Every patient is different so there is no exact answer to this. Braces can be done at any age but are definitely easier when you are younger and growing taller. It is advantageous to have some baby teeth left as they tend to be bigger than adult teeth and can be used to relieve dental crowding. Also, certain braces are better accepted when you are in primary school so 10 to 12 years can be a great age to start. Some simple treatment can be done at a younger age (age 8) such as correction of crossbites or narrow/small upper jaws.
This is called interceptive treatment and usually involves a short course of brace treatment to alleviate dental problems and make future treatment easier. Your dentist should be able to pick up on this and refer you to an orthodontist or if you have any concerns you can make an appointment with an orthodontist yourself. You do not need a referral.
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