How Do I Know If My Child Needs Braces?

smile with braces

For so many children, braces are essential for their health as well as their self-esteem. Crowded teeth, misalignments, and a crooked smile can not only cause embarrassment but can also cause your kids a lot of oral pain. So how can you tell if your kids have braces in the future?

1. First and Foremost—Your Dentist Says So

If you’re worried your kids might need braces, all you have to do is ask. There is no harm in asking our qualified staff for a professional medical opinion on your child’s teeth. A pediatric dentist knows what to look for and knows when your child should be referred to an orthodontist. Remember, getting braces too late or too early can be harmful to your child’s developing smile. So let us tell you when the time is right and if braces are necessary.

2. They Have Spacing Issues

Gaps in your child’s smile can be a direct indication that they will eventually need braces. Teeth that are spread too far apart may disrupt the proper placement of the rest of their smile. Gaps can result in overcrowding in the rest of their teeth. The gap takes up space that is now unavailable to the rest of their developing adult teeth. As the teeth search for spacing of their own, the smile is disrupted and the teeth become more and more crooked in the process. Braces can fill these gaps and put each tooth in its proper place.

3. Their Smile Is Crooked

This is one of the easiest ways to detect if your child is going to require braces. Your kids may want their smiles straightened specifically for the cosmetic benefits, but crooked teeth can be a health issue too. So many parents wonder if slightly crooked teeth will still require braces, but is this just a cosmetic issue? The answer is no. In fact, crooked teeth can cause oral pain and discomfort, as well as, making it difficult to chew, speak, and even maintain basic dental care. It’s best to refer to your dentist for an opinion, but most professionals find braces advisable for the correction of crooked teeth.

4. Your Child’s Jaw Does Not Properly Align

The alignment of your kid’s jaw is crucial to the health of their entire mouth. Misaligned jaws can cause problems in concerns to chewing as well as speaking. The jaw may also shift from time to time causing pain and irritation, even to the point of annoying sounds when the jaw moves. Your child may also have an abnormal bite, which can result in serious trauma to their teeth in the future. Braces can help to correct pain or discomfort now and prevent future damage to your child’s mouth, jaw, and smile.

5. Teeth Are Not Rightfully in Their Place

Out of place teeth can cause kids embarrassment resulting in confidence issues when they just don’t want to reveal their imperfect smile. It’s not just about the cosmetic complications of misplaced teeth though. It’s about what those teeth do to the rest of their teeth, their smile, and how it affects things like eating and even speech. There may also be an issue of baby teeth remaining present or adult teeth taking too long to descend. In these cases, braces may be essential in order to keep other teeth in place while allowing the missing adult tooth to finally take its proper place in their smile.

At the end of the day, there are signs you can look for to indicate whether or not your child will need braces. Just remember though, your dentist is looking for those signs too. It’s best to leave it up to a dental professional to refer you to an orthodontist when or if the time comes. Just keep taking care of your kids’ dental hygiene and make sure to schedule a checkup with our pediatric dental office every six months to keep your kids on track for perfect smiles.

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