Braces Phase: How to Know When Your Child May Need Orthodontics

Contributed by Meghan Belnap

When you think of a child who needs braces, you might imagine a kid with a mouth full of crooked teeth. However, crooked teeth don’t just appear overnight. There are warning signs that can indicate that your child might need orthodontics. You will have to pay close attention since the way your child’s teeth look right now aren’t always a clear indicator of what’s actually going on in their jaw.

Your Child Is Having Difficulty Chewing

If your child seems to have difficulty chewing or biting their food, there is a possibility that their teeth could be moving. Some children and adults have teeth that will invert (in other words, they start pointing back into the mouth). This process is often slow but painful. However, this can be fixed with proper orthodontics. The sooner this issue is addressed, the more likely it is that your orthodontist will be able to easily align the teeth.

Teeth Are Becoming Crowded

Teeth don’t always come in as they are supposed to, and there are multiple issues that can lead to overcrowding. Children with smaller jaws tend to experience this. Crowding tends to happen in children between the ages of 7 and 14, as baby teeth are lost and permanent teeth come in.

Cases can range from a mild rotation of a few teeth to serious rotations of multiple teeth that have been crowded together. Crowding tends to be the result of having too big of teeth, a small jaw, and/or extra teeth. Braces can be used to draw the teeth together and align them.

Teeth Are Not Properly Meeting up

Some children experience crowding, but others have noticeable gaps. They tend to have very small teeth, large jaws, and/or teeth that are missing. Orthodontists usually treat this by moving the teeth together, increasing the width of teeth with the use of veneers or crowns, or by adding in fake teeth to fill in large gaps. Your friendly orthodontists at a place like Pedodontic Associates Inc can recommend the right procedure for helping your child’s teeth meet up.

Teeth and Jaws Are Disproportionate to the Face

A disproportionate jaw or tooth size is often a clear indicator that orthodontic work will need to be done. There are several conditions children can have that cause them to have extremely small lower jaws. Micrognathia and Pierre Robin sequence are two such conditions. Although they can both be corrected by cosmetic surgery and orthodontics, they can both indicate serious underlying conditions, such as a connective tissue disorder.

Braces are not going to be every orthodontist’s go-to resolution for each child’s misaligned teeth. However, braces can do a great deal of work to improve your child’s oral health and give them the brilliant smile that they deserve.

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