When to get braces for kids: why orthodontists are encouraging early action

Kids who get braces early may avoid oral health problems later in life.
Kids who get braces early may avoid oral health problems later in life.

By Robert Sunstein, DDS

When it comes to orthodontic care, many parents may wonder

when to get braces for kids

  1. After all, in previous generations, it was common to wait until patients were almost in their teens – anywhere from age 12 to 14 – to discuss the need for dental braces. But now, the

American Association of Orthodontists

is recommending age 7 as the ideal time to begin considering orthodontic treatment options for young patients. Why so early? It turns out that the sooner orthodontists intervene, the better chance they have to preempt misalignment -- and instead guide proper tooth and jaw development in a safe, natural way.

Most of us think of braces as a teeth-straightening solution; but when applied to young patients, dental braces can actually create space for adult teeth to develop correctly – potentially eliminating the need for straightening treatments down the road. Orthodontists can perform diagnostic exams to assess the facial balance of each patient, pinpointing any irregularities or patterns and thereby determining candidates who are most likely to benefit from early treatment. Braces can create space for new teeth and establish better alignment early in life; and in nearly 50% of pediatric cases, this preventative action eliminates the need for further treatment as an adult.

Proactive treatment and patient education with your local La Jolla orthodontist

There is no guarantee that early orthodontic treatment will resolve future dental problems completely; but for some patients, such treatment can make a world of difference – boosting oral health and overall wellness for a lifetime. At our La Jolla orthodontist office, we realize that each patient is different. Not everyone will need braces at an early age: some children won’t require braces at all, while others may decide to wait and pursue treatment at a later date. But in every case, we dedicate ourselves to a one-on-one consultation to ensure the best possible patient education, diagnostic assessment and preventative health care recommendations. We put the tools for health in your hands – and stand by to offer the utmost in quality

San Diego orthodontic care

for those who choose to undergo treatment.

If you are interested in pursuing early orthodontic treatment for your child (or yourself!) we encourage you to contact us today. With summer just around the corner, it is an ideal time to schedule appointments and avoid missing classes during the school year. To learn more, visit our La Jolla orthodontist office or connect with us online, at