The teen years are ideal for correcting many orthodontic problems because your child's jaws are actively growing and can be most easily modified during this time. For many children, the optimal time for braces is during the adolescent and early teen years (11-14 years) although the appropriate time to start treatment is determined by the type of malocclusion present.
Lucky for teens, braces can usually be completed in one comprehensive phase instead of the early two-phase treatment approach that is suggested for some with more significant problems. We often recommend delaying the start of orthodontic treatment until all or most of your teen’s permanent teeth have erupted. In the absence of any significant problems (structural, crowding or functional) early teen years are the optimal time for braces.
Teens are often thrilled that they are moving on to the next phase of the orthodontic process but should be mindful of the importance of retainer wear. After the removal of braces, retainers will be fitted and placed to maintain our orthodontic corrections as the bone is allowed to reorganize in order to stabilize our results. Teeth have the potential to move throughout life and long-term retainer wear is necessary to prevent undesirable shifting associated with aging. Remind your teen to be diligent with wearing his/her retainers in order to prevent future dental correction.