What is the best age for braces? Our dentists get this question a lot from concerned parents that don’t want to start orthodontics too early but don’t want to hurt their child’s oral health by starting too late. The truth is there is an ideal age range for braces but it’s never too late. In fact, patients with orthodontic issues can start treatment with braces at any age.
What Is The Best Age For Braces?
Most orthodontists begin treatment on children between the ages of 9 and 14 as most problems are easily fixable during this time. The earlier the treatment the better because you will be able to help your child correct oral habits that are harmful to their dental development, guide teeth into the correct position and avoid protruding front teeth.
In some cases, orthodontists may advise your children start braces younger than 9 years of age. Early intervention is starts before all the permanent teeth have grown in and is usually recommended to make more space for developing teeth and correct bigger structural issues. Your orthodontist may suggest early intervention if your child has one or more of the following problems.
- Excessive Crowding: Teeth that are crowding out other teeth and not allowing them to grow in properly
- Open bites: when the upper and lower front teeth fail to meet
- Overbites: when the upper teeth protrude past the lower teeth
- Underbites: when the lower teeth protrude past the upper teeth
- Crossbites: when the upper and lower jaw fail to line up
When Should You First See An Orthodontist?
Although the ideal age for braces is between 9-14 years old, you’ll want to get your children evaluated by an orthodontist before this age. Getting an early evaluation helps you plan for future treatments/expenses and catch any major issues that need to be treated immediately. The American Association of Orthodontists suggests that children be evaluated by an orthodontist by age 7.
Getting Braces After 14 Years Old
If you missed the ideal age range window don’t worry. Patients with orthodontic problems can benefit from treatment at nearly any age. The most common orthodontic treatments are for spacing, crowding, overbites, under bites and cross bites. These problems can still be fixed in your late teens or adulthood. The only requirements that you need for braces are that your teeth and gums are in healthy and in good condition.
For some adults and older teens, the thought of having traditional metal braces is unappealing. Thankfully there are more discrete orthodontic treatment options, such as Invisalign and clear braces, for individuals that are hesitant to get traditional metal braces.
If you think you or your child may need braces give us a call at 202-919-6547 or fill out our online contact form to schedule an orthodontic consultation.