Braces are a common part of childhood. In fact, according to the American Association of Orthodontics, around 4.5 million Americans (the majority children and adolescents) wear braces. While they can be an investment, braces in Midlothian, VA can deliver a boost of confidence to a child with a crooked smile. They can also be an important part of dental healthcare, creating space for proper flossing and oral hygiene.
Forewarned is forearmed, and it’s good to keep an eye on your child’s mouth as they grow. That way you’ll be prepared for the eventuality of braces. Here are some signs that braces may be in your child’s future.
Sometimes, when adult teeth come in, they’re packed closely together because there just isn’t enough room to accommodate them. When in close quarters like that, it’s quite easy for the teeth to become crooked.
If your child’s teeth don’t fit together properly when they bite down, braces are going to be a necessity. More than simply a cosmetic issue, a misaligned bite can cause jaw problems later down the line.
Noticeably Crooked Teeth
This is a fairly obvious one. If a child has teeth that are slightly crooked here or there, it may not be an issue. However, vastly misaligned teeth will need to be addressed for both cosmetic and health reasons. Teeth that are poorly aligned can be more difficult to clean and therefore more prone to tooth decay.
Early Loss of Baby Teeth
If your child loses their baby teeth early or has had several removed due to tooth decay, this can be an early indicator of needing braces later in childhood. Baby teeth are placeholders for the adult teeth that come behind. If they lose them earlier than they should, chances are that the adult teeth that grow in will be overcrowded or crooked.
Not all speech problems are caused by dental issues, but some can be. If your child has a lisp, or difficulty pronouncing certain words, then a trip to the dentist can help identify or rule out any dental misalignment that could be contributing to this problem.
Difficulty Biting or Chewing
If your child has noticeable trouble when chewing or eating, this can be a sign of crooked teeth or a bite that’s “off.” In a case where you notice persistent difficulties when eating (biting the tongue, discomfort) you’ll want orthodontic intervention ASAP. Braces will be the likely solution.
Nobody wants to hear that their kid might need braces, but the reality is that braces are an excellent tool for both cosmetic correction as well as oral health. Good news as well, there are tons of options available today that are simple and affordable.
Most children should have their first orthodontist appointment around seven years old when their adult teeth begin to grow in. Dr. Mawaldi and his team of professionals at LifeSmile Orthodontics can begin the process for a lifetime of healthy, dazzling smiles for your child.