Braces For Kids: Everything You Should Know as a Parent

October 24, 2023

Navigating the world of orthodontics as a parent can feel like venturing into a maze with numerous turns and decisions at every corner. One of the most common orthodontic journeys parents encounter is that of choosing braces for their children. Braces are often a rite of passage, a significant step towards gifting your child a radiant, confident smile that will serve them well throughout their lives.

But how do you determine the right age for your child to start orthodontic treatment? What types of braces are available, and what will they cost? How do you choose the right orthodontist? The questions can seem endless and may feel overwhelming.

In this comprehensive post, we'll delve into the essentials of braces for kids, offering a clear roadmap to ensure you're well-informed and prepared. We aim to ease the complexities surrounding pediatric orthodontics, simplifying the critical decisions you'll face along the way. So, buckle up as we embark on a journey to unravel all you need to know about braces for your little one!

Why Braces are Important for Kids

The implications of orthodontic treatment for children extend far beyond aesthetics. Let’s unravel the multiple dimensions as to why braces are a pivotal part of a child’s oral health and overall well-being.

1. Developmental Advantages

Braces play a crucial role in rectifying issues that may interfere with a child’s speech development or chewing abilities. By aligning the teeth and jaw correctly, braces assist in alleviating problems such as overcrowding, underbites, overbites, and crossbites, setting a strong foundation for your child's oral health as they grow.

2. Prevention of Future Dental Issues

Early orthodontic intervention can act as a proactive step to prevent more severe dental problems down the line. Addressing misalignments early can help prevent the onset of gum disease, tooth decay, and even potential tooth loss, ensuring a healthier oral environment for years to come.

3. Boost in Self-Esteem

A straight, beautiful smile is often synonymous with confidence. Children who feel good about their smile tend to have a higher self-esteem, which in turn positively impacts their social interactions and overall happiness.

4. Improved Speech and Chewing

Misaligned teeth or jaws can hinder a child’s ability to speak clearly or chew food properly. Braces help in aligning the oral structure adequately, thereby improving speech and chewing, which are crucial for a child's developmental milestones.

In a nutshell, investing in braces for your children is akin to setting a solid foundation for their oral health, which reverberates positively in many facets of their life.

When to Start Orthodontic Assessments

As a parent, you may wonder when the right time is to take your child for their first orthodontic assessment. It's a pivotal step that could significantly impact their oral health journey.

The American Association of Orthodontists suggests that children have their first orthodontic check-up by the age of 7. At this tender age, they have a mix of baby and permanent teeth, allowing orthodontists to spot any potential issues early on.

Early evaluations can provide a wealth of benefits. They allow for timely identification and intervention of issues such as crossbites, overcrowding, or spacing problems. Early intervention can often simplify later treatment, making the process less extensive and potentially less expensive.

During this initial evaluation, the orthodontist will check for bite problems, assess the need for space maintenance to prevent overcrowding, and look for any oral habits that could hinder dental development. It's a gentle introduction for your child to the world of orthodontics in a non-threatening environment.

Creating a Customized Treatment Plan:

If the orthodontist identifies any issues, they will create a personalized treatment plan. This plan may include early intervention treatments or monitor your child's growth patterns awaiting the optimal time to start with braces or other orthodontic appliances.

A Journey of Monitoring and Intervention:

Not every child will need braces immediately following their initial assessment. Some may benefit from a phase of monitoring, while others may embark on their orthodontic journey right away. It's all about tailored approaches to meet the unique needs of each child.

Embarking on orthodontic assessments at the recommended age sets the stage for a proactive approach to your child's oral health. It’s about steering their dental development in the right direction, ensuring they are on the right track for a healthy, beautiful smile that will last a lifetime.

This section aims to guide parents on the appropriate timeline for orthodontic assessments, emphasizing the importance of early evaluations and personalized treatment plans.

Types of Braces Available

When it comes to straightening your child’s teeth, the array of orthodontic options can seem endless. However, fear not, as we’re here to demystify the types of braces available and help you make an informed decision.

Traditional Metal Braces

These are the classic braces we’ve all seen, with metal brackets adhered to each tooth and wires threading through. They are highly effective, budget-friendly, and nowadays come with smaller, more aesthetically pleasing brackets than the bulky ones of yesteryears.

Ceramic Braces

Ceramic braces operate like metal braces but feature clear or tooth-colored brackets, making them less noticeable. They are a great option for kids concerned about the appearance of braces, although they can be slightly more expensive than their metal counterparts.

Lingual Braces

These braces are attached to the back of the teeth, rendering them invisible from the outside. While highly discreet, they can be more uncomfortable initially and are usually more expensive.

Invisalign or Clear Aligners

Invisalign consists of a series of clear, removable aligners custom-made for your child’s teeth. They are almost invisible, easy to clean, and allow for a more comfortable orthodontic journey. However, they may not be suitable for more complex orthodontic issues and are typically more expensive.

Self-Ligating Braces

Self-ligating braces are similar to traditional braces but without the need for elastics. They use a specialized clip instead to hold the wire in place, which can reduce friction, make cleaning easier, and possibly shorten treatment time.

Choosing the Right Type of Braces for Your Child

The choice of braces largely depends on the complexity of your child’s orthodontic issues, your budget, and your child’s comfort and preferences. It’s essential to have a thorough discussion with your orthodontist, who can guide you toward the most suitable option for your child’s unique needs.

Each type of brace comes with its own set of advantages and considerations. By understanding the options and consulting with a trusted orthodontist, you can embark on a path that leads to a radiant smile for your child, tailored to their individual circumstances and your family budget.

Cost of Braces for Kids

The expense of braces for young patients is influenced by a multitude of factors including the type of braces, the complexity and duration of treatment, geographical location, and the expertise of the orthodontist. Here, we delve into the financial landscape of braces for kids, providing a clearer picture of what to anticipate.

Cost Range

The cost of braces for kids and adolescents predominantly ranges from $3,000 to $6,000 depending on the type and length of treatment​​. However, a broader spectrum suggests that the cost could extend from $2,000 to $10,000 in certain cases, especially when considering more discreet or technologically advanced brace types like ceramic, lingual, or Invisalign braces​​.

Breakdown by Type of Braces

  • Metal Braces: The traditional route, metal braces are generally the most affordable option, with costs typically ranging between $3,000 and $6,000​​.
  • Ceramic Braces: A step up aesthetically, ceramic braces range from $4,000 to $8,000 due to their less noticeable appearance​​.
  • Lingual Braces: Hidden behind the teeth, lingual braces are a discreet option with costs between $8,000 and $10,000​​.
  • Invisalign or Clear Aligners: These removable aligners offer a near-invisible appearance with costs ranging anywhere from $3,000 to $8,000​​.

Insurance and Financial Assistance:

It is prudent to explore insurance coverage, which might cover a portion of the orthodontic treatment costs. Additionally, many orthodontic practices offer payment plans to spread out the cost over time. Other financial assistance options include Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) or Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs), which can help manage the cost in a tax-efficient manner.

Choosing the Right Orthodontist

As we approach the conclusion of our comprehensive guide on braces for kids, the pivotal step that remains is selecting the right orthodontist. This choice is crucial as it not only impacts the success of the treatment but also the experience your child will have throughout their orthodontic journey. A skilled, compassionate orthodontist can make all the difference in making the process smooth, effective, and even enjoyable for your child.

At this juncture, we wholeheartedly recommend Somerville Ortho for your child’s braces treatment. Our practice is dedicated to providing top-notch orthodontic care with a patient-centered approach. We believe that financial constraints should never be a barrier to accessing high-quality orthodontic care, which is why we offer flexible payment options to fit any budget.

We understand the importance of making orthodontic care accessible and affordable. That’s why at Somerville Ortho, we accept most dental insurances including PPO, HMO, and DHMO. Our team can also file a predetermination for you to verify coverage of any necessary dental treatment, ensuring you’re well-informed and prepared for the financial aspects of your child’s treatment.

Contact Somerville Ortho to schedule a consultation and discover how we can support your child’s orthodontic needs. Our practice is built on the pillars of professional expertise, personalized care, and financial flexibility, ensuring a seamless pathway to achieving a radiant smile for your child.

Get in Touch!


51 Cross Street, Somerville, MA 02145

New patient? Special offer here!
Chat with us
Welcome to Somerville Orthodontics!
We are open and accepting new patients
How can we help?
I'm considering treatment
I’m a patient and need assistance
Excellent, I can help!
Good news, We're are now offering free Virtual Consultations
PLUS, we have a limited time special offer for you.
Just by chatting here we’re both saving valuable time, so you've just earned a $100 credit toward treatment!
Use this promo code: SMILE and click one of the options below here to redeem your $100 credit and let us know what you are comfortable doing next:
I'd like to set up a virtual consultation
I'd like to set up an in-person consultation
I have a quick question - click to call Somerville Orthodontics