What is the Best Age for Braces?
Patients commonly ask dentists and orthodontists about the best age for their child to get braces. There are so many factors that make it difficult to have one answer for everyone, but one thing is true: there is an orthodontic treatment for every age!
Early Intervention: Ages 7-9
At 7 years old, it is time to get a consultation. This does not mean braces are guaranteed at this age, but by this age, your orthodontist can assess the current state and discuss possible treatment options for the future. At this age, the majority of baby teeth have started to grow in, and any issues can be identified. Sometimes partial braces or aligners may be applied at this stage if a child is experiencing difficulties with eating or speaking because of improperly aligned teeth.
Early treatment is the best option. Be on the lookout for:
- Tooth Crowding
- Teeth that are protruding
Prime Treatment Time: Ages 10-14
Most baby teeth have fallen out by this age, and the jaw is stable enough for orthodontic treatment, making it the prime age to get braces. While there was previously an unfortunate stigma about the appearance of braces, there are now many options available as an alternative to traditional metal braces such as ceramic brackets and clear aligners.
With proper care, most teens can expect to wear braces for 1 ½ to 2 years and most will also continue to wear a retainer while sleeping to keep the teeth aligned.
Older Options: Ages 14+
Many people believe that as you get older, you can’t get braces, but this is not true at all. You can never be too old to get braces to straighten your teeth. A lot of people did not have access to orthodontic treatments at a younger age, but braces work the same for adults as they do for teens. For many adults, clear aligners are a popular choice since they allow for a more discreet way to straighten their teeth.