When Should My Child Get Braces?

While there is no exact age for children to begin orthodontic treatment, the American Association of Orthodontists recommends visiting the orthodontist around age seven. By this age, most children have a mix of baby teeth and adult teeth, making it easier for Dr. Mullally and Dr. Olsen to diagnose and correct tooth and jaw problems sooner. While we may not always start treatment at this age, regular monitoring allows us to keep an eye out for any developing issues.

For parents, it’s not always easy to know if your child may need orthodontic treatment. Here are a few things to look for that may mean your child needs to see an orthodontist:

  • Early or late loss of baby teeth
  • A hard time chewing or biting food
  • Mouth breathing
  • Finger or thumb sucking
  • Crowded, misplaced, or blocked teeth
  • Jaws that pop or make sounds when opening and closing
  • Teeth that come together abnormally, or do not come together at all
  • Jaws and teeth that are not proportionate to the rest of the face
  • Crowded front teeth around age seven or eight

Benefits of Early Treatment

  • Correct and guide the growth of your child’s jaw to help the permanent teeth come in straight
  • Regulate the width of the upper and lower arches
  • Create more space for crowded teeth
  • Avoid the need for permanent tooth extractions later in life
  • Correct thumb sucking and help improve minor speech problems

If you think your child is ready for or may need an orthodontic evaluation, please contact our office to schedule a free consultation. Early treatment now can give your child a healthy, beautiful smile for the future. Our team loves seeing our youngest patients learning more about how to keep their smiles healthy, and we always strive to make their first experience with orthodontics a pleasant and fun time!