At what age should children get braces?

The most confusing this when you get a second opinion from two different orthodontists is that they can have such opposing views. Generally though, the recommended age for getting braces is 7 to 8 years old. Depending on the condition of your child’s teeth an orthodontist may use other temporary methods until your child loses all their baby teeth. Once all their permanent teeth have set in they can begin applying braces. Every orthodontist will have a different approach to this and depending on the patient, treatment will be a little different. 

Future problems and treatment

Although braces can be helpful they won’t be able to correct an overbite if your child is under 10 years old. The problem is that new teeth will continue to grow along the lower jaw. Children with buck teeth can have them corrected with braces in later years, 12 to 14.

How to know when your child needs braces

There are a number of signs you can look out for to tell when your child needs braces. If you suspect they may need some then arrange an appointment with your local orthodontist.

       Crowding – this happens when there is insufficient room in your child’s mount for teeth to grow. This can push teeth out and make them crooked and unsightly. This tends to get worse over time and can make it more difficult to brush and floss. This results then in plaque build-up which in turn causes tooth decay.

       Overbite – this refers to the horizontal overlap of the front teeth, the incisors. While the severity of this can vary greatly it can be quite noticeable when the front teeth stick out a great deal from the bottom teeth. An excessive overbite can lead to other problems like an increased risk of fracturing in an injury and complications with other dental restorative work.

       Underbite – the opposite of an overbite in which the bottom front teeth overlap the upper front teeth. This can cause more noticeable problems than an overbite such as an imbalanced facial imbalance, difficulty chewing and accelerated facial ageing


Even if your child is still at a young age you should still arrange for an evaluation by your local orthodontist. If they are too young for braces just yet they can be put in a supervision program until their baby teeth all fall out. Annual evaluations will keep an eye on their progress and make changes as needed. If an orthodontist recommends starting a phase one treatment seek a second opinion first before deciding. If the second orthodontist also agrees with the need for early treatment then start with it straight away. If however they disagree then seek a third option and decide from there.

The problem with early phase one treatment is that it will likely mean having to pay for braces twice over, usually one they reach puberty at 11-13 years. However, if the condition is serious enough then it may be the only option.

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