Signs Your Child Might Need Orthodontics
When children have crooked or misaligned teeth, it can affect their confidence and interfere with their oral health. Orthodontics can correct alignment issues and create a beautiful, healthy smile.
Knowing when a child might need braces is best determined by a dentist, but knowing the signs your child might need orthodontics is helpful in knowing when to seek an evaluation. Lake Jackson, TX, dentist Brian Bell can evaluate your child’s smile to determine if orthodontics are necessary.
With this in mind, let’s take a closer look at some key signs that your child might need braces.
Teeth Are Crowded or Crooked
Teeth can appear crowded in the mouth if the jaw is too small, there are too many teeth, or the teeth are irregularly shaped or sized. Sometimes this leads to crooked and overlapping teeth.
Crooked teeth can also occur for other reasons, like genetics or thumb sucking. Children that have crooked teeth or overcrowding of the teeth may benefit from orthodontic treatment.
Bite Alignment Issues
Issues with the alignment of a child’s bite, meaning the teeth do not meet as they should, can be a good indication that orthodontics are needed.
If left untreated, bite alignment issues can cause jaw pain or cause the teeth to unevenly and quickly wear down. Some bite issues that can be corrected with orthodontics at our Lake Jackson practice include:
- Underbite: An underbite occurs when the lower teeth stick out beyond the upper teeth
- Overbite: An overbite occurs when the upper teeth stick out beyond the lower teeth
- Crossbite: A crossbite occurs when one or more of the upper teeth sits behind the lower teeth
- Open bite: An open bite occurs when there’s a gap between the upper and lower teeth; it is most noticeable when the mouth is closed
Prolonged Thumb Sucking and Pacifier Use
Children who continue to suck their thumbs or use pacifiers past the age of 2 may develop issues with the alignment of their teeth as a result. Prolonged thumb sucking and pacifier use can cause the upper teeth to shift forward or affect the growth pattern of the jaw.
Orthodontics can correct bite issues caused by thumb sucking or pacifier use as long as these habits are given up before getting braces.
Losing Baby Teeth Early or Late
Children usually begin to start losing their baby teeth around the age of 6. Usually all of their baby teeth will be gone by the age of 12 or 13 and replaced with all of their adult teeth.
If baby teeth begin to fall out well before the age of 6 or much later than expected, there may be some underlying issues with the development of the teeth or jaw that may require orthodontics to correct.
Schedule a Consultation
It’s important that children who have bite issues, crooked teeth, or other issues with alignment undergo orthodontic treatment to protect their oral health and boost their confidence. If you have noticed any signs that your child might need orthodontics, we welcome you to send us a message to schedule a consultation with Lake Jackson dentist Brian Bell.