As your child grows up, you may be concerned by how their teeth are growing in. Whether they have crooked teeth, gaps, or an overbite, you may begin to consider whether your child will need braces. It is not uncommon to have many questions for your child’s orthodontist upon the first visit. Among those questions, you may want to know, “What is the best age for braces?”
Bailey Orthodontics wants to ensure that your child receives the best orthodontic care possible, and that includes ensuring they are at the best age for braces. While every child’s orthodontic journey is going to be different, there is some advice that every parent should follow when getting braces for their child.
When Should Your Child Visit An Orthodontist For The First Time?
The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) recommends children have their first appointment with an orthodontist at 7 or the first sign of any orthodontic problems. At this age, children often begin to lose their baby (primary) teeth and have a mix of primary and adult teeth. During this initial appointment, your child’s orthodontist will take photos and x-rays to determine how their teeth and jaw are growing.
At this point, they may notice problems with their growth and develop a treatment plan, including the kind of orthodontic care required and the length of treatment. While it is not common, your orthodontist may determine that your child needs early orthodontic intervention. They may even decide your child should get braces after this first appointment.
There are several signs that your child requires early orthodontic care and will require braces, which we have covered before. However, early orthodontic care does not mean your child will require braces. For some children, these early appointments and the recommended treatment plans are enough to correct potential problems.
What Is The Best Age For Braces?
The best age for braces is going to vary from child to child. Much of this variation depends on your child’s growth rates and the age at which they go through puberty. However, many orthodontists agree that the best age for braces is between 10 and 14. It is best that your child gets braces once they have lost their primary teeth but have not grown their second molars, which usually occurs between 11 and 13.
Another factor that could affect the timing of treatment is your child’s jawbone. Prior to puberty, the jawbone is not fully developed and is easier to manipulate. With the help of braces, an orthodontist can expand the jaw and adjust the teeth more easily, moving them into their proper position. Once this bone has fully developed, adjusting the jaw and teeth may be more challenging and lead to a longer orthodontic process.
Is It Too Late For Braces?
While the best age for braces is between 10 and 14, you are never too old for braces. In fact, many patients do not get braces until they are in their later teens, and 1 in 4 orthodontic patients are adults. Orthodontic care improves oral health, and adults should not put it off because of age.
In addition to the oral health benefits orthodontic care provides, adult orthodontic care may help patients feel better about the appearance of their teeth, improving their overall mental health. If you are an adult seeking orthodontic care but are worried about the appearance of metal braces, there are many other options your orthodontist may recommend. These modern orthodontic treatment options include clear aligners or ceramic braces.
Orthodontic Care For All Ages
While many orthodontists recommend getting braces as a preteen, many factors will impact the best age for braces for each person. Bailey Orthodontics proudly provides orthodontic treatment to everyone, no matter their age, and is determined to create the best orthodontic care plan for you. We offer many blogs and resources to ensure our patients are prepared for their orthodontic journey and have the best experience with braces.
Getting braces can be a significant investment, and our office staff is always ready to answer any questions you or your child may have in person or over the phone to guarantee the process goes as smoothly as possible. If you believe you or your child would benefit from braces, reach out today to schedule a free consultation.