Braces are relatively synonymous with childhood and the teenage years. In fact, it’s estimated that around 75% of teenagers and children need orthodontic treatment. So how can you tell if your son or daughter needs braces? Experts recommend having your child see an orthodontist for a checkup by the time they’re seven or eight years old to see if they’ll likely need orthodontics. However, there are a few warning signs you should keep a lookout for at home that could indicate your little one needs braces for children. Here are the top seven signs to watch out for.
1.) Prolonged Thumb Sucking
Thumb sucking is a natural and largely harmless reflex in children. While this habit will typically fade on its own by the age of four, prolonged thumb sucking can influence the way the baby teeth come in or how the shape of their mouth develops. Your children’s orthodontist can help you and your child break this non-nutritive habit and make an orthodontic plan to correct any issues that may have sprung up.
2.) Early or Late Loss of Baby Teeth
Baby teeth generally erupt and fall out in a certain order along a certain timeline. These little primary teeth play a key role in holding space in the jaw and guiding permanent teeth in correctly when the time comes. If your child loses one or more baby teeth earlier or later than expected, their adult teeth could come in crooked or become impacted.
3.) Mouth Breathing
Does your child breathe through their mouth a lot? This could be a sign that their teeth or jaws aren’t coming together correctly.
4.) Biting or Chewing Problems
If your child tends to bite their lips or cheeks quite often or if they seem to have a difficult time chewing, they may need braces. Misaligned teeth or jaws are often to blame for these issues, and they will continue to get worse with time.
5.) Crowded or Overlapping Teeth
Perhaps the most well-known indication for braces is crooked or crowded teeth. Wayward, leaning, and overlapping teeth need to be adjusted with braces to keep them strong and healthy. This will also lower their risk of chipping and cracking.
6.) Gaps or Spaces Between the Teeth
Some space between baby teeth is normal, but larger gaps can increase your child’s risk of oral health issues like cavities and gum disease. Orthodontic treatment can help eliminate these spaces and ensure that the permanent teeth come in correctly.
7.) An Uneven Jaw or Bite
There’s no question that your child’s smile is adorable. However, does their facial appearance seem uneven to you somehow? This could be a sign of jaw misalignment, such as an overbite, underbite, crossbite, or other bite issue. Braces are the best, most reliable way to overcome bite problems.
The only way to know for sure if your child needs braces is to visit your orthodontist for a checkup. If you have any concerns about whether or not your child should start orthodontic treatment, don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment!
About the Practice
At Simply Dental & Orthodontics, we’re delighted to provide state-of-the-art orthodontic services with a personal touch for the families of Wayland and the surrounding communities. We provide treatments for smiles at every stage of life, from adult orthodontics, to Invisalign Teen, to children’s braces. If you’re interested in discovering if your child needs braces, we invite you to contact us and schedule an appointment with one of our compassionate and experienced experts. We can be reached online or at (508) 358-6300.