How to Tell if Your Child Needs Braces

Children should have a checkup with an orthodontist no later than age 7. Your regular dentist is an excellent resource who can tell you whether your child, regardless of age, would benefit from seeing an orthodontist.

Here are some things to look for, indicating that a child is likely to benefit from seeing an orthodontist:

  • Difficulty in chewing or biting

  • Mouth breathing

  • Thumb or finger sucking

  • Crowded, misplaced, or blocked-out teeth

  • Biting the cheek or roof of the mouth

  • Teeth that meet abnormally or not at all

  • Jaws and teeth that are out of proportion to the rest of the face



Patients with orthodontic problems can benefit from treatment at nearly any age. An ideal time for placement of braces is between 10 and 14 years of age, while the head and mouth are still growing and teeth are more conducive to straightening.

Getting braces put on your teeth doesn’t hurt. It takes between one to two hours to have braces put on your teeth. First, your orthodontist puts bands around your back molars. … Within a few hours, you will begin to develop some pain and soreness in your teeth and gums.