Does My Child Really Need Braces?

Beautiful young woman with teeth braces

Correcting a crooked smile is the most common reason children get braces, but it’s far from the only one. A lot of parents wonder whether their children might need them. However, they don’t always know what to look for. Understanding the most common reasons why children need an orthodontic procedure should help. So, here are a few reasons why we’d recommend considering them.

Most Common Signs That Your Children Need Braces

Most of the time, parents wait until their children develop some sort of health issue. Health issues aren’t the only reason you should consider orthodontics, though. Poorly shaped smiles can affect children’s confidence. And, it can even make it difficult for them to speak. Speak to your orthodontist if you’ve seen any of the following issues.

Oral Health Issues

Nearly 75% of all people wind up needing some type of orthodontic treatment. Usually, they’ll wait until they’ve got an oral health issue. These can be easier to see than other issues. So, if you see any of the following, it might be time to visit your orthodontist.

Misaligned Bites:

Ideally, when your close your mouth, your teeth touch lightly. Sometimes, the bottom teeth sit in front of the top teeth. That’s called an underbite. Whenever the top teeth sit in front, that’s called an overbite. Misaligned bites can cause further health issues.

Crowded Teeth:

Each tooth should sit close to its neighbors, but not too close. Otherwise, crowding makes it difficult to clean them. Thus, promoting the development of gum diseases.

Gapped Teeth:

Gapped teeth aren’t always seen as a health issue. However, they can promote plaque and other bacteria too. If your children have too much space between their teeth, speak to their orthodontist.

Crooked Teeth:

Even crooked teeth could be a cause for concern. When your teeth don’t sit straight, it’s much more difficult to brush them effectively.


Confidence Problems

Has your child seemed like they’ve felt a little shy lately? That shyness could be the result of them feeling uncomfortable with their smile. Corrective procedures, such as Invisalign, could help to solve the problem. A nice smile might do wonders for their self-esteem.

Speech Difficulties

Believe it or not, some speech difficulties are the result of bad teeth placement. If your teeth don’t line up well, they could clash whenever you’re talking. Has your child had difficulties with their speech? In that case, it might be worth speaking to your orthodontist. Orthodontics could help them learn how to speak without any problems.

When Should Your Child Get Them?

Sometimes, parents don’t get help as soon as they should. Most of the time, that’s because they don’t know when to ask for help. We’d suggest waiting until your children have gotten most of their adult teeth. When does that happen, though?

Between the Ages of 8-14, Children Should Get All of Their Adult Teeth:
Children can start losing their baby teeth as young as 3 or 4 years old. However, in most cases, they won’t get all of them until they are teenagers. In some instances, children as young as 8 years old can have all of their adult teeth. Either way, waiting until they’ve gotten most of them is a good idea. Some orthodontic issues correct themselves whenever the adult teeth finish growing.

Why Your Child Might Need Braces

Some behaviors increase the odds that your children will need braces. Keep an eye out for the following behaviors. They might make visiting the orthodontist necessary.

Breathing Through the Mouth:
Breathing through the mouth when you’re young can cause your jaw to develop an underbite.

Thumb Sucking:
Sucking on your thumb during childhood can push your teeth back. Ultimately, one row of teeth might protrude in front of the others.

Poor Nutrition:
Adequate nutrition is essential for the proper development of your teeth. Without enough calcium, they won’t have all the necessary building materials. Other deficiencies can also contribute to orthodontic issues.

Poor Oral Hygiene:
Finally, you need to teach your children proper oral hygiene from a young age. The longer they’ve had good oral health, the less likely they’ll need orthodontics.

Other Signs That Your Child Might Need Them

Are you still unsure whether your child should see an orthodontist? Don’t worry. A lot of parents express uncertainty when it comes to these procedures. Have they shown any of the following symptoms? If so, it might be better to go ahead and bite the bullet.

Mouth or Jaw Pain:
Above all, if your child experiences jaw pain, they need to see a medical professional. Most of the time, this is due to a misaligned jaw. Leaving that alone could cause them to damage their teeth. Misalignment makes it easy to crush teeth together. Correcting those misalignments could prevent further issues from developing.

On both sides of the mouth, your child’s teeth should line up evenly. Otherwise, they’ve got a crossbite. These may cause their teeth to wear unevenly.

Open Bites:
Does your child have a gap between their upper and lower teeth whenever they close their mouth? If so, that’s an open bite. Open bites are common in children who suck their thumbs for a long time. These bites can make it difficult for them to chew their food properly.

Protruding Teeth:
Overjets occur whenever some of the teeth protrude in front of the others. Since they’ll be hit first during a fall, this puts them at increased risk of being knocked out

Difficulty Chewing:
Chewing should always be an easy task for your children. Problems with teeth alignment could make it a lot more complicated, though. If your children struggle with chewing, it’s time to see an orthodontist.

Vondran Orthodontics: The Top Orthodontist in Little Rock AR

If you think your children might need braces, give us a call. Vondran Orthodontics specializes in treating children and adults. We’ve helped tons of patients over the years, and we’d love to help you.


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