What Age Should Kids Get Braces?


Millions of children begin orthodontic treatment with braces each year. This only makes sense, since approximately 75% of children and teens will have less than perfect smiles once all of the adult teeth have come in. But when it comes to determining the “best” age for your child to get braces, several factors need to be considered.

Does Your Child Have Enough Room for  Adult Teeth?

One of the reasons for taking your child to see an orthodontist when they are young is to ensure they have space in their mouth to accommodate adult teeth. If not, children may need to begin what is known as Two-Phase Treatment.  Two-Phase Treatment begins with orthodontic appliances before all adult teeth have come in. These types of devices include a palatal expander device (PAD), used to address crowding. Early treatment for your child may involve a space maintainer, used to prevent newly erupted teeth from shifting into a space left by early loss of a baby tooth. A habit appliance may also be recommended to stop thumb sucking habits, and retrain children with unusual tongue habits or swallowing patterns.  

Does Your Child Have All of Their Adult Teeth?

Most children will begin orthodontic treatment with braces between the ages of 10-14. However, what is more important than their age, is the number of adult teeth they have. Braces are far more effective if your child has all of their permanent teeth. This age range is also a particularly good time for braces because your child’s jawbone won’t be fully developed just yet. This makes the jawbone more flexible, and adaptable to the shifting of teeth. This period when the jawbone is not fully developed is also the best time to correct bite issues.

Has Your Dentist Recommended You Take Your Child to an Orthodontist?

Another sign that it may be time to begin orthodontic treatment is a recommendation from your child’s dentist to see an orthodontist. Their dentist may see warning signs that aren’t visible to you as a parent. No matter what age your child is; if your dentist says they need an orthodontist, schedule an appointment today. 

When Should My Child See the Orthodontist?

According to recommendations from the American Association of Orthodontists, all children should see an orthodontist by the time they turn seven. Of course, if an orthodontic concern arises before then, your child should be seen sooner. Orthodontic concerns that should be seen by an orthodontist early include issues with malocclusion, such as an underbite, overbite, or crossbite. You may also opt to see an orthodontist if your child is experiencing crowded teeth, or if protruding teeth are putting them at risk for injury. These conditions can benefit from earlier orthodontic intervention. 

Orthodontic Care for Children, Teens, and Adults in St. Paul and White Bear Lake, MN

Signature Orthodontics provides orthodontic treatment for the whole family. Dr. Wendy Sydlewski is both an orthodontist and a medical doctor.  A former faculty member in the University of Minnesota’s orthodontic residency program, Dr, Sydlewski provides complete orthodontic treatment to children, teens, and adults t two locations in St. Paul and White Bear Lake.  Contact us today to schedule your orthodontic consultation.

White Bear Lake Office:  651-426-9986

St. Paul Office: 651-291-8011