What Age Should My Kid Get Braces?

what age can kids get braces

As a parent, you want the best for your child, including a healthy and beautiful smile. But when it comes to braces, you may be wondering when is the right time to start the process.

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children have their first orthodontic evaluation by the age of 7. This may seem early, but there are several reasons why early intervention can be beneficial. In this article, we’ll explore the ideal age for kids to get braces and why it’s important to start early.

Why Is Early Intervention Important?

Early intervention can help identify and address potential orthodontic issues before they become more severe. By evaluating your child’s teeth and jaw at an early age, an orthodontist can determine if there are any problems that may require treatment.

Identifying Potential Issues

During the initial evaluation, an orthodontist will look for any signs of misalignment, crowding, or bite issues. These issues can be caused by a variety of factors, such as genetics, thumb sucking, or early loss of baby teeth.

By identifying these issues early on, an orthodontist can create a treatment plan to address them before they become more severe. This can save your child from potential discomfort and more extensive treatment in the future.

Taking Advantage of Growth and Development

Another benefit of early intervention is taking advantage of your child’s growth and development. As children grow, their bones and teeth are still developing, making it easier to correct any issues.

For example, if a child has a narrow palate, an orthodontist can use a palatal expander to widen the upper jaw while the bones are still growing. This can prevent the need for more invasive procedures, such as jaw surgery, in the future.

What Age Is Best for Braces?

The ideal age for braces varies for each child, as it depends on their individual needs. However, most children will start orthodontic treatment between the ages of 9 and 14.

Permanent Teeth Have Erupted

By the age of 9, most children will have all of their permanent teeth, making it easier for an orthodontist to evaluate their teeth and jaw. This also allows for a more accurate treatment plan, as all of the teeth are present.

Jaw Growth Is Complete

By the age of 14, most children have completed their jaw growth. This means that any issues with the jaw can be addressed before it stops growing, making it easier to correct.

Easier to Follow Instructions

At this age, children are typically more responsible and can follow instructions better. This is important as braces require proper care and maintenance, such as brushing and flossing regularly and avoiding certain foods.

Signs Your Child May Need Braces

While an orthodontist will be able to determine if your child needs braces, there are some signs you can look out for as a parent.

Crowded or Crooked Teeth

If your child’s teeth are crowded or crooked, it may be a sign that they need braces. This can cause issues with proper cleaning and can lead to tooth decay and gum disease.

Difficulty Chewing or Biting

If your child has difficulty chewing or biting, it may be a sign of a misaligned bite. This can cause discomfort and difficulty eating, and may require orthodontic treatment.

Early or Late Loss of Baby Teeth

If your child loses their baby teeth earlier or later than usual, it may be a sign of an underlying issue. This can affect the development of permanent teeth and may require orthodontic treatment.

Types of Braces for Kids

There are several types of braces available for kids, each with its own benefits and considerations.

Traditional Metal Braces

Traditional metal braces are the most common type of braces for kids. They consist of metal brackets and wires that are attached to the teeth and adjusted over time to straighten them.

While they may not be the most aesthetically pleasing option, they are the most effective and can correct a wide range of orthodontic issues.

Ceramic Braces

Ceramic braces are similar to traditional metal braces, but the brackets are made of clear or tooth-colored material, making them less noticeable. They are a popular option for older kids and teens who may be self-conscious about wearing braces.


Invisalign is a popular alternative to traditional braces, especially for older kids and teens. It consists of a series of clear aligners that are custom-made for each patient and are virtually invisible when worn.

Invisalign is a great option for kids who may be self-conscious about wearing braces, but it may not be suitable for more severe orthodontic issues.

Get an Early Evaluation

Braces can help your child achieve a healthy and beautiful smile, but it’s important to start the process at the right age. By getting an early evaluation and following the recommendations of an orthodontist, you can ensure your child receives the best possible treatment.

If you have any concerns about your child’s teeth or jaw, don’t hesitate to schedule an orthodontic evaluation. With early intervention, you can help your child avoid potential issues and achieve a confident and healthy smile.