What’s the Ideal Age for Children to Get Braces?

A pre-teen girl with braces smiling

Many parents in the UK struggle to decide the best age for their children to get braces. How old do you have to be to get braces? Can you pursue treatment at any age, including later in life? Is it worth getting a consultation when your child is just 8 to 10? In this post, we’ll offer some pointers to give you a sense of the ideal orthodontic treatment age.

How Old Do You Have to Be to Get Braces?

We don’t recommend starting braces before age 7 as children’s permanent teeth are still getting into position. The ideal age to get braces is usually between 10 and 14. That said, it’s worth consulting with an experienced orthodontist from age 7 so they can assess your child’s unique needs and begin discussing treatment options, especially if there are issues with eating or speaking.

Can You Get Braces at Any Age?

The simple answer is yes! Orthodontic treatment can be beneficial at any age (once permanent teeth are in place), and it’s increasingly common for adults to get braces to improve their smiles or correct their bite, often using options like Invisalign to undergo treatment discreetly. It’s never too late to consider braces, but there are a number of advantages to starting treatment as early as possible.

The Advantages of Early Intervention

  • During and before puberty, your jawbones are still developing and teeth move with greater ease, so treatment is likely to take less time.
  • Some issues – including overcrowding, crossbites, and protruding teeth – can worsen with age, so why not tackle them as soon as possible?
  • It’s worth considering how long you might have braces on for. Treatment usually lasts from 12 months to 2-and-a-half years, but that can increase with complex cases.
  • Many of your child’s peers will have braces as pre-teens/teenagers, so they’re less likely to feel self-conscious.

Consulting With an Orthodontist

It is essential to consult with an orthodontist before making a decision about the ideal age for your child to get braces. Your orthodontist will be trained to diagnose various dental misalignments, always taking into account dental development, oral health, and any personal needs. They will discuss the best way to treat the specific case and lay out a personalised timeline.



What is the most common age to start braces?

The most common age to get braces in the UK is 12 or 13. It’s important to visit the dentist twice a year throughout childhood to receive guidance, but there’s no harm in approaching an orthodontic practice directly.

What is the oldest age you can get wisdom teeth?

Wisdom teeth can erupt into old age but usually arrive between ages 17 and 25. You don’t need to worry about wisdom teeth when deciding when to get braces. (The orthodontist will decide whether to remove any wisdom teeth on a case-by-case basis.)

What’s the ideal age for jaw surgery to correct an overbite or underbite?

Jaw surgery is only carried out on adults, but many young people with an overbite or underbite will begin orthodontic treatment as a teenager to prepare for a procedure at age 18. There are also non-surgery options for bite correction, so don’t wait until adulthood to speak to an orthodontist.

If you’re wondering whether it’s the right time to start thinking about orthodontic treatment for your child, our Children’s Braces page is the place to start. Take a look at what we offer and book your free consultation today.

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