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Braces for children – A parents' guide (Pt 3)

13 Oct 2023

4 min read

Find out everything you need to know in our ultimate guide to braces for children…

Full Children's Orthodontics Guide

+ Part 1: An introduction
+ Part 2: Does my child need an orthodontist?
+ Part 3: Braces for children
+ Part 4: Kids’ braces FAQs
+ Part 5: Retainers for kids


Braces apply pressure on the teeth and jaw to:

+ Gently straighten teeth over time
+ Improve the way the teeth bite together
+ Make them easier to clean

This improves their appearance and spreads the biting pressure around all of the teeth, which can help the long-term health of your child’s teeth, gums and jaw.

What’s the best age for a child to get braces?

Some children begin wearing braces as young as aged eight but your orthodontist can tell you the right age for your child.
The NHS says the ideal age for treatment is around 12 or 13 while teeth are still growing – but it really depends on the needs of individual patients.


Orthodontists usually recommend “fixed” braces for children and teens because their teeth are still growing and because all adult teeth must have “erupted” for patients to wear removable braces.

Fixed braces for children

Fixed braces for children are usually produced with durable and strong metal brackets, which are attached to the teeth. Wire connects the brackets.

These wires – kept in place by a sliding mechanism – move the teeth towards their final position.

Braces made with less noticeable clear ceramic – or porcelain – brackets may also be suitable. The clear brackets make the braces less noticeable.

Fixed braces for children

Lingual braces – placed on the back of the teeth – are also less noticeable than traditional metal braces and can be suitable for some children.

Can children have Invisalign®?

Invisalign® clear, removable braces may be suitable for some teenagers.

One of the key advantages is that patients can remove their plastic aligners when they are eating.

However, they must be extra vigilant about i) wearing their braces for the required amount of time each day and ii) making sure they don’t lose them.

Some orthodontists do not recommend Invisalign® for teenagers.

Invisalign® is not suitable for children.

Contact us now to make an appointment or to find out more about children’s orthodontics.

Please join us next time for part four of our ultimate parents’ guide to children’s orthodontics.


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