What Is the Best Age for Your Child to Get Orthodontic Braces?

Braces seem to be rites of passage for kids and teenagers as they develop into young adults. As soon as the child begins dentist appointments after the age of one year, professionals will advise you if your child will require braces in the near future. Because every child develops at a different rate, there's no exact age that requires orthodontic treatment. The best age for your child to receive braces is based on several factors. Explore the world of orthodontia, and how braces can fit into your child's world. They'll have glorious smiles that shine through the years as a result.

Early Evaluations

Your child should see both dentist and orthodontist on the early stage of their life. Baby teeth can be evaluated as they grow in by both professionals. In most cases, your child will only receive dental cleanings on their baby teeth to keep it healthy as possible. Although they fall out in only a few years, maintaining these teeth will encourage healthy gums and provide spacing for adult teeth. The best age for your child to receive braces is normally after the baby teeth have fallen out. Adult teeth should be moving into place at that point, which is great timing for any orthodontic treatment.

Baby Teeth Considerations

Some children drop teeth with amazing speed, which leave spaces for the adult teeth. This scenario is ideal, but it doesn't always occur. Dentists often see children with baby teeth that are holding onto their last roots. The adult teeth are actually pushing up and around the baby teeth. If you visualize this tooth orientation, the child has a shark-like mouth until the baby teeth fall out. Braces will probably be necessary at this point because the adult teeth are now emerging at angles around the baby teeth. In most cases, professionals will pull out the baby teeth so that the adult teeth can have space. It's the orthodontist's responsibility to deal with the adult teeth alignment at this point.

Understanding Bites

Children get orthodontic braces around the age of seven when most of the baby teeth have fallen out. Orthodontists aren't just looking to straighten the teeth, they need to correct the bite. How a person bites down on their teeth can create dental issues in the future. These bites include:



• Crossbites

Orthodontists take the bite into consideration when they request braces for the patient. As the teeth are straightened, rubber bands can be strategically placed in the brackets so that the bite is simultaneously corrected. Children with obvious bite issues should start their braces several years before the age of 10 so that any problems are quickly solved before adolescence.

The Soft Jaw

Between the ages of seven and 14, the jaw is remarkably soft. It's a fact that the jaw is still skeletal bone, but it has some flexibility as children reach adulthood. Orthodontists want to take advantage of this "soft" jaw so that the treatment is quick and less painful. As the wires and rubber bands are adjusted at each appointment, the pressure is minimal within the mouth. Kids can continue with their everyday activities without too much discomfort. For this reason alone, the best age to get orthodontic braces is before age 15 or 16. The jaw begins to harden later after these ages, which makes the straightening process difficult for everyone involved.

What Your Child Should Expect Before and After Braces


Ideal Time Period

Every patient is unique, but the ideal time period to start orthodontic treatment is between the ages of 7 and 14. No baby teeth should remain at age seven when a professional installs the braces. By age 14, the jaw is reaching the time when it will be hardening into an adult form. Starting braces too early isn't possible on baby teeth, and too much discomfort accompanies late starters. Parents may be wary about starting any treatment that takes several months to a couple years, but it's crucial for your child's lifetime of dental health. Cleaning and maintaining crooked teeth will only result in cavities, root canals, and possible tooth loss into the golden years.

Average Time Frames

When your child is evaluated by a professional, you'll receive an estimate on the pricing and time commitment associated with the treatment. On average, wearing braces occurs across a two-year period. This time frame can be shorter or longer, depending on the child's situation. Some children have many crooked teeth and severe bites that take time to correct. Parents and patients must also commit to regular visits and care for the braces on their own time. By following the orthodontist's instructions, the treatment time can be shortened as much as possible.

Maintaining the Smile

After you commit to braces, there is a further care that involves using a retainer. Because the ideal time to get braces is during the soft-jaw years, the corrected teeth are subject to movement after the treatment. With the braces removed, the teeth will naturally try to move back into their original spaces. Retainers keep the teeth where they're supposed to be by applying minimal pressure against them. Immediately following braces removal, your orthodontist may suggest that the retainer should be worn 24 hours a day. Follow any instructions in order to maintain that perfect smile. Kids who grow into adulthood should continue to wear the retainer so that the treatment remains a permanent solution.

When Relapse Occurs

If you continue to wear your retainer into adulthood, relapse shouldn't be an issue. However, correcting your teeth at the ideal age means that there are many decades ahead that require retainer use during the night hours. Some people simply forgo the retainer as they enter their 20s. Remind your kids that the orthodontic process is a continual one. If the teeth shift after the braces, it may be necessary to put brackets back on the patient. This situation is called relapse, and it might take several months to move the teeth back into their proper positions.

Contact your dental professional and schedule an evaluation for your child’s smile today. When you get orthodontic braces, it's a commitment toward good hygiene and a self-confident smile. As your child grows into a successful adult, he or she will appreciate the choices you made regarding orthodontic practices. The best age to get orthodontic braces is a personal choice with the help of your caring orthodontist. 


11113 Leavells Rd. Fredericksburg, VA 22407

Phone: 540 898 2200

What Is the Best Age for Your Child to Get Orthodontic Braces?

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