Growing Up: What is the Best Age to Get Braces for a Child?

Braces for Big & Little Chompers

teenager with braces and a popsicle

At Hagan Orthodontics + Kids Dental, we believe that straight teeth and healthy habits are the secret to a life of confident smiles. Your little one’s teeth are one of your top priorities as a parent, but your child’s dental journey is a long one. Do you know all the stops to watch for along the way? Your first orthodontist visit is one important occasion. Actively monitoring the development of your young one’s mouth from an early age is crucial for healthy growth. When you think of braces, you probably picture the bright faces of pre-teens and teenagers. However, this is not always the case.

What is the Best Age to Get Braces for a Child?

This is probably a question you’re asking as you keep an eye on your little one’s dentition development. The American Association of Orthodontics recommends that every kid should receive an orthodontic examination by the time they are seven years old. This is when the most common complications will begin to appear. The earlier an orthodontist can detect problems, the simpler treatment will be. Children have a much easier time with braces because their jaws and teeth are more flexible and easier to move.

Even when tooth development is progressing without problems, regular check-ups can help your orthodontist keep track of future complications as your child grows into a full set of chompers!

Signs That It’s Time for a Visit

At Hagan Orthodontics, we know how important it is to monitor jaw growth and tooth development throughout childhood. That’s why we welcome children of all ages in our La Jolla community to be monitored every six months. Between visits, it’s also important to pay attention to your child’s growth and watch for any signs that you might need a consultation. We recommend scheduling a visit with our office if you notice any of the following changes with your young one:

  • Difficulty biting or chewing while eating.
  • Crooked, misaligned, or twisted teeth. Teeth can also overlap or appear to be coming in slower than normal.
  • Grinding, especially while sleeping. Gradual wear on the back teeth is a sign of grinding your teeth.
  • Tooth crowding, signaled by difficulty flossing, fully overlapping teeth, or unusual tooth decay.
  • New problems with speaking.
  • The appearance that the jaw is too far back or forward. A shifting jaw can also show from straight teeth that do not line up properly.
  • Frequenting biting of the tongue or cheek.

Any of these signs can appear suddenly or over time, so be sure to regularly check on your child’s development between visits to your orthodontist and dentist. It’s just like checking for cavities!

Big, Bright Smiles are Always on the Schedule

Emerging teeth and growing jaws are just one of the many changes of childhood, but it doesn’t have to be complicated or scary. Orthodontic visits are just as important as your annual dental check-ups. Early treatment means coming up with a customized, comprehensive treatment that meets your child’s needs – as discretely, quickly, and easily as possible. While we love to see your smile in our office, at Hagan Ortho + Kids Dental our treatments are designed to reduce your little one’s time in the patient chair. So, make sure that you catch even the most complicated cases early with regular check up to your local La Jolla orthodontist!

smiling girl at the beach with a hat on