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When’s the Best Age to Get Braces?

It’s one of the most common questions the Humphrey Orthodontics team gets asked: when’s the best age to get braces? While there’s no single, definitive answer to this question – after all, every smile is unique, and every treatment plan is, too! – we’re here to offer a few tips on how to give your child the best start to orthodontic treatment. Keep reading to learn more! 

Tip #1: Visit an Orthodontist by Age 7

It may seem like a young age, but scheduling your child’s first orthodontist appointment by their 7th birthday is the best way to get them on track for successful treatment. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends age 7 for several reasons. 

We can detect early signs of orthodontic concerns.

By age 7, most children have a mix of baby teeth and adult teeth, making it easier for Dr. Humphrey to diagnose and forecast any orthodontic issues before they become bigger problems. This age provides a snapshot of the developing teeth and jaw growth so we can predict the right treatment time in the future.

We can track your child’s progress as they grow.

Early evaluation allows for timely detection of problems like crowding, overbites, underbites, or other jaw-related issues. Addressing these problems early can simplify later treatments and, in some cases, prevent more serious problems from developing.

We can guide growth & development if needed. 

Can a 7-year-old get braces? If your child’s orthodontic concerns are significant, we might recommend starting an early round of two-part orthodontic treatment known as Phase I. This treatment allows us to create space in your child’s mouth while they still have baby teeth to encourage their adult teeth to emerge properly before more traditional treatment begins in the teen years. 

Tip #2: Get Growth Checks

The average age for braces is between 7-14 years old. We admit this is a wide age range, but that’s because Dr. Humphrey judges the best time for braces based on your child’s growth, not their age. Some children’s jaws develop faster or slower than others, and the choice to begin treatment really depends on how many adult teeth they have. 

We typically begin traditional orthodontic treatment when a child has lost all or most of their baby teeth but is still young enough for their jaws to be flexible and malleable. This growth phase provides all the right conditions for treatment, making it easy for us to use their natural growth as a tool to gently shift their teeth in the right places as they mature. 

Because we use growth stages to determine the right time for treatment, it’s important that you bring your child in for regular checkups from their 7th birthday until they start braces. This way, Dr. Humphrey can tell exactly when they’ll benefit from treatment the most so they can get the happiest smile possible. 

When's the Best Age to Get Braces?

Tip #3: Don’t Be Afraid to Get a Tune Up!

While the most common time patients get orthodontic treatment is in the adolescent years, adults can get treatment, too! In fact, one in every four orthodontic patients is an adult, and the more discreet and comfortable braces and aligners get, the more adults jump on the bandwagon. 

We often see patients who had braces as a teen but forgot to wear their retainers like they should’ve, which caused their teeth to shift back to their original positions. No judgment here – this is a common and correctable issue! Touch-up treatment with clear aligners can be just the thing to get your smile back on track without attracting notice. 

It’s also common for older patients to start treatment for the first time in their adult years. Financial freedom might be the reason they seek treatment, or maybe it’s an evolving set of goals. In either case, adult treatment is always an option, even if you didn’t have braces as a teen. 

How to Get Started 

Whether you’re a parent of a 7-year-old ready to schedule a first checkup or an adult patient looking to straighten out your smile after relapse, we’re here to help. Here’s how you can get started with treatment at Humphrey Orthodontics

Schedule a Free Consultation

Every orthodontic treatment journey begins with a free consultation with Dr. Humphrey. During this visit, we’ll take X-ray images, get digital impressions, and discuss a treatment plan that works for you or your child. 

Find Your Treatment

At Humphrey Orthodontics, we offer traditional metal braces, clear braces, and Invisalign clear aligners. Each of these treatment options is an excellent choice to get your smile on track, and Dr. Humphrey can help you determine which is right for you or your child’s needs. 

Start Smiling! 

Once we’ve determined your treatment plan, it’s time to start treatment! Be sure to follow all treatment instructions so you can keep your plan on track for success, and before you know it, you’ll be smiling your dream smile! 

When's the Best Age to Get Braces?

Straighten Your Smile at Humphrey Orthodontics

The best age for braces is unique to you or your child, but no matter when it’s time to start treatment, our team is here for you. With a wide range of effective, comfortable, and discreet orthodontic options and a team of professionals at your side, you’ll be smiling in no time. We’ll see you soon!