However, a general rule of thumb is that your children should consider wearing braces between the ages of 9 and 14, usually before they reach puberty. Many parents begin to wonder when their children will need braces when their children are still very young. While anyone can benefit from orthodontic appliances at almost any time in their life, most people start using them around age 12 or 13, with the opportunity to start sooner if needed. The right time in these years is beneficial because the head and mouth are still growing, making the process more conducive to changing teeth.
By laying the groundwork for faster and easier treatment in the future, early orthodontic care can be a valuable tool that will save you money in the long term and shorten your child's total treatment time. Dental development varies widely between ages, so a child's age is not an accurate way to time orthodontic treatment. Often, a pediatric or general dentist will refer your child to an orthodontist who will work with you to develop a treatment plan and manage the orthodontic process. The best approach is to perform a full evaluation at age 7 and continue seeing the orthodontist on a regular basis (usually once a year) until the time is right to start treatment.
Putting on braces may be a little easier or go a little faster during adolescence, but adults from all walks of life are learning that age is just a number when it comes to receiving and benefiting from orthodontic treatment. While a significant number of children get braces between the ages of 12 and 14, many children don't begin orthodontic treatment until they are in their middle or late teens. Some dentists recommend what's called an interceptive approach (if really necessary), which involves using dental appliances (not always dental appliances) at a younger age, when the child still has mostly baby teeth. Most children wear braces between 10 and 14 years of age, although younger children are starting to use braces due to advances in orthodontic treatment.
Traditionally, treatment with braces begins when a child has lost most of their baby (primary) teeth and most of the adult (permanent) teeth have grown, usually between the ages of 8 and 14. The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) recommends that children see an orthodontic specialist for the first time no later than age 7, well before the “ideal age for wearing braces.” While harder jaw tissue may involve a longer and more complex treatment process for adults who wear orthodontic appliances, the right orthodontic treatment plan is generally sufficient to straighten teeth, improve bite alignment, facilitate oral hygiene and create a perfect smile at any age. If you're thinking about getting orthodontic care for your child or yourself, here's what you should know about the best age to wear braces and the benefits of wearing them when it's right for you. Orthodontic appliances tend to be most effective and efficient during adolescence if they are placed after the child has lost all of his primary teeth, but not before the second molars have come out, which usually happens between 11 and 13 years of age.