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Nov 14, 2023

How Old Do You Have to Be to Get Braces? A Guide for Parents

One of the frequent questions parents grapple with as their children grow is, “When is the right time for braces?” While there’s no universally fixed age, understanding the ideal timing and reasons for orthodontic treatment can help parents make informed decisions.

The Ideal Age for an Orthodontic Evaluation Age 7:

The American Association of Orthodontists suggests children have their first orthodontic assessment by the age of 7. This might sound early, but it’s a pivotal age as permanent teeth begin to emerge, giving orthodontists an opportunity to detect any potential developmental issues.

Why Evaluate So Early?

  1. Early Detection: At age 7, a combination of baby teeth and permanent teeth exist. This mix offers orthodontists a preview of potential developmental concerns.
  2. Guiding Jaw Growth: Early intervention can steer jaw growth, ensuring adequate space for upcoming teeth.
  3. Addressing Habits: Prolonged thumb-sucking or other oral habits can influence teeth positioning and jaw development.

When Do Kids Typically Get Braces?

Most children seek orthodontic treatment between ages 9 to 14; however, the specific age can differ based on individual growth and orthodontic needs.

Factors to Consider:

  1. Dental Development: Dental milestones vary among children. The emergence of permanent teeth is often a better gauge than age.
  2. Type of Orthodontic Issue: Certain problems benefit from early detection and treatment, while others might be best addressed during the pre-teen or teenage years.
  3. Emotional Readiness: Braces demand upkeep and routine check-ups. It’s crucial that the child is prepared for this commitment.

Benefits of Early Treatment:

  1. Preventing Complex Issues: Early measures can circumvent problems in the future, potentially eliminating the requirement for surgery or extensive treatments later. Early treatment may also expand the palate to make room for the permanent teeth, thus limiting extractions and creating a full mouth.
  2. Reducing Treatment Duration: Early intervention can decrease the total time a child might need braces in their teen years.
  3. Enhancing Self-Esteem: A confident smile can significantly boost self-esteem, particularly during the sensitive pre-teen and teen phases.


The question of when a child should get braces doesn’t have a one-size-fits-all answer. However, initiating evaluations early ensures timely and suitable treatment. Every child’s dental journey is unique, emphasizing the importance of personalized consultations.

For those in the metro Atlanta area, The Georgia School of Orthodontics offers comprehensive orthodontic evaluations and treatments tailored to children’s unique needs. Our team combines expertise with compassionate care, ensuring both parents and kids are informed and comfortable every step of the way. Schedule a complimentary consultation at or contact us at 770-351-7737 to embark on the path to a perfect smile for your child.

HAVE QUESTIONS FOR GSO? We are here to help you “Love Your Smile”! A confident smile is something you can share! As a top rated orthodontist in Atlanta and Duluth, GSO has special offers, paid-in-full discounts and flexible payment options so that you can get your affordable braces today. Please call us at 770-659-7286 or click to schedule your free consultation.

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