Braces for Kids: When is the Right Time to Start?

Need of Orthodontic Treatment in Teens and Braces

When is the Right Time to Start?

Welcome to Celebrate Dental & Braces, your trusted dental and orthodontic experts. At Celebrate Dental & Braces, we understand the importance of braces for children’s dental health and the positive impact they can have on their overall well-being. In this comprehensive blog post, we will explore the topic of braces for kids and discuss when the right time to start orthodontic treatment is. We’ll delve into the benefits of early orthodontic treatment, signs that indicate the need for braces, factors to consider in determining the right time, treatment options for kids, and address frequently asked questions.

The Benefits of Early Orthodontic Treatment

  • Improved Dental Health: Early intervention helps correct bite problems, overcrowding, and misalignment, reducing the risk of dental issues such as tooth decay, gum disease, and uneven wear.
  • Enhanced Facial Aesthetics: By addressing orthodontic issues early on, we can guide the growth of the jaw and ensure proper alignment, leading to improved facial symmetry and a confident smile.
  • Speech Improvement: Malocclusions and misaligned teeth can affect speech development. Early orthodontic treatment helps align the teeth and jaws, facilitating proper speech formation.
  • Psychological and Social Benefits: Correcting dental problems at a young age can boost self-esteem, improve social interactions, and prevent potential teasing or bullying related to dental appearance.

Signs that Indicate the Need for Braces

  • Crowded or Overlapping Teeth: Teeth that are crowded or overlapping can lead to difficulties in proper cleaning, increasing the risk of tooth decay and gum disease.
  • Crooked or Misaligned Teeth: Crooked or misaligned teeth not only affect the appearance but can also impact oral function and bite alignment.
  • Spacing or Gaps Between Teeth: Excessive spacing or gaps between teeth can impact the overall aesthetic appeal of the smile and may also indicate jaw or bite problems.
  • Bite Problems: Overbite (upper teeth protrude over the lower teeth), underbite (lower teeth protrude past the upper teeth), or crossbite (teeth misalignment when biting down) are bite issues that may require orthodontic intervention.

Factors to Consider in Determining the Right Time

  • Age Considerations: The American Association of Orthodontists recommends children receive an orthodontic evaluation around the age of seven. This allows orthodontists to identify potential problems and plan for appropriate treatment.
  • Developmental Stages: Certain orthodontic issues, such as correcting jaw growth or guiding permanent teeth, are best addressed during specific developmental stages. Early intervention can take advantage of natural growth processes to achieve optimal results.
  • Severity of the Issue: The complexity and severity of the orthodontic problem play a role in determining the timing of treatment. Some conditions may require early intervention, while others can be addressed during adolescence.
Treatment Options for Kids
  • Traditional Metal Braces: Metal braces are a popular and effective option for children. They consist of metal brackets and wires that gradually align the teeth. Colorful bands can be chosen to personalize the braces.
  • Clear Braces: Clear braces are similar to metal braces but use tooth-colored or clear brackets, making them less noticeable. They are a great option for those seeking a more discreet treatment.
  • Clear Aligners: Clear aligners, such as Invisalign Teen, are a removable and nearly invisible alternative to braces. They are made of transparent plastic and offer flexibility and convenience for teenagers.
  • Palatal Expanders: Palatal expanders are used to correct narrow palates and create space for permanent teeth. They are often recommended in early orthodontic treatment.

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends children have their first orthodontic evaluation by the age of seven. However, every child is different, and some may require earlier evaluation based on their dental development.

The duration of orthodontic treatment varies depending on the individual case. On average, treatment can range from 12 to 36 months. Factors such as the complexity of the case, the type of braces used, and the patient’s compliance can influence treatment time.

It is normal to experience some discomfort when braces are first placed or adjusted. This discomfort typically subsides within a few days. Over-the-counter pain relievers can help alleviate any temporary discomfort.

Regular visits to the orthodontist are necessary to monitor progress and make adjustments. Typically, appointments are scheduled every 4 to 8 weeks.

Yes, wearing braces should not prevent your child from participating in sports or playing musical instruments. We can provide protective mouthguards for sports, and braces generally do not interfere with playing instruments.

Good oral hygiene is crucial during orthodontic treatment. Our orthodontic specialists will provide detailed instructions on proper brushing and flossing techniques, as well as recommend additional oral hygiene aids such as interdental brushes or water flossers.


Braces for kids can transform smiles and improve dental health. By addressing orthodontic issues at the right time, parents can set their children on a path to a lifetime of confident smiles. At Celebrate Dental & Braces, our experienced orthodontic team is dedicated to providing personalized treatment and exceptional care for your child’s dental needs. Schedule a consultation today and let us guide you through the journey of creating a beautiful and healthy smile for your child.

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