Braces What Age Is Best?

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When it comes to braces what age is best for getting them?

Every parent wants their child to have a great smile. After all, the condition of your teeth says a lot about your hygiene.

One of the most common orthodontic treatments to ensure that you have a great smile is getting braces. Braces can do a lot – especially to make sure that you do not end up with crooked teeth or tooth gaps.

Most parents assume that the best time to get braces is during early adolescence. But orthodontic care is a very flexible and responsive treatment that even young kids can have now. With today’s technology, nearly any age can get braces.

But like most things dental, everything is subjective – even braces. Some kids would need them earlier than others while some are lucky to not need them at all.

If you are thinking of getting braces for your kid, here is what you should know about the best and right age to get braces.

What is a good age to get braces?

Generally, once the baby teeth are all gone, that is the right time to get braces and orthodontic treatment. Children get braces between the ages of 9 and 14 years old. This is the best age range since all of the child’s teeth will be permanent ones by then.

At this young age, your child will also be able to understand the responsibilities involved with having braces. They should be disciplined enough to maintain a good oral health routine and understand what food they should avoid preventing damages on their braces.

But there are special cases wherein orthodontics are needed even when there are still primary teeth around. The best way to know for sure is to visit an orthodontist and get an assessment.

What is the best age for the first orthodontist visit?

The American Academy of Orthodontists (AAO) recommends that a child’s first visit to the orthodontist should be no later than 7 years old.

At 7 years old, an orthodontist can evaluate your child’s bite, oral habits, and airway. From this assessment, the orthodontist will be able to tell if braces are needed and when orthodontic treatment should start.

But if you notice severe issues of misalignment, an improper bite, speech difficulty, or abnormal sounds in the jaw, your child should see an orthodontist even if they are not yet 7 years old.

Is early orthodontic treatment necessary?

Braces will work best while the mouth and head are still growing. During this stage, teeth will be more responsive to any orthodontic changes being made. So basically, the older you are, the longer the treatment time will be if you get braces.

Early intervention helps prevent dental issues from becoming severe. It could be a minor airway, bite, or oral problem and with the help of early orthodontic intervention, these issues can be corrected easily since jaw growth is still taking place.

Early orthodontic treatment can help create more room in a child’s mouth to avoid crowded teeth, improve facial symmetry, limits the trauma as the teeth erupt, help reduce treatment time if braces are needed, reduce the need to remove teeth or undergo jaw surgery, and corrects a bad bite that may cause gum disease, accidental chipping, tooth decay, and speech problems.

As you can see, early orthodontic treatment is valuable. By dealing with dental issues at an early age, you get to save time and money in any future orthodontic treatment needs.

Signs that your child needs braces

Here are some signs that your child may need braces. If you notice the following in your child, it is best to make an orthodontic appointment as soon as possible.

  • Misplaced, crowded, or crooked teeth
  • Early or late loss of baby teeth
  • Difficulty biting and chewing
  • Underbite or overbite
  • Thumb sucking even after 5 years old
  • Mouth breathing
  • Jaw and teeth are not asymmetrical to the rest of the face


What are braces?

Braces are orthodontic brackets lodged on the teeth to guide them into the right position. Before traditional braces are just made from metal but now, braces can be made out of a wide variety of materials.

Metal braces are often used for kids since they are more affordable. The fact that metal braces are permanently lodged on the teeth also means less responsibilities for kids when it comes to their oral health care.

Does every kid need braces?

Not every kid needs braces or other orthodontic services right away. As the baby teeth fall out, mainly adult teeth will not grow straight right away. They come out at a certain angle and then they will straighten into a permanent position as your child’s mouth grows.

So, when you notice that their permanent teeth are erupting in a crooked position, do not panic right away. This does not necessarily mean that your kid will need braces. There is still a chance that they can have natural, straight teeth.

At what age do adult teeth start to grow?

Generally, the first adult teeth will start to grow out at around the age of 6. Then, it will take about 5 to 6 years more to have a full set of adult teeth. It is expected that all of your permanent teeth will be out by age 12 or 13.

Can adults still get braces?

Just because you are an adult does not mean it is too late to get the full benefits of having braces. There is no right or wrong age when it comes to getting adult braces.

But of course, the older you are, the longer the treatment time. So, for adults, the right age to begin treatment with braces is as soon as possible. You can benefit from getting an orthodontic evaluation even as an adult.

Plenty of adults has reaped rewards for fixing their dental issues and improving their smiles with the help of braces. Because of this, they have improved interactions with other people and more opportunities when it comes to their relationships and career.

How long do braces take?

The treatment time varies from one person to the next. The more severe the orthodontic issue, the longer you have to wear braces.

Generally, for kids, the average treatment time for braces is between 18 and 36 months. For adults, the average treatment time for braces is 2 to 3 years.

Can’t the family dentist do your braces?

Dentists and orthodontists offer different services. Braces are the specialty of orthodontists. Orthodontists actually have more knowledge and training compared to dentists. They go through 2 to 3 years more of specialized training focused on orthodontic problems compared to dentists.

So, when it comes to braces, an orthodontist is your best bet.


Orthodontic treatments like braces are a good thing no matter what age you are. Anyone of any age can still end up with a beautiful smile with orthodontic care.

For kids, early orthodontic care can make a huge difference to your dental and oral health as you grow older. Dealing with any oral issues or dental problems at an early age means they do not grow into something more serious later on.

As adults, the best age to get braces is as soon as possible! There is no right or wrong age to get braces so as soon as you feel that you can benefit from it, you should see an orthodontist. The sooner you start, the sooner your treatment will be over!

Getting braces is not just for vanity. It is actually an important orthodontic treatment for your dental hygiene and overall well-being.

Dr Febin Mary George - Editor

With more than 10 years as a dental surgeon, Dr Febin Mary George is passionate about educating consumers around the world to help look after their teeth.

She completed her Bachelor of Surgery at the Century Institute of Dental Science and Research Centre in 2010.

Alongside editing the International Journal of Dental Clinics she has also written for major publications including Thrive Global.