How Old Do You Have To Be To Get Braces?

Are you concerned about how your child’s adult teeth are popping up? A simple trip to the orthodontist’s office will put your mind at ease. By heading to an orthodontist early in your child’s dental development, a dental professional can check on your little one’s oral health and explain what’s happening with their teeth and any potential steps forward. 

Straightening your child’s teeth and checking for other dental issues will put them on a track to good dental health. At Advanced Orthodontics, we often encounter worried parents and kids that we aim to reassure. Our experienced orthodontists will advise on when to get treatment with braces or Invisalign clear aligners, whether they are necessary, and what is happening with your child’s teeth, bite, and jaw development. Not everyone with crooked teeth will require braces, but an assessment is essential. 

If you are feeling nervous and have questions such as “how old do you have to be to get braces?”, this article will help you get the answers you need. Here, we’ll cover what age kids’ permanent teeth come in, answer the question “what age do kids get braces?”, and other factors to consider. Remember, visiting an orthodontist and treating any dental issues as early as possible is essential in ensuring minor problems don’t escalate. 

Why Would Young Kids Need Braces?

There are a few things you can look out for that will help you determine if your child will need braces. First off, braces aren’t only for fixing crooked teeth. They can also be vital for overall dental health. Here are a few things to ask yourself if you’re wondering whether your child may need braces.

  • Did your child lose their baby teeth very early or very late?
  • Do they have trouble chewing or biting?
  • Do they breathe through their mouths only?
  • Do they still suck their thumb or finger?
  • Are their teeth crowded or misplaced?
  • Is there something odd about their jaws? For example, do they make a sound, are they recessed, or do they protrude?
  • Does your child have difficulty speaking?
  • Does your child bite their cheek or the roof of their mouth a lot?
  • Do their teeth fail to meet?
  • Do they grind their teeth or clench their teeth excessively?

If you’ve answered yes to one or more of these questions, it’s advisable to make an appointment with an orthodontist as soon as possible. This way, you are not delaying treatment and proactive early intervention can help fix a minor problem so that it doesn’t evolve into a serious or long-term issue.

How Can You Tell If Your Kid Needs Braces?

As children lose their baby teeth and their adult teeth move up, they don’t always pop into the perfect position – all aligned. Their teeth may come up at an angle but then straighten and move as your child grows, and more of their teeth fall out and move in. However, as your child grows older, if you notice that these misaligned teeth are not straightening, it’s time to book an appointment with the orthodontist. 

How old do you have to be for braces? The American Association of Orthodontics recommends children at the age of 7 be seen for their first orthodontic evaluation. This is when their permanent teeth are beginning to come in, so it’s a good time for an orthodontist to check whether they may suffer from dental issues or crooked teeth. At age 7, the orthodontist will assess your kid’s airway, bite, and general oral habits. They will be able to determine if your child may need braces and when this will be. Although children can get braces from this very young age, most kids are between 9 and 14 years old when braces are put on. 

If the orthodontist determines that braces may be a good idea, they will take a state-of-the-art 3D X-ray to check the teeth’s alignment, and they can determine if the adult teeth will come in straight or not. As mentioned, there are many reasons a child may need braces, aside from crooked teeth. The type of braces your child may get and how long they must wear them will vary according to their dental issues. 

How Old Do You Have To Be To Get Braces?

Although children can get braces from the age of 7, generally the best time for braces is once all or most of the permanent teeth have settled in. The average age for braces varies from 9-14. 

What Other Problems Will Braces Fix?

A couple of early problems an orthodontist can help fix include:

  • Limiting the risk of overcrowding by making room in your child’s mouth for their new teeth
  • Enhancing facial symmetry
  • Limiting any possible trauma from protruding teeth
  • Holding space for teeth that are slow to move in
  • Decreasing the need for removing teeth or surgery
  • Correcting a bad bite that can lead to further issues such as wearing down of teeth, speech issues, accidental chipping, or gum diseases

What Happens If You Opt Out of Getting Your Child Braces?

It’s always best to follow your orthodontist’s advice, but if you’re considering not getting your kid braces, for various reasons, know that it could have an impact on their dental health. For example, they may endure pain when chewing food, the gaps in their teeth may widen – causing teens to become very self-conscious, or their teeth may permanently shift and eventually cause discomfort or their jaw to protrude. 

Braces will positively impact your child’s life and dental health as an adult. They can also help reduce cavities, gum disease, and plaque buildup. Braces can even help make chewing, brushing, and flossing easier. Additionally, the beautiful, healthy smile they will enjoy once their braces are removed is worth the effort.

Contact Advanced Orthodontics today to schedule an initial consultation and to find out more about the average age for braces.

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