As your child gets older, you may start to wonder: does my child need braces and how do you know if you need braces? It’s important to bring your child to the dentist before their first birthday. Early detection of orthodontic problems will prevent any complications in the future.
If you notice any of these symptoms in your child, seek out an orthodontist as soon as possible to find out whether your child needs braces.
1. Early or Late Loss of Baby Teeth
If you notice your child losing their baby teeth too early or too late, they may need braces. Losing baby teeth too early can cause teeth to move into the empty spaces while the adult teeth are still growing. Losing baby teeth too late can also cause teeth alignment issues.
2. Misalignment of Jaw Position
Having jaws that don’t match up correctly can cause overbites, underbites, and crossbites. When your child’s teeth don’t line up properly, it can make it difficult to chew and can cause frequent cheek or tongue biting. Being aware of jaw problems is an important sign in how to tell if you need braces.
3. Crowded Teeth
When your child’s teeth overlap or are too close together, it is known as crowding. Crowding can cause many problems such as uncomfortable chewing or biting, lisps, mouth breathing and irregular teeth alignment. It can even prevent your child from brushing and flossing properly, leading to an excess of plaque in your child’s mouth and a higher risk of tooth decay.
Braces can fix this problem by straightening out the teeth and putting them in the proper position.
4. Prolonged Thumb-Sucking
Noticing a history of thumb-sucking is another way how to know if you need braces. Thumb-sucking can cause your child’s front teeth to protrude outward, and can also cause crowding on the bottom teeth.
Most children stop the habit of thumb-sucking when they’re two or four years old. However, if your child continues to suck his or her thumb while permanent teeth are coming in, your child may end up needing braces.
5. Mouth Breathing
Children who breathe through their mouth will have their mouth open often, which affects the appearance of their face and the growth of their teeth. Because their tongue is not able to sit on the roof of their mouth, your child can develop a longer face with narrow jaws. This creates a smaller amount of space for adult teeth to grow, resulting in a need for braces.
Does Your Child Need Braces?
Make an appointment for your child to see an orthodontist as soon as you notice these signs you need braces, as some of them can cause pain and tooth decay over time. Having braces early can help in fixing these problems before they become painful complications for your child.
We specialize in treating children at Orthodontics and Dentistry for Kids. Our experienced and friendly staff will ensure that your child’s smile will be the best it can be. Contact us with any questions, or to schedule your child’s appointment.
Dr. Perez has been in the private practice of Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics for almost 30 years. He has been educated in top universities around the world, receiving training in the United States, Spain and Mexico. He is currently a member of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. Dr. Perez is fluent in both Spanish and English.