How to Determine the Best Time to Get Braces

A big step in having a straighter, healthier smile is getting braces. However, the decision of when to start orthodontic treatment is essential. In this article, you will explore five key ways to help you determine the best time to get braces, ensuring that your orthodontic journey is successful and effective.

1. Age and Orthodontic Evaluation

The decision of when to get braces involves considering your age and undergoing an orthodontic evaluation. Orthodontic treatment is not age-restricted, and its timing varies: Around the age of 7, an initial orthodontic evaluation is ideal for children. This early assessment can identify issues like crowding or misalignment, making future treatment more straightforward. 

Since most permanent teeth have erupted by adolescence, teenagers frequently undergo orthodontic treatment during this period, and social factors may also play a role. Orthodontic treatment is suitable for adults at any age, with the timing often influenced by personal preferences and specific dental concerns.

2. Orthodontic Issues and Severity

The timing of orthodontic treatment hinges on the specific issues you need to address and their severity. Factors to consider include overcrowding, as severe cases may necessitate early intervention to create space for proper alignment. Additionally, if cosmetic concerns are your primary focus, the timing of your treatment may align with your personal preferences and desired outcomes. Moreover, the complexity and length of your treatment can be influenced by the orthodontic concerns you have. 

Severe cases of overcrowding or malocclusions may require more extended treatment periods and involve a combination of orthodontic appliances. On the other hand, if your concerns are primarily cosmetic and focus on enhancing the appearance of your smile, you and your orthodontist can explore treatment options that are more streamlined and tailored to your specific aesthetic goals. 

3. Oral Health and Readiness

Make sure your dental health is in top shape before beginning your orthodontic journey with braces. You should proactively address any underlying issues, such as cavities, gum disease, or concerns related to oral hygiene. These pre-existing conditions can significantly impact the success of your orthodontic treatment. Therefore, it’s advisable to schedule a consultation with your orthodontist in Bergen County NJ, or wherever you may live, to evaluate the state of your oral health. This consultation will not only provide insights into the readiness of your mouth for braces but also allow your orthodontist to formulate a treatment plan tailored to your specific needs.

4. Personal Preferences and Lifestyle

The timing of orthodontic treatment can be influenced by various factors, including your hobbies and activities, such as playing wind instruments or participating in contact sports, which might lead you to plan your treatment to minimize interference with these interests. Social confidence plays a role for some individuals, as they may prefer to commence orthodontic treatment when they feel more socially confident or have the support of friends and family. 

Seasonal considerations based on your climate can also be a factor, allowing you to plan your treatment around specific seasons to reduce discomfort or weather-related adjustments. Additionally, financial readiness is a critical aspect, as orthodontic treatment involves a significant financial investment. Ensuring you are financially prepared for the cost of braces and potential unexpected expenses during treatment is essential for a smooth orthodontic journey.

5. Orthodontist’s Recommendations

When considering orthodontic treatment, it’s essential to heed these recommendations from your orthodontist. Firstly, schedule an early consultation, even if you anticipate the need for orthodontic treatment in the future. Early consultations can help identify developing issues and establish a proactive plan. If your orthodontist recommends braces at a specific time, attend regular check-ups as instructed to monitor progress and make necessary adjustments. 

Effective communication with your orthodontist is crucial; don’t hesitate to ask questions or voice concerns, discuss your treatment timeline, and any potential modifications required. In case of maintenance or repair issues, such as a broken bracket or a poking wire, timely communication ensures swift resolution. 

For emergencies like a loose wire or bracket, reach out to your orthodontist immediately for guidance on temporary solutions and to schedule a prompt appointment, ensuring the continuity of your treatment.


Determining the best time to get braces is a personalized decision that depends on your age, the severity of orthodontic issues, oral health readiness, personal preferences, and the guidance of your orthodontist. Consulting with an experienced professional is crucial in making an informed decision and embarking on your orthodontic journey with confidence.