How old do you have to be to get braces? What’s the best age for braces? These can be tough questions to answer. The truth is there is no one-size-fits-all answer.
Your best age for braces depends on several factors, including your overall oral health, your jaw development, and even your genetics (Yes, your genetics! Keep reading to find out more).
But just because there’s no one answer doesn’t mean that the best age for braces for you has to remain a mystery.
We want to help. In this post, we’ll walk you through what you need to know about getting braces at different ages – from kids still with baby teeth to preteens to teens and beyond.
By the time you finish reading, you’ll have a good idea of when the best age for braces is for you or your child. So, let’s get started!
Best Age for Braces vs. Best Age to See an Orthodontist
To do right by you, we have to start with this topic first.
We’ve seen far too many well-meaning people Google the best age for braces (most sources will tell you age 10-14), and end up waiting too long to for their child to see an orthodontist for the first time.
Because here’s the truth: The best age to see an orthodontist is proven to be no later than age 7.
Why? By age 7, children have a mix of baby teeth and permanent teeth and an orthodontist will be able to recognize problems with your child’s tooth development, or more commonly, signs of future problems (malocclusions, etc.). Even in their earliest stages, these are often identifiable by age 7, if not before.
If your child is even younger than 7 and you notice something that appears ‘off’ or they complain of discomfort, you don’t need to wait to see an orthodontist until you receive a dentist’s recommendation, or until they’re older.
The best time is before problems arise, and the next best time is as early as possible once you do notice issues.
While age 10-14 is a range where it’s common for kids to get braces, there’s no guarantee that’s what is best for your your child’s teeth and development.
Also, many kids who get braces at age 10-14 and experience the least discomfort have already seen an orthodontist at least once before starting treatment, and sometimes more.
So make sure to see an orthodontist by age 7 to make sure everything is developing correctly. Because you don’t know what you can’t see. Most of the time, no treatment is needed this early.
But if the jaw is narrow in the back, there may be a decreased airway in addition to lack of space for all of the teeth – and issues like these are most easily (and cheaply) addressed early.
Here are some of the main issues we can identify early signs of and help you prevent before they turn into costly and painful treatments:
- Crooked Teeth
- Gap Teeth
- Crowded Teeth
- Open Bite
- Cross Bite
Get a free consultation at Dickerson Orthodontics and we’ll help you know what the best age for braces might be for your child, and give you the peace of mind and confidence of knowing exactly how everything with their smile is developing.
How Old Do You Have to Be to Get Braces?
To get braces, the ideal time is when you are old enough to have a mix of adult teeth and still some baby teeth. For most kids, the best age to get braces is between 10 and 14 years old.
Ages 10-14 are when children generally have a mix of baby teeth and adult teeth. It can be much easier for your orthodontist to correct any bite or alignment issues while your smile is still developing and growing into your permanent adult teeth.
Keep in mind, this is just a general estimated timeline based on studies done around the best age for braces for most people.
Some children are ready for braces as early as age 8. Much younger is rare, but it can happen. For other children, the ideal time for braces can be a little later – age 10 or even older.
Your particular situation is unique to your smile, and so your best age for braces might be sooner than most patients, or it might be later.
What Age Can You Get Braces?
The truth is, you can get braces at just about any age. Braces can be an effective treatment option for patients of nearly all ages. The more important question to answer is, Do I need braces right now? Or, if you’re a parent, Does my child need braces?
We recommend that every child see an orthodontist for an initial consultation no later than age 7, but it’s rare for a child to need braces this early. On the flip side, you might be well past age 14 and still not need braces.
Here’s know how to figure out if you need braces or if your child needs braces.
Does My Child Need Braces?
Here’s a fact that many people don’t know: most orthodontic issues are actually inherited.
Surprising isn’t it?
We could rattle off all the most well-known ways that teeth issues develop – poor dental hygiene, excessive thumb or pacifier sucking, mouth breathing, dental diseases – but it’s just as likely, if not more, that your child may have an inherited issue.
Even if you’ve done your best to avoid all the visible signs of issues developing with your child’s smile, seeing a pediatric orthodontist is the only way you can be entirely confident you know what’s going in with your child’s growth.
The most concerning problems are very difficult, if not impossible, to catch by simply examining your child’s teeth at home.
If you are wondering if your child needs braces, the best thing to do is go to an orthodontist and have them check. An orthodontist can see if your child’s teeth need treatment. They have experience, expertise, and access to technology that provides you with way more information than you could ever get on your own.
How to Get Affordable Braces
Before you get nervous that we’re trying to convince you to spend money, don’t worry! We believe that everyone deserves to know how they can own a healthy smile. So at Dickerson Orthodontics, your initial consultation is completely free.
Often, braces treatment isn’t required immediately for children. We recommend every child see an orthodontist by age 7, but there are only a few orthodontic issues that require correction at age 7.
Many people make the mistake of waiting until they are experiencing pain or a problem to see an orthodontist. By then, it can be very costly and uncomfortable to proceed with treatment.
Catching issues early is much better because it can have a significant positive impact on the final outcome – how much pain you’ll feel, and honestly, how much it will cost you.
The free initial check-up, even if you’re not experiencing any issues, is very valuable so that you are armed with as much knowledge as possible, and if there is anything concerning happening, we can catch it together early. (Remember, it’s free.)
Often, children may need to wait until their adult teeth have come in before getting braces. Other times, early intervention can be helpful in preventing more serious problems later on (and saving you from costly surgery).
Are Braces Safe?
Most young people get braces during their teenage years. It’s when their teeth are still growing and changing.
But is this the best time for braces? Are braces safe for younger children who aren’t teens yet?
Braces are safe for people of all ages. In fact, more and more adults are choosing to get braces later in life. The key to finding the safest type of braces treatment is to find an orthodontist with lots of experience and a commitment to delivering you with a great experience. (Hint: check their Google reviews).
An experienced braces orthodontist can help create a treatment plan that fits your individual needs. They will look at your teeth and jaw, and ask about your medical history. An orthodontist can answer any questions you have about braces and help you decide if they are the right choice for you.
We’ve been proudly providing our patients with great braces treatment for over 20 years, and would never put you or our patients in harm’s way.
When you follow our advice, you can be confident that braces are a completely safe treatment option and will get you the smile you’ve always wanted.
Do Braces Work for Adults?
If you’re an adult wondering if braces will work for you, we want you to know that braces are still a great option for most people older than 10-14, too. If you’re ready to own your winning smile, you’re not too old for braces as an adult.
There is no single answer to this question since every patient’s situation is unique. However, in general, braces can be an effective treatment option for patients of any age.
Are Braces Good At Any Age?
Braces can be a good treatment option at any age. Every age range can enjoy unique benefits of getting braces. While younger patients may benefit from early intervention with braces in order to avoid more serious problems down the road, older patients benefit too.
Adult patients who get braces enjoy a much improved smile, avoid more serious problems, and even possibly gain more self-confidence.
At the end of the day, the best age for braces is the age at which the patient is most likely to benefit from treatment. Come in for a free consultation at Dickerson Orthodontics if you’re wondering if braces are right for you. We’ll tell you the truth.
How Old Do You Have to Be to Get Braces – Conclusion:
If you’re wondering how old do you have to be to get braces, the best thing to do is schedule a free consultation with an orthodontist.
It’s the best, and usually only, way to get all your questions answered and determine whether treatment is actually necessary.
As far as advice about braces for particular ages:
- We recommend that all children see an orthodontist by age 7. We rarely recommend treatment to children at this age, but it can give you as a parent a good idea of when and if to consider treatment to save discomfort and expensive, invasive procedures later.
- In general, the best age for braces falls between 10 and 14 years old, but some kids may need treatment earlier or later depending on their individual situation and how quickly their adult teeth come in.
- Braces deliver great results, even for adults. If you’re past your teenage years and are ready to get the smile you’ve always wanted, braces might be a great treatment option for you.
At Dickerson Orthodontics, most patients finish treatment 2x faster than if they had gone somewhere else for braces. They also enjoy a lot fewer appointments and save a whole lot more time during treatment.
If you’re interested in getting faster treatment and enjoying fewer appointments for a similar price to what you’d pay elsewhere for less value, get your free consultation today.