There’s a reason why over five thousand orthodontist offices are found in the United States. Millions of children and adults rely on these professionals to realign their teeth.
One of the most common questions that orthodontists get asked by parents is, What age should my child get braces? While there is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, there are some guidelines you can follow when determining the best age for teeth correction.
In this guide, we’ll cover the standard age most kids get braces and some common signs you should consider. That way, your child can get the smile that they deserve. Let’s get started!
What Age Do Most Kids Get Braces?
Braces can be effective at any age. But, many orthodontists prefer to put them on children at an early age. Why? Because when children’s adult teeth grow in, they’re at their most malleable.
Since the teeth and jaw bones are still developing, they’re less dense. This makes them more accessible, faster, and less painful to move. What’s more, the fast metabolism that children have can help aid them in recovery.
It’s most common to put braces on children during their middle school years (between the ages of eleven and fourteen). However, as we’ll see in another section, there’s good reason for considering earlier treatment as well.
Also, remember that there’s no shame in getting braces when you’re an adult too.
The American Association of Orthodontists found that one out of three people with braces is an adult. The alignment process will just be a little slower if you’re an adult.
Typical Reasons Kids Need Braces
Many people think that the only reason kids get braces are to correct crooked teeth. However, it’s important to note that there are a lot of other reasons.
So, aside from gaps in the teeth, how can you tell if your child needs braces? Here are some common signs to look out for:
- Baby teeth that fall out early or late
- Difficulty while chewing or biting food
- Breathing through their mouth
- Thumb sucking or nail biting
- Crowded or misplaced teeth
- Jaws that make sounds when they move
- Trouble speaking properly
- Frequently biting the inside of their mouth
- Teeth that protrude
- Teeth that grind
If you notice any of these signs in your child, make sure to schedule an orthodontist visit as soon as possible.
Should You Consider Early Treatment?
Just because eleven to fourteen is the average age for braces doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t consider early treatment for orthodontic care.
In fact, the American Association of Orthodontists recommends that you do an early screening with your child once they reach the age of seven. This is done to identify potential dental issues that aren’t always visible to the naked eye.
Just like any other medical problem, dental issues benefit from early intervention. So, make sure you schedule a screening for your child once they turn seven.
During this screening, the orthodontist will do both an x-ray and an intraoral exam. If they discover potential problems, like functional shifts, crowded teeth, or excessively spaced teeth, they’ll recommend treatment options.
Different Braces Options For Kids
When most people think about braces for kids, the first thing that comes to mind is metal bracket braces. For most people, these are the most affordable and effective options for their children.
However, it’s important to note that these aren’t the only options available for your child. For example, if your child is self-conscious about braces, you might want to go with a more discreet option.
Both ceramic braces and Invisalign are good options for this. These clear or tooth-colored options mean your child can get their teeth straightened with little to no change in their appearance.
If you want to learn more about the different braces treatment options we offer at TDR Orthodontics, make sure to check out our guide.
How Long Will Your Child Need Braces?
The length of time that your child will need to wear braces depends on a lot of factors. For starters, you need to consider the condition you’re treating. Severe overbites and misalignments will take a lot longer to fix than minor ones.
The second factor is the type of braces your child uses. Clear aligners tend to take a little longer than metal braces. However, the average braces timeline for children is between eighteen to thirty months.
The braces are adjusted every month or two during this period. Once the braces are taken off, your child will wear a retainer for a few months or a year to keep their new smile properly aligned.
How to Find the Best Orthodontic Care For Your Kids
Orthodontists can make kids understandably nervous. After all, braces can certainly be uncomfortable at times. Because of this, you should like an orthodontist that has a lot of experience working with kids.
A calm, friendly demeanor can go a long way toward making your little one feel at ease. You can also check online reviews. This will give you a good sense of what the average client experience has been like.
Once you find a few options, you like to schedule a consultation. If they feel like a good fit for your child, you can proceed with whatever treatment option they recommend.
Does Your Child Need Braces? Contact TDR Orthodontics
We hope this article helped you answer the question, What age should my child get braces? Remember that at the end of the day, it’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to teeth alignment.
That’s why it’s essential to meet with an orthodontist to get an opinion. If you live in the Detroit, Michigan, area, consider meeting with a professional at TDR Orthodontics.
We have thirty years of experience with straightening teeth, and our four locations have expanded throughout the metro area. So, you’re ready to start your child’s journey to a better smile, make sure to contact us today.