Visit our website at

Monday, June 6, 2016

The Best Age for Braces

I often get the question: “What is the best age for braces?” To answer it, here are some general guidelines when trying to decide when you should consult an orthodontist: 

Orthodontic problems vary, depending on tooth position, jaw growth, or a combination of issues. Each of the many problems that can be present affects the best time to start braces– some as early as age 7 or 8.

To help you identify when it’s time to see an orthodontist for a consult, here are 3 signs to look for:

  1. Overjet: Crowding and Spacing: Front teeth that stick out too much (overjet), are crowded, or are spaced.
  2. Overbite: Bites where the lower front teeth are near or biting the roof of the mouth.
  3. Crossbite: Trickier to see, but very important, bites where any upper teeth hit behind or inside the lower teeth. This is known as crossbite, which can harm the teeth and cause the lower jaw to grow to one side.
Additionally, by timing braces well, the patient gets the best result the easiest way. The American Association of Orthodontists and Dr. Merz recommend the first orthodontic consult at age 7, when the first set of permanent molars are in and the new incisors are showing up. Then, we follow young patients every six to 12 months to make sure the new teeth come in properly and to time treatment so that we can achieve the very best results, the simplest way possible.

With an early orthodontic evaluation, you’ll be giving your child the best opportunity for a healthy, straight, glowing smile. Feel free to ask me more about the best age for braces for your child. You can call (858) 755-9990, or visit

***If you mention this article when you make your appointment, we will offer $250 toward the cost of treatment, whenever your child is ready.***