Dental Health

Growing Smiles: The Right Age to Consider Braces for Your Child

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Is your child’s smile affected by crooked or misaligned teeth? Are you wondering when is the right time to consider braces for them? Look no further – in this article, we will discuss the optimal age to think about braces for your child and how they can benefit from early orthodontic treatment.

What are braces?

Braces are dental appliances designed to correct teeth and jaw misalignment, comprising brackets, wires, and bands that work collectively to gradually reposition teeth. Using a special adhesive, brackets are affixed to the teeth, and wires are threaded through them. Orthodontists adjust wire tension to control tooth movement, applying pressure that over time shifts the teeth into proper alignment. Braces effectively address issues such as overcrowding, gaps, overbites, underbites, and crossbites, enhancing both the appearance and functionality of the teeth resulting in a healthier and more confident smile.

Signs that your child may need braces

Braces may not be necessary for every child, but specific signs could indicate that they might benefit from orthodontic treatment. Key indicators to observe include:

  1. Crooked or crowded teeth: If your child’s teeth are visibly misaligned, braces might be necessary to prevent difficulties in cleaning, reducing the risk of tooth decay and gum disease.
  2. Early or late loss of baby teeth: If your child loses baby teeth significantly earlier or later than peers, it might indicate underlying dental issues affecting spacing or permanent tooth eruption.
  3. Difficulty chewing or biting: Trouble eating may signal misaligned teeth or an improper bite, issues that braces can help correct, improving their ability to eat comfortably.
  4. Breathing through the mouth: Mouth breathing could indicate orthodontic problems, possibly linked to a narrow palate or misaligned jaw, which braces can address.
  5. Thumb sucking or tongue thrusting: Prolonged habits like thumb sucking or tongue thrusting can impact teeth and jaw alignment. Addressing these early on is crucial to minimize the need for extensive orthodontic treatment later.

Benefits of early orthodontic treatment

Early use of braces brings various benefits to your child’s oral health and overall well-being. Here are key advantages:

  1. Preventing Future Dental Problems: Addressing orthodontic issues early can prevent severe dental problems like tooth decay, gum disease, and TMJ disorders in the future.
  2. Improved Facial Aesthetics: Braces enhance your child’s appearance by aligning teeth and improving their smile, boosting self-esteem and social interactions.
  3. Better Oral Hygiene: Straight teeth are easier to clean, reducing the risk of cavities and gum problems. Braces support optimal oral hygiene for a healthier mouth.
  4. Proper Jaw Development: Early orthodontic treatment guides your child’s jaw growth, addressing alignment issues and improving their bite to prevent discomfort or pain.
  5. Shorter Treatment Time: Correcting orthodontic problems early often leads to shorter treatment times. Early intervention utilizes natural jaw growth, making the treatment process more efficient.

When is the right time to consider braces?

Orthodontic experts advise that children undergo their first consultation around the age of 7 when permanent teeth are emerging, and facial development is ongoing. This early assessment enables the identification of developing issues, empowering orthodontists to devise personalized treatment plans for optimal results. While 7 is the recommended age for an initial consultation, it doesn’t automatically imply an immediate need for braces. In some instances, treatment may be deferred until all permanent teeth have erupted fully. Nonetheless, early evaluation aids in recognizing potential problems, allowing for timely intervention if required. It’s essential to recognize each child’s uniqueness, and the ideal time for braces may vary based on individual dental needs, with the orthodontist providing guidance on the most suitable timing for treatment.


To sum up, contemplating braces for your child at an appropriate age can have a notable impact on their oral health and overall welfare. Embracing early intervention with braces not only tackles potential concerns but also acts as a preventive measure against future dental issues, fostering an enhancement in your child’s smile and self-esteem. Initiating an orthodontic consultation around the age of 7 ensures that your child receives timely care, paving the way for a straight and healthy smile. Keep in mind, it’s never too early to begin cultivating smiles! For questions or appointments with Sunstone Dental Clinic, call today at (604) 428-8722.