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What's the Best Age for Braces?

What's the Best Age for Braces?

If your child’s permanent teeth have started to come in and appear crooked or otherwise malformed, there’s a good chance your child will need braces or other orthodontics. Getting braces at the right age gives your child the best opportunity to have a straight jawline and teeth for life.

Staci Brunell, DMD, of Yorktown Pediatric Dentistry in Yorktown Heights, NY, encourages your child to get started with orthodontic work as early as possible to ensure the best outcomes. Find out more about braces and the best age to start them.

What are braces?

Braces are an orthodontic treatment available to children and adults. If your child’s teeth are crooked, they have an overbite or underbite, or their teeth are unevenly spaced or don’t fit together properly, braces can correct the issue.

Your child can get either traditional metal braces or Invisalign® trays. Metal braces stay in your child’s mouth for the entire course of treatment, while your child can remove Invisalign when they eat.

When should my child get braces?

There is no set age your child should get braces. In general, though, it’s better for children to get braces as early as possible, as dental issues are easier to correct before adulthood.

Once your child’s adult teeth have started to grow in, you can make an appointment with the orthodontist as soon as you notice any concerns with their teeth or jaw. That appointment helps determine if your child needs braces or other orthodontic treatment, and at what age they can start.

Most children who get braces start between the ages of 9 and 14, but certain children also start braces at a younger or older age. Teenagers can also still get the full benefits of braces, so don’t hesitate to get your teen an orthodontic consultation.

After your child’s initial orthodontic appointment, they receive a personalized timeline for when they should get braces and other orthodontics.

What can I expect when my child gets braces?

When your child is ready for braces, they get custom-fitted with either traditional metal braces or removable Invisalign trays. Initially, your child might feel slight pain, tenderness, or pressure from the initial fitting process.

During the process of having braces, your child regularly comes in to check their progress. If your child has traditional metal braces, they often have them adjusted to help realign their teeth, which can leave them feeling slightly sore for 1-2 days after the appointment.

You will need to help your child learn how to thoroughly clean their teeth with braces. They might need to reduce or eliminate certain types of foods from their diet until their braces are removed.

On average, children wear braces for 12-18 months, but this can be shorter or longer depending on their personal orthodontic needs. You can help your child wear braces for as short a time as possible by bringing them in for all recommended appointments and ensuring they follow all orthodontic recommendations between appointments.

If you’re not sure if you’re child needs braces or other orthodontics, it’s never too soon—or too late—to find out. To find out more about whether your child needs braces, contact us today to get started.

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