What Age Do Kids Get Braces?

It’s becoming increasingly routine to see children and young adults with fixed braces. It’s often considered as a rite of passage with braces now seen as a fashion accessory as well as a core treatment for straightening teeth. Treating teeth that are misaligned not only improves appearance, but also helps to promote and maintain great oral health and overall well-being.

The question of when to start treatment is a common query for parents and specific treatment timelines should be provided by a qualified Orthodontist.  

What does an Orthodontist do

Dentists who specialise in fixed brace treatments are called Orthodontists. The role of an Orthodontist is to consider the best treatments to correct various bite and tooth alignment issues such as overcrowding, gaps, overbites, underbites, and crossbites. These problems can lead to difficulties in chewing, speaking, and cleaning teeth, and may even impact self-confidence.  

How do fixed braces work?

Fixed braces can be made of metal or ceramic. They are made up of small brackets attached to each of your teeth and joined by a wire. Thicker wires are placed and adjusted overtime, creating a gentle pressure which gradually aligns your teeth. 

What factors determine when treatment should start?

The timing for a child starting fixed brace treatment is really important to ensure long-term success. There are several factors which should be considered when deciding on the appropriate age for treatment:

  1. Does the child have all their adult teeth? Most children will have a mix of adult and baby teeth until their early teens. Orthodontists typically recommend braces when a child’s adult teeth have emerged for effective treatment. 
  2. How is the child’s jaw developing? The growth of the jaw plays a vital role in deciding when to treat. Through regular check-ups your routine dentist will assess the development of your child’s jaw and raise any concerns with you. Early detection of issues allows for timely intervention to guide jaw growth, if necessary. 
  3. How is your child’s bite and general teeth alignment developing? The severity of bite issues or teeth alignment will play a part in determining the appropriate age for braces. Different types of alignment issues will require different treatment approaches, and some cases may warrant early intervention to reduce potential complications in the future. 

What’s the best age to get braces for a child?

In general, the majority of children begin treatment between the ages of 10 and 14. In most cases, adult teeth will have emerged and any issues with the development of the jaw or teeth alignment will be apparent. However, it is essential to remember that every child is unique, and treatment will always be determined on an individual basis. 

Booking a Consultation with an Orthodontist

To determine the ideal age for braces, it is crucial to consult with a qualified Orthodontist. Your routine dentist can help you with this through the completion of a patient referral. Alternatively, you can book directly with an Orthodontist. Patients often find Orthodontists through word of mouth or via an internet search. Make sure you do your research.  

Fixed Brace Treatment at The Abbey

Our Private Orthodontic Clinic is led by Consultant and Specialist Orthodontist Dr Orla Carty. Dr Carty qualified from Trinity College Dublin in 2012 with First Class Honours, completed her Doctorate in Orthodontics at the University of Liverpool (2018) and is a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh (RCSEd). She was awarded the William Houston Gold Medal from RCSEd for achieving the highest marks in the Membership in Orthodontics (2018). Alongside her Private Clinic at The Abbey, Dr Carty works as an NHS Consultant treating a range of patients with complex treatment needs as well as training aspiring orthodontists. With Dr Carty’s expertise and experience we can confidently say your child or teen will be in safe hands.  

Book your child’s orthodontic appointment today.