orthodontic braces

As a parent, it can be challenging to determine the right age for your child to get braces. While some children may need early orthodontic treatment, others may not require braces until later in their teenage years. The orthodontist in La Quinta considers getting early orthodontic treatment for optimal results. 

This article will explore the ideal age for children to get braces, the benefits of early orthodontic treatment, and what to expect during the braces process.

What is the ideal age for orthodontic braces? 



The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) recommends that children have their first orthodontic evaluation by the age of seven. This initial evaluation allows the orthodontist to assess the development of the teeth and jaw and determine if early management is necessary. However, this does not mean that all children will need braces at the age of seven.

In fact, most children do not require braces until they are between 11 and 14 years old when most of their permanent teeth have erupted. This age range is ideal for braces because it allows the orthodontist to treat the teeth and jaw when they are still developing. The bones are more pliable during this age range, making it easier to achieve optimal results.

Why would your child need early orthodontic intervention? 

While not all children require early orthodontic intervention, some may benefit from it. Early treatment can help address issues such as:

  • Extra or missing teeth
  • Severely crowded teeth
  • Excessively spaced teeth
  • Crossbites, overbites, or underbites
  • Habits like thumb, finger, or pacifier-sucking that have shifted the teeth or jaw

Early intervention can also improve the overall alignment of teeth and jaws, making it easier to achieve a healthy bite.

What are the benefits of early orthodontic intervention? 

Early orthodontic treatment offers several benefits, including:

  • Early treatment influences the growth and alignment of teeth, ensuring proper bite function and promoting overall oral health.
  • Addressing dental irregularities at a young age can boost a child’s self-esteem and confidence.
  • Younger patients often have more flexible and adaptable teeth and jaws, making it easier and more efficient to correct dental issues.

What to expect during the braces process? 

If your child requires braces, here’s what you can expect during the process:

Initial consultation: The orthodontist will evaluate your child’s teeth and jaw to determine the best course of treatment.

Oral impressions and X-rays: The orthodontist will take impressions of your child’s teeth and X-rays to create a personalized treatment plan.

Braces installation: The orthodontist will install the braces, which may be metal, ceramic, or clear aligners.

Regular adjustments: Your child will need to visit the orthodontist every 4-6 weeks for adjustments to ensure the braces are working effectively.

Treatment duration: Treatment time can vary from 6 months to over 2.5 years, depending on your child’s needs.

What are the types of braces available for children? 

There are several types of braces available for children, including:

  • Metal braces: The most common type of orthodontic treatment, made from stainless steel or titanium.
  • Ceramic braces: Less noticeable than metal braces, made from clear or tooth-colored ceramic.
  • Clear aligners: Removable and virtually invisible, made from plastic or ceramic material.

Wrapping up

Determining the right age for your child to get braces can be challenging, but with the guidance of an orthodontist, you can ensure your child receives the best possible treatment. Early orthodontic intervention can offer several benefits, including improved dental development, appearance, and confidence. By understanding the braces process and the types of braces available, you can make an informed decision about your child’s orthodontic care. Remember, every child is unique, and the timing of orthodontic treatment should be determined by an orthodontist after a thorough evaluation.