At What Age Should Your Kid Get Braces

If you’re wor­ried about the way your child’s teeth are emerg­ing, you can guar­an­tee that your den­tist has already noticed this too. As soon as your child’s adult teeth start to emerge, your den­tist will be pay­ing close atten­tion to their development.

There are early interventions your dentist can perform that will help the teeth to emerge correctly. They can also advise on the best age to start thinking about orthodontic treatment. In this guide, we’re looking at the ideal age to start thinking about braces to achieve the best results.

At what age should your child get braces?

This varies from child to child. It’s important to strike a balance between starting the treatment early enough that the alignment issues aren’t too advanced, and not starting too soon that their teeth haven’t had a chance to emerge.

In general, it’s easier to straighten children’s teeth as their bones are still softer. However, this means that keeping them in the straightened position may also be more difficult. Once orthodontic treatment is completed, their teeth will be more likely to drift out of alignment if they forget to wear their aligner at night time.

Your dentist will typically start monitoring your child’s teeth from the age of 12 to 13. Remember they will be eligible for NHS braces up to the age of 18. Some children are unlucky in that their orthodontic problems don’t become severe enough to warrant treatment until they have aged out of the free NHS treatment bracket. This will mean they have to start private treatment as a young adult.

Can my child get braces before the age of 12?

Treatment could start earlier if this is clinically required. If your dentist spots signs that your child’s teeth may emerge incorrectly or there are signs that the teeth will be overcrowded, it’s possible to start treatment earlier in order to ensure the teeth emerge correctly. To do this, your dentist will control the position of their existing adult teeth to help make space for the emerging teeth.

Is treatment quicker for younger children?

Treatment is typically faster the sooner you can get started. This is simply because the jaw bone that supports the teeth is softer than adult bone, so the teeth are easier to move with less force. There is also less chance that the teeth will have drifted too far out of alignment. If you wait to see how the alignment issues present as they get older, you might find that the teeth drift further out of alignment, and this will take longer to correct.

However, treating the teeth earlier in life will also mean that there is more time for the teeth to drift out of alignment if they don’t wear a retainer. A fixed retainer might be recommended to avoid the risk that they need to repeat treatment later in life.

What is the upper age limit for braces?

Thankfully, there is no upper age limit for braces. If your child’s orthodontic issues are mild, you might choose to leave treatment until they are older, and even into adulthood.

Orthodontic treatment can be started at any age, providing the teeth are in good overall health. It’s far more important to focus on maintaining healthy teeth by establishing good oral health habits for life.

Orthodontic treatment can be uncomfortable for children and teens, so you might choose to wait until they are older before deciding if this treatment is right for them.

If they are self conscious about wearing fixed metal braces, you might also choose to opt for Invisalign to help make their teeth straightening journey more comfortable. This treatment can be more successful for older teens, as they are more likely to remember to wear their aligners.

Ready to start your orthodontic journey?

If you suspect your teenager needs braces, the first step is to speak to your dentist. As an orthodontic specialist, we have extensive experience in supporting people of all ages through their teeth straightening journey. Book a consultation with our team today to learn more about the options available for your child or teen and to find out if they are a good candidate for braces.

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