How To Tell If My Child Needs Braces?
As a parent, we always want to give our children the best, especially when it comes to their health and wellbeing. So you may be wondering, ‘So many children are getting braces nowadays, how can I tell if my child needs braces?’
How can I tell if my child needs braces?
You probably will not know for sure if your child will need braces until he or she had a consultation with the orthodontist. However, here are a few signs you may look out for, indicating your child is likely to benefit from visiting the orthodontist:
- Early, late, or irregular loss of baby teeth
- Delayed eruption of adult teeth
- Difficulty in chewing or biting
- Teeth are crowded, blocked out, or misplaced
- Teeth are too far forward or sticking out
- Thumb- or finger-sucking
- Small or large lower jaw
- Missing teeth
- Upper teeth that are biting on the inside of lower teeth
These are just a few rather obvious signs that braces may benefit your child. However, a lot of other bite issues may not be picked up until a radiograph and a thorough assessment by your orthodontist is performed.
When should my child see an orthodontist?
Although orthodontic treatment can be carried out at practically any age, there is an optimal timing of treatment for each individual. Sometimes, early orthodontic treatment can significantly reduce the complexity of future comprehensive treatment, as well as, possibly achieving a much more desirable final result.
It is recommended that an initial orthodontic assessment be performed at the first sign of orthodontic problems or around age 7. At this age, the adult molars would have erupted and changing between milk teeth and adult teeth begins. Not everyone is suitable to receive orthodontic treatment at this stage, but a thorough examination can help the orthodontist determine the best time to begin orthodontic treatment for your child.
What are the benefits of early orthodontic examination?
Early detection of orthodontic problems can allow timely intervention which allows guidance of jaw growth and development of dentition. Even if orthodontic treatment is not indicated at this stage, our orthodontists can monitor your child’s growth and development and start treatment at the most suitable timing.
The benefits of early interceptive treatments are:
- Preserving or creating spaces to allow eruption of adult teeth
- Reducing the need for teeth extraction
- Reducing risk of trauma of protruding front teeth
- Stop uneven toothwear and gum recession as a result of an underbite
- Shorten treatment time in braces
- Balancing facial profile by influencing jaw growth
What causes the need for braces?
Crooked teeth, or more correctly known as malocclusion, can be caused by a number of things. Crooked teeth can be an inherited trait. Parents with crooked teeth are more likely to have children with irregularly aligned teeth. Others develop over time due to thumb- or finger-sucking, mouth breathing, dental decay, accidents, or poor nutrition. Or there is not enough room in the jaws for the teeth so they become crowed or crooked, or the jaws don’t line up properly.
To learn more about causes of crooked teeth, please visit our blog post Why Do I Have Crooked Teeth?
What type of braces will be best for my child?
So, your child had a consultation with the orthodontist. You were probably given a few choices of appliances that may be suitable for your child. But, which one will suit your child best?
Since your child will be the one wearing the braces, it is important to engage him or her into the decision making process. Here are some features of different appliances that are commonly used in current orthodontic treatments:
- Metal Braces – Most cost effective
- Clear Braces – Aesthetic appearance
- Invisalign – Highly aesthetic appearance, good compliance required
- Lingual Braces – Highly aesthetic appearance
Most parents will also be considering the cost factor for each option. The generally rule is, the cost of treatment increased from metal and clear braces to Invisalign, followed by lingual braces.
Want to find out more about whether your child needs braces? Call Specialists in Orthodontics today to make a FREE consultation appointment with our specialist orthodontist.