If your child is showing signs of bite problems or crooked or crowded teeth, you may be wondering: What is the best age for braces? In previous posts, we’ve covered other common questions parents have, like “When do baby teeth start coming in?” and “How much do braces cost?” Here we’ve put together some information to help you watch for potential problems and figure out the best time to consult an orthodontist about braces.
The Best Age for Your Child’s First Orthodontic Check-Up
The American Association of Orthodontics (AAO) recommends taking your child for their first orthodontic check-up no later than age 7. This may seem a little young since most people associate braces with pre-teens and teenagers. Here’s why it’s important to schedule your child’s first visit to the orthodontist by age 7:
- An orthodontist can detect orthodontic problems that you can’t at a young age.
- Subtle problems may start to develop while some baby teeth are still present.
- By age 7, your child has enough permanent teeth for an orthodontist to determine whether a problem exists or is developing.
- Catching jaw growth abnormalities or other issues early will allow the orthodontist to monitor your child’s growth.
- Taking your kid to the orthodontist by age 7 will help the orthodontist determine the most appropriate treatment at the most appropriate time.
Please note that if your son or daughter is older than 7, it’s not too late for a check-up! Call our office at 636.825.1000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule an appointment with Dr. Dougherty.
The Best Age for Braces
Generally, the best age for braces is between 9 and 14. However, some kids may benefit from treatment at an earlier age. Your child’s orthodontist will advise you on the best course of treatment and the best time to begin braces. Two-phase treatment may be recommended in some cases. With two-phase treatment, the child will start with early braces and then move on to a second phase of braces once all permanent teeth are present. The orthodontist’s goal is to provide each patient with a healthy and beautiful smile according to his or her individual needs.
What about Adult Braces?
Although orthodontic problems are best treated during childhood, it’s never too late to get braces! Children and teenagers are not the only ones who can benefit from orthodontic treatment. Many adults are good candidates for braces as well. Orthodontic correction in adults can help improve periodontal problems, prevent bone loss around teeth, improve oral health and aesthetic appearance, and increase self-esteem. Check out our previous post for more information on clear braces for teens and adults.