The Top Factors to Consider When Deciding the Best Age for Braces

Are you weighing the pros and cons of braces for your child, or maybe for yourself? It’s a big decision, rife with considerations ranging from health benefits to timing.

Braces can transform smiles, but when is the right moment to start? Take a deep breath and rest assured, you’re already on the right track by researching your options.

In this article, we’ll delve into some of the top factors to consider when deciding the best age for braces. Ready to learn more? Let’s dive in!

Dental Development

One of the most important factors to consider when deciding on an appropriate age for braces is dental development.

An orthodontist pediatric dentist can evaluate the growth of your child’s teeth and jaws, as well as any potential alignment issues. Typically, children start losing their baby teeth around age 6 and their permanent teeth begin to come in shortly after.

By age 13, most children have all of their adult teeth except for wisdom teeth. At this point, a professional can determine if braces are necessary and recommend an appropriate timeline for treatment.

Growth Spurt Timing

During a growth spurt, the bones in the body grow quickly and then slow down. This can have an impact on orthodontic treatment.

Braces are designed to shift teeth into their proper positions while there is still some flexibility in the jawbone. If they are put on too early, there may not be enough growth left to fully correct the alignment issues.

On the other hand, if they are put on too late, the teeth and jaws may have already finished growing and it could take longer for the braces to work effectively.

Social Considerations

Wearing braces can have a social impact, especially for teenagers and young adults. It’s important to take into account any social events that may be coming up such as:

  • school dances
  • graduation
  • prom

If these events are important to your child, it may be best to wait until after they have passed to begin orthodontic treatment. This will allow them to feel more confident in their smile during these social experiences.

However, some children may not be bothered by wearing braces and may even see it as a cool accessory. So it’s best to have an open conversation with your child about their feelings and concerns before making a decision.

Oral Hygiene and Care

Braces require proper maintenance and care, including regular brushing and flossing. This can be a challenge for younger children or those who may struggle with oral hygiene habits.

If your child is not mature enough to properly care for their braces, it may be best to wait until they are older before beginning treatment. This will help prevent any potential dental issues that can arise from inadequate oral hygiene.

Financial Considerations

Orthodontic treatment, including braces, represents a significant financial investment. Cost can vary widely, depending on the kinds of braces chosen This may include:

Traditional Metal Braces

Traditional metal braces are generally the most cost-effective option. They offer a durable and effective treatment for a wide range of alignment issues.

However, pricing can vary based on the complexity of the case and the duration of treatment.

Ceramic Braces

Ceramic braces tend to be more expensive than traditional metal braces. They offer the advantage of being less noticeable, making them a popular choice for adults and teens.

The cost is influenced by treatment duration and the specific alignment issues being corrected.

Lingual Braces

Lingual braces, positioned behind the teeth, are often the priciest option. They are completely invisible from the front, appealing to those concerned about aesthetics.

The higher cost reflects the custom-fit and specialized installation required.

Invisalign Clear Aligners

Invisalign clear aligners offer a virtually invisible orthodontic treatment option. They often appeal to adults and teens.

However, they can be more costly than traditional braces, reflecting their aesthetic and comfort advantages. The cost varies depending on the complexity and duration of treatment.

Specific Orthodontic Issues

When considering braces, understanding the specific orthodontic issues at hand is crucial. These can include:


Crowding occurs when there isn’t enough space in the mouth for all of the teeth to fit properly. This can lead to overlapping or crooked teeth. It’s one of the most common reasons for getting braces.


Spacing refers to gaps between teeth, a common issue braces can address. It may result from missing teeth or simply natural growth patterns.

Correcting this issue helps improve oral health and aesthetic appearance.


An overbite occurs when the upper front teeth significantly overlap the lower front teeth. It can affect both your smile and bite alignment.

Amendment of an overbite is a common reason for braces, improving oral function and aesthetics.


A crossbite occurs when the upper teeth sit inside the lower teeth. This misalignment can result in uneven wear of the teeth. It’s often corrected with braces to prevent further dental issues.

Open Bite

An open bite is when there is a noticeable gap between the upper and lower teeth when the mouth is closed. This condition can make chewing and speaking challenging.

Often, braces are employed to correct an open bite, realigning the teeth for improved function and appearance.

Duration of Treatment

The duration of orthodontic treatment can vary significantly, depending on the specific issues being addressed and the type of braces chosen.

On average, traditional metal braces can take 18-24 months to achieve desired results. Ceramics may take slightly longer, while lingual and Invisalign are often faster due to their more specialized approach.

Consultation with the Best Orthodontic Specialist

The most important factor to consider is consulting with a trusted and experienced orthodontic specialist. They can evaluate your specific situation and recommend the best age based on all of the factors discussed above.

It’s also important to consider any treatment plans or options presented, as well as the overall cost and potential benefits of each. With this, you and your orthodontic specialist can make an informed decision on the right time to begin your treatment.

Determining the Best Age for Braces

Deciding on the best age for braces is a thoughtful process that involves careful evaluation. Remember, the goal is to achieve healthy gums and teeth that boost confidence and improve oral health.

Don’t wait to take the first step towards a more confident smile. Schedule your consultation today and begin the journey to a brighter, healthier smile for tomorrow.

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