Many of us remember having braces as a child or teenager – the awkward smiles, the “metal mouth” comments, the diet restrictions…but also the glorious day when the braces were…

braces

When to Consider Braces for Your Kids

Many of us remember having braces as a child or teenager – the awkward smiles, the “metal mouth” comments, the diet restrictions…but also the glorious day when the braces were removed and you got to see a set of straight, shiny teeth!

You may have kids of your own now, though, and you’re starting to consider the options for your own family. As you may know, braces are not just for making your smile prettier. They can ward off a host of expensive dental problems later in life caused by misaligned teeth and jaws.

Your Child and Braces

One of our readers asked us how old a child should be before getting braces, and it’s actually a pretty common question. Our Mom’s Guide to Caring for Little Teeth talks about when to start considering braces for your kids:

Precisely when your child should see a specialist about braces depends on the individual situation. However, according to the American Association of Orthodontists, most children should see an orthodontist by the time they are 7 years old. This is because early intervention often makes treatment much easier. In some cases, an orthodontist can use a treatment strategy on a younger child that would be impossible on an older one whose jaw and facial growth has been completed. You don’t need to wait until all of your child’s permanent teeth have come in.

Early orthodontic intervention is especially helpful if your child displays any of these tendencies:

  • Late or early loss of baby teeth
  • Chewing or biting problems
  • Late thumb sucking
  • Breathing through the mouth
  • Misaligned or crowded teeth
  • Jaws that shift or make sounds
  • Significant overbite or underbite

However, early treatment may also require minor follow-up treatment several years later if the mouth shifted during growth.

Cost for Braces

Braces typically cost anywhere from $3,000-$7,000, depending on where you live and what options are available. Orthodontic treatment can be expensive, but dental insurance for braces can help cut the cost.

Learn how to save 15-20% on braces and 15-60% on your other dental work with a dental savings plan from 1Dental.com.

6 Comments
  1. I find this article interesting. Usually when we consult doctors they say that treatments can be started only at the age of 12. Specially if one has teeth overcrowded or gaps in between. It’s always better to start orthodontic treatments at a smaller age. People at an older age, especially teenagers, find it a little embarrassing to smile and pose for photos with those metal wires. After all, it’s a kind of blot to the smile. Once we get them right at a smaller age then we don’t have to bother having them at older age!

    • Yes, that’s very true. But even if you wait and get braces for your child when he/she is a teenager, you’re still getting it taken care of early and most of their friends are likely to have braces as well. It seems fewer people get them when they’re older, so it’s a little disconcerting having to go back as an adult to get them, but it’s totally worth it even still!

  2. This is a great, informative post for parents researching braces for their children. It is always good to have resources to look over when considering orthodontia. On Delta Dental of Arkansas’s blog we also offer 4 Q & A’s in our post: Brace-Face: Learn More about Braces with these 4 Common Q&A’s for parents who have more questions!

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