When it comes to getting braces, there isn’t really a definitive time frame on what age is best. This is because every individual and every smile is unique and different, so determining when your child should get braces is dependent upon a number of factors, including their development and complexity of their case. If your child has crooked, overcrowded, misaligned teeth, or struggles with biting, chewing or speaking due to a smile imperfection like an underbite or overbite, speak with your dentist and orthodontist for a professional evaluation.

Factors that influence When a Child Should Get Braces

Deciding when your child gets braces will be based on a number of factors that your dental professional will take into consideration, including:

  • The severity of the case

  • How much work needs to be completed

  • Whether your child has all of their permanent adult teeth

The Different Phases of Orthodontic Treatment

If your child has a more complex case, your orthodontist may recommend starting treatment for braces earlier, typically between ages six and ten. At this age, the treatment is referred to as Phase I, and serves to prepare the mouth for braces with appliances such as partial braces or palatal expanders. While appropriate for some patients, not all children will need treatment this early.

In less complex cases, your child may be able to wait until all of their permanent adult teeth have grown in. These teeth typically begin to appear around age six or seven, with the last one coming in around age 11 or 13. Treatment at this time is sometimes referred to as Phase II if Phase I was necessary, but this stage is simply when your child would get braces to correct their smile.

Talk to Your Orthodontist

Because it depends on a variety of factors, whether or not your child is at the right age should be discussed with an orthodontist. Most orthodontists agree the first appointment should be around age six or seven once the adult teeth begin to appear if a smile issue has been identified. Otherwise, your child may be able to wait until up to age 14 for the corrective treatment.

To discuss your child's orthodontic care, book an appointment with Dr Geoffrey Wexler Orthodonist, in Melbourne.