Happy child wearing braces and smiling.

How early Can a Child Get Braces?


Last Modified: June 30, 2023


Determining the ideal age for braces depends on various factors, including the specific orthodontic issue and the child’s dental development. In general, most orthodontists recommend an initial evaluation around the age of seven. At this stage, the first permanent molars and incisors have usually emerged, allowing orthodontists to identify any potential problems. However, not all children will require immediate treatment. Many orthodontic issues are best addressed during adolescence when most of the permanent teeth have erupted.

Benefits of early orthodontic treatment

Early orthodontic treatment, also known as interceptive treatment, can be advantageous for certain dental issues. By starting treatment at a younger age, orthodontists can take advantage of a child’s ongoing growth and development to address problems more effectively. Some benefits of early treatment include:

a) Correcting jaw growth: Braces can guide the growth of the jaw and create a better foundation for proper teeth alignment.

b) Preventing severe problems: Early intervention can minimize the need for extensive treatment later by preventing or minimizing the severity of orthodontic issues.

c) Improved facial aesthetics: Correcting dental problems early on can positively impact a child’s facial appearance, leading to increased confidence and self-esteem.

d) Better oral health: Misaligned teeth can be challenging to clean properly, increasing the risk of tooth decay and gum disease. Early treatment can help maintain good oral hygiene.

Key considerations for parents

While early orthodontic treatment can be beneficial, it’s essential for parents to consider certain factors before pursuing braces for their child:

a) Orthodontist’s recommendation: Consult with a qualified orthodontist to determine if your child needs early treatment or if it’s better to wait until adolescence.

b) Oral hygiene: Ensure your child practices good oral hygiene habits, including regular brushing, flossing, and dental check-ups.

c) Emotional readiness: Consider your child’s maturity and ability to handle the responsibility of wearing braces.

d) Lifestyle adjustments: Braces require dietary and lifestyle modifications, such as avoiding certain foods and maintaining regular visits to the orthodontist.

While the appropriate age for a child to get braces varies, an early orthodontic evaluation is crucial for identifying potential dental issues. Early treatment can provide numerous benefits, but it’s important to consult with an orthodontist to determine the best course of action. Remember to consider various factors before making a decision, ensuring a positive orthodontic experience for your child.

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