When should my kids get braces?

two boys hanging out

Your child’s smile—the one you’ve loved since way back when it was just a gummy grin—is finally growing up. As a parent, taking care of your children’s teeth is a big priority, and you may be wondering, “When should my child get braces?”

When it comes to getting braces, every patient is different. Some children start orthodontic treatment as young as 6 years old. And of course, you’ve probably seen adults with braces, too. But you want to pick the right time for your child to get braces. So how do you know when the right time is?

Is it time for my child to get braces? 

Though each patient is different, there are some guidelines as to the timing of braces and other orthodontic treatment. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children have their first orthodontic visit at age 7. In most cases, age 7 is too early for braces, but it’s important for your orthodontist to check your child’s airway, bite and oral habits at this age. Getting ahead of any issues can help pave the way for smoother orthodontic treatments in the future and help your child avoid certain problems.

Most kids get braces at ages 9 through 14 

Most children start wearing braces between the ages of 9 and 14. Treatment with braces begins once the child has lost most of his or her baby teeth and the majority of the adult teeth are present in the mouth. You probably landed on this blog wanting a direct answer to “When should my child get braces?” Sorry to disappoint you – but every child really is different. You’ll need to bring your child in to be seen by an orthodontist to know for sure if it’s time for your child to start braces treatment.

Can my child wait until adulthood to get braces? 

It’s never too late to get a straight smile! Yes, your child can wait until adulthood to get braces, but we don’t recommend it for several reasons.

For one, having a gorgeous smile boosts confidence. If your child is self-conscious about their crooked teeth, this can cause all sorts of negative effects at school, in relationships, and to their growing sense of self. If you’re able to give your child a boost of confidence early in life, why not do it?

Also, getting braces in childhood takes advantage of your child’s still-growing jaw. Childhood braces are able to move teeth into their proper position more quickly than adult braces because the jaw is still developing.

And lastly, getting braces as a child can ward off a host of dental problems that can come from a misaligned jaw or improperly positioned teeth. Bite and jaw issues, airway problems, and uneven wearing of teeth over time can all be prevented by addressing these problems sooner rather than later.

In short, it’s simply better to get braces in childhood instead of waiting until adulthood.

Ready to know for sure if it’s time for braces? 

Schedule your appointment today. Atlanta Orthodontic Specialists has locations throughout Atlanta, so wherever you are in the city, we’re right close by to help your child get the gorgeous, straight smile they deserve.

Other questions about braces? Explore your options and contact us today to schedule an appointment. 

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