Some young children with severe crowding can definitely benefit from "early intervention" with braces around age 7-9 - this depends on the orthodontist and whether enough permanent teeth are in. For most cases, orthodontists prefer to have all four of the back permanent "six year" molars fully grown in, as well as all four top and bottom front teeth. On average that is by about 8 years old. It never hurts to see an orthodontist for a consultation. Most orthodontists do their consultations for free - so look up a few around you and call to see what they offer. That way they can give you a clear idea of what to expect with braces and whether your child needs braces right away or can wait until all his permanent teeth come in (around 13 years old). Most of the time, understand that although he may get braces now to help prevent more complex orthodontic trouble down the road, kids that get the "Phase One" (what I called "early intervention" above) braces around age 8, will often need a second round of braces once all of the permanent teeth come in. However, this does not mean that everyone can just wait until 13. Some kids really need the early intervention.