Reasons a Child May Need Braces
When you take your kid to the dentist, the primary goals would be to ensure their continued dental health and to help teach them about the habits that they need to begin observing (and must maintain into adulthood) such as brushing, flossing, using mouthwash, and eating the right foods.
There’s one other thing that parents also keep in mind each time they arrive at the dentist’s clinic for the child’s routine checkup. Have you guessed it already? It’s the possibility that the dentist will examine the child’s teeth and inform them that they should consult an orthodontist because the child may need braces. At Surfside Dental Care our offices are staffed with skilled Pediatric Dentists as well as Orthodontists, saving you from extra referral time or a secondary appointment.
Why would a child need to get braces?
There are a few reasons a child may need braces that your dentist can tell you about:
- Crooked, overcrowded or overlapping teeth. Not everyone is born with perfectly aligned teeth, and issues like these are actually quite common.
- Malocclusion. This is the term used to refer to a bad bite. Your child’s top or bottom jaw may be bigger than the other; if the upper jaw is bigger, the condition is called an overbite, and if the lower jaw is bigger, it’s called an underbite.
- Early tooth loss. If a child loses their baby teeth too soon, they may need braces to ensure that the permanent teeth will align properly.
- Accidents. Trauma to the mouth can cause problems in the alignment of a child’s teeth.
- Bad oral habits. Thumb-sucking is a habit that can affect a child’s teeth.
- Genetics. Dentists say that problems with the alignment of a person’s teeth are usually inherited. If you (the parents) or other members of the family needed braces during childhood, then your child may need them, too.
What you should do if your child needs braces?
Because braces can be an added expense, braces for kids aren’t always high up on a parent’s want-to-pay-for lists. However, once your dentist helps you understand how beneficial they can be for your child’s overall health, confidence, and physical appearance, getting them is sure to be worth every penny.
If your dentist states that braces are a possibility, here’s what you should do:
See an orthodontist. Seven years is the recommended age for taking a child to see a specialist in correcting teeth and jaw alignment. Crooked teeth and uneven bites can be easily observed at this age. The orthodontist can then examine your child, take x-rays, and make a mold of the child’s teeth to arrive at a proper diagnosis and plan of action.
Talk about the kind of braces to get. There are a few options that orthodontists can recommend for you to consider. There are traditional braces with wires, brackets and rubber bands. Lingual braces, or braces placed behind the teeth, are also available. There are clear, removable braces (Invisalign) that are ideal for specific dental issues. And for kids with more complex issues, braces with headgear may be prescribed.
Follow the orthodontist’s advice. The length of time a child will need the braces to correct the dental issues will depend on how well you can follow the provided instructions. By paying regular visits for monitoring and adjustments, and observing good dental habits to keep the teeth healthy, your child may not need to wear the braces longer than is necessary — and they will soon be proud to flash smiles and show everyone their strong, healthy and beautiful teeth.
We hope you find this info useful and as always don’t hesitate to give any of our Northern California Dentist locations a call to schedule a consultation for braces.