Braces count as a rite of passage for many of today’s youth. The mouth full of tin is as much a part of adolescences as are soccer games and ACT tests. But are the teenage years really the best years to get braces? Here’s a look at factors you should consider before you put braces on your child’s teeth (or even your own.)

The Teen Years

An article on supports the idea that adolescence is the best time for orthodontic braces. The site suggests that kids get braces between the ages of 10 and 14: kids’ mouths are still growing at that time. This oral flexibility lends itself to the process, allowing the teeth to move more easily.

Are There Exceptions?

Some orthodontic work really can’t start until the person stops growing. Conditions like an underbite need to be corrected once kids get older. Generally, speaking an orthodontist may ask parents to wait to have their kids’ teeth fixed. Most of the time, these cases really shouldn’t be started until a girl turns 16 or a boy turns 18, due to how differently boys and girls mature.

When to See an Orthodontist

Parents should really take their kids into see an orthodontist long before the child needs braces. Most dentists feel that kids as young as seven should see an orthodontist. This professional can look at the child’s growing mouth and determine, based on tests and x-rays, how the teeth will align.

This practice gives parents an idea of when to bring the kid in for future treatment. Orthodontist Mary Phan of Williams Landing Dental Clinic suggest walking the patient through each step in order to let the child and the parents know what to expect at each stage of treatment.


Although most people wear braces when they are kids, more and more adults are opting for them. Many of them have always disliked their smile or they require braces to correct a dental problem that developed in adulthood. Additionally, some jobs, like catalog modeling, require the professionals working in these jobs to have attractive smiles. For those adults, having a nice smile is more than just a cosmetic choice. It’s a career choice.

While it’s true that most orthodontists suggest that people start wearing braces when they are kids, really almost anyone with all their permanent teeth can wear braces. Ideally, parents will take their kids in to see an orthodontic professional long before their children need braces. However, just because a person is no longer in his or her teen and pre-teen years doesn’t mean he/she can’t wear braces. Nice smiles look good on people of all ages.

Author's Bio: 

Anica is a professional content and copywriter from San Francisco, California. She loves dogs, the ocean, and anything outdoor-related. She was raised in a big family, so she's used to putting things to a vote. Also, cartwheels are her specialty. You can connect with Anica here.