

August 14, 2023

Think back to your days as a young student and what it was like seeing everyone again after summer vacation.

New outfits, hairstyles, tans — and for some people, new braces.

Those kids had smart parents. For growing smiles, especially, summer vacation is arguably the absolute best time to start orthodontic treatment, for convenience, health, and better treatment results.

But what’s the difference between summer vacation and the rest of the year? Why is it actually better? Let us explain.

Why you can trust us

Guided by a group of 5 experienced dentists, Poco Comfort Dentistry features nearly 100 years of combined dental experience. We’ve successfully advised and treated hundreds of patients using braces and clear aligners, including popular options like Invisalign and ClearCorrect.

#1: There’s more time to explore every option

When you’re considering orthodontic treatment, it only makes sense to understand what all of your options are first. After all — whichever option you choose, you’re most likely going to be wearing it for 1 to 2 years, so it’s worth taking some time to consider each choice.

If your first thought is, “it’s braces or clear aligners, what else is there to consider?”, that’s *exactly* why you’ll want to use that extra summer downtime to do more research and sit down with a dentist for a consultation. 

Braces and clear aligners are the two most common ways to correct teeth alignment, but a lot of people don’t realize that there are actually different kinds of each one.

Sometimes your options will be limited by the kinds of orthodontic adjustments that your smile needs, it’s true. Still, being familiar with the different possibilities out there can help you to give your dentist clear and informed input on what you’re looking for.

Imagine asking your dentist about Invisalign and finding out that they strongly recommend braces for your case. That’d be disappointing if you were really hoping for something less visible, right?

But by knowing about less visible types of braces like lingual braces (which are placed behind your teeth), you can ask your dentist about them or look around for a dental office that provides what you’re looking for. 

#2: Schedules are more flexible

Between summer camps, day trips, and play dates, summer doesn’t necessarily mean that you or your kids are more free. You might actually find yourself out and about more often than during the school year!

Busy or not, though, the one thing that summer does provide is flexibility. There’s more room to move things around on your schedule, which makes it that much easier to fit orthodontic appointments into it, whether it’s for yourself or your kids.

Remember, it takes a few appointments to get braces or aligners. There’s an initial consultation, scans and exams, along with a third appointment to fit you with your orthodontic appliance.

Depending on when you start your treatment, you might even need to schedule a first orthodontic checkup during the summer as well, so being able to readily adjust your calendar can take a lot of stress and inconvenience out of the process.

#3: It’s easier to build the right habits

Orthodontic treatment works best when you *really* commit to it. 

For clear aligners, that means being really mindful about wearing your aligner trays almost all of the time. For braces, that means getting used to eating with and taking care of the new fixtures in your mouth.

Doing those things is possible at any time of the year, but summer’s more relaxed pace makes a world of difference, especially if you’re a parent. 

Without a hectic morning rush, your kids will be able to gradually build up the right orthodontic care habits so they feel routine by the time school starts. 

There’s even more wiggle room when it comes to details like meal planning. Some of your go-to school lunches might not be the best fit for braces or clear aligners; by experimenting during the summer, you’ll have a clearer idea of what’s packable, suitable for orthodontics, and - most importantly - kid-approved.

#4: Kids tend to have growth spurts in the summer

It’s not a sure thing, but the science says that, yes, kids do tend to go through growth spurts during the summer months.

Why does that matter for orthodontics? Simple. As a child grows, their smile grows too, and sometimes that means teeth move into places that aren’t the best for aesthetics, long-term oral health, or both.

By starting orthodontic treatment in the summer, though, you can nip those problems in the bud and prevent them from happening in the first place. Your child’s braces or clear aligners will guide the movement of teeth through the growth spurt, directing each tooth to the right place for a healthy, well-aligned smile. 

“Wait, if my kid completes their treatment as a pre-teen, won’t their smile continue to change as a teen and into adulthood?” Normally it would, but a retainer prevents that from happening, which is why it’s so important to continue wearing it after treatment.

All in all, your child might have to get used to changes in other areas of their body, but with orthodontics, their smile won’t be one of them.

#5: Budgets and available dental coverage are clearer

There’s no denying it — orthodontic treatment can be great for your smile, but - for a lot of people - it can also be a major investment.

As living costs rise, it’s understandable if you need to think twice about committing thousands of dollars to smile correction. Summer, being a sort of midway mark of the year, is a great time to sit down and see if orthodontic treatment makes sense for your budget.

Budgeting for orthodontics around July and August is ideal in a couple of ways: firstly, you’ll have a better idea of how much remaining dental coverage you have, including things like flex dollars, to spend on braces or clear aligners. 

For example, if you notice that you’ve been light on your benefits usage for the year and you can’t roll over the coverage to next year, it might be worth it to use what you can on orthodontic treatment instead of letting it go to waste.

Secondly, you’ll be able to look forward to common “big” expenses in the latter half of the year and plan around them. Maybe you can take a local winter holiday versus an overseas one, or save that big Christmas splurge for next year. Whatever you decide, you’ll be in a better position to plan for good dental *and* financial health.

What’s the minimum or maximum age to start?

For kids, the minimum age for orthodontic treatment is generally around 8 to 14 years old. It’s something to consider as soon as all of a child’s permanent teeth have come in.

Orthodontic treatment used to be best for pre-teens and teens because their smiles were in the final stages of development, but newer technology means that early orthodontic care can actually reduce the need for braces or aligners later on.

On the other side of the age spectrum, is there such a thing as “too old” for orthodontics?

Generally speaking, no — as long as your jaw bones, teeth, and gums are healthy, you can get all of the same benefits from orthodontic treatment as a child or teenager.

Looking for braces or clear aligners in Port Coquitlam?

If you’re reading this from the Tri-Cities, and you’re thinking about starting orthodontic treatment for yourself or your kids this summer, we’d be glad to help you take the first step.

You’ll find everything you’re looking for here: multiple types of braces and aligners, extended appointment hours for extra convenience, plus super simple direct billing to help you make the most of your dental coverage.

When you’re ready to get started, you can easily book a no-obligation consultation by calling our dental office at (604) 474-2510 or messaging us online.

Copyright © 2024 - All Rights Reserved - Poco Comfort Dentistry - Privacy Policy