Did you know that braces have been worn throughout history? Archeologists have found many mummified ancient people who had metal bands around their teeth!
Are you wondering the answer to the question, does my child need braces? In this article, explore the top tell-tale signs your child needs them. Read on to discover why braces are so beneficial, and why so many are choosing them for their children to have a healthier and happier smile.
Does Your Child Suck Their Thumb?
To prevent further complications, you’ll want to talk to your dentist about when your child should stop sucking their thumb. Thumb sucking can lead to problems down the road.
Ensure that they’re going to see their dentist for regular check-ups as well. While it can be ok before their permanent teeth come in, past this can lead to several complications.
Signs Your Child Needs Braces
The first thing you’ll want to look at is your child’s bite. When they bite, do their top teeth fit naturally over top their bottom teeth?
Do you notice any openings between their teeth? If so, this is what’s known as an open bite.
Are there teeth on the bottom that go on the outside of their top teeth? This is what’s known as a crossbite.
You’ll also want to make sure that the top teeth in the front only cover about a third of the lower teeth. If they go further down, this is what’s known as an overbite. If it’s the opposite problem where the lower jaw is bigger, that’s what’s known as an underbite.
Does Your Child Need Braces?
Signs your child needs braces aren’t just due to the bite, but also the overall look of the teeth as well. Jaw and tooth problems can be from thumb sucking, losing baby teeth fast, accidents, or genetics.
Take a look at spacing too. Do your child’s teeth seem crowded, or maybe the spacing seems excessive? Your dentist might be the first to notice that your child should go and see an orthodontist. An orthodontist specializes in jaw and teeth problems.
Watch for mouth breathing as well. If your child breaths through their mouth, this can be a sign that their teeth aren’t meeting properly.
What Happens During the First Visit?
During the first visit, your orthodontist will take a look at your child’s bite and teeth. They might ask you different questions such as swallowing and chewing. Also, if you’ve ever noticed any popping or clicking in their jaw.
It’s standard procedure to take x-rays to take a look at any permanent teeth that have yet to come in or any concerns. Afterward, they’ll speak with you about their recommendations on whether your child needs braces or not.
Braces vs Invisalign
Your orthodontist will discuss with you whether your child is a candidate for both Invisalign and braces. Braces are the traditional route for fixing crooked teeth. It’s where wires and brackets are placed to put pressure onto the teeth.
Invisalign is gaining popularity throughout the years since it offers a discreet way to straighten teeth. You don’t have to worry about wires poking or food getting stuck. Traditional braces are more limiting as far as what foods you can and can’t eat.
Invisalign you take out before each meal and brush your teeth before you pop them back in. Once the braces come off, then your child will receive a retainer they wear at night. The retainer will make sure that their teeth stay where they’re supposed to.
The Benefits of Braces
You might think that braces are more for aesthetics, but they aren’t. Not only do they help straighten your child’s teeth, but they can help prevent gum disease and tooth decay.
When teeth are crooked and not straight, it makes them harder to clean. When teeth aren’t cleaned properly, this can lead to tooth decay and cavities over time. Braces will spread out the crooked teeth to make them easier to clean.
Crooked teeth and jaws can lead to speech problems. When your child’s jaw and teeth are aligned where they need to be, then speech can improve.
Braces also help with self-esteem. Many will cover their mouths for a smile because they’re embarrassed by their teeth. When they have straight teeth, they’ll feel more confident when smiling for pictures.
Helps Prevent Injuries
If your child has protruding teeth, this can make them more prone to accidents. This can include falling, car crashes, or sports.
How Old Should My Child Get Braces?
Every child will get all of their permanent teeth at a different age and will have different needs. It’s more about your child’s development than their age on the calendar. When they have 4 of their lower and upper front teeth, that’s a good time to have them see an orthodontist.
A good range is between 7-9 years old. Depending on your child’s needs, they might need a removable appliance instead of braces. If your child has a jaw problem where one jaw is wider than the other, they might need expanders as well.
Answering the Question To: Does My Child Need Braces?
Now that you’ve explored the answer to, does my child need braces, you should be well on your way to deciding if your child needs treatment. Are you ready to book your first appointment for your child? Ready for them to have that healthy and happy smile you’ve dreamed of for them?
Contact us today for a consult, and we’ll answer all questions and concerns you have. We’ll come up with an action plan that’s specific to your child’s needs.