Whether your child needs braces or not is a question that should be answered by an experienced, orthodontist. However, there are quite a few signs that you may notice as a parent that could indicate braces are needed.
If orthodontic problems aren’t addressed properly and promptly, they can end up impacting your child’s oral health in a negative way. It’s important for parents to learn how to identify any early signs of orthodontic problems so you can get them in for an orthodontic consultation to determine if your child really does need braces.
Here’s a closer look at some of the main signs your child could need braces.
Sign #1 – Overbite
An overbite is the horizontal and vertical overlap of your child’s front teeth. While the overbite can vary, usually it is noticeable when your child’s front teeth are sticking out a lot farther than their bottom teeth are. If your child has an overbite, it can result in several oral health problems and issues, including:
- An increased risk of fracturing their front teeth if an injury occurs
- Complications when dental restorative work is done, such as veneers, cosmetic fillings, and crowns
- High risk of trauma to your child’s front teeth
Sign #2 – Crowded Teeth
One of the most common signs your child may need to get braces is overcrowding of their teeth. This means there isn’t enough room in their mouth for all their teeth. If there isn’t enough room for their teeth, the teeth become crowded and cause teeth to become crooked. Crowding only gets worse as your child begins to grow older, and regular oral hygiene tasks like flossing and brushing can become very complicated. This means that teeth may not be cleaned properly since it takes more effort and time to clean crowded teeth.
If teeth are severely crowded, it may be nearly impossible to get some areas of the teeth clean. When this happens, plaque can build up, resulting in bad breath, tooth decay, bone loss around your child’s teeth, and gum disease.
Seeking orthodontic treatment for crowded teeth while your child is still young can help straighten and align their teeth. This will help prevent future oral health and pain problems, lowering their risk of problems like gum disease and cavities.
Sign #3 – Openbite
An openbite is a type of abnormal bite in which your child’s front teeth don’t touch at all. This may result in speech difficulties and problems, such as lisps, and may make it difficult to bite into food.
Sign #4 – Underbite
Another type of abnormal bite that can be a sign your child needs braces is an underbite, which occurs when the upper front teeth are behind your child’s lower front teeth. This can happen when a child has a disproportionate jaw size. An underbite that isn’t treated can result in problems chewing and biting, an imbalanced facial appearance, and faster facial aging as your child grows up.
Sign #5 – Crossbite
Crossbites are a type of abnormal bite in which your child’s upper tooth ends up behind a lower opposing tooth. A crossbite can cause your child many different problems, such as asymmetrical aw growth or excessive wear to these teeth. In some cases, the teeth may even fracture. Other problems associated with a crossbite include the inability to restore teeth that have been overly worn or fractured, as well as increased gum recession around the teeth affected by the crossbite.
Some of the other general signs that your child could need braces include:
- Accidental biting of the roof of the mouth or the tongue
- Jaws that make sounds or shift
- Teeth and jaws that are not proportionate to the rest of your child’s face
- Irregular, late, or early loss of the baby teeth
- Problems biting or chewing their food
If your child has been experiencing any of these signs, it’s very important to have your child evaluated. An examination by an orthodontist can determine if your child’s bite is going to grow worse and whether they need to have orthodontic intervention. Your child’s teeth are important to his overall health, so if you’re worried about any potential problems, have them evaluated immediately. Then you can work with your dentist or orthodontist to determine if and when braces are the correct treatment.