How to Tell When Your Child Needs Braces

How to Tell When Your Child Needs Braces

Kids are getting braces at earlier ages these days because our understanding of how teeth change and evolve is now better than ever before. That in-depth knowledge and a detailed orthodontic exam help us determine whether braces are right for your child and, if so, when to start treatment. 

At Kids Dental Center, kid-friendly dentist Dr. Bosede Adeniji and our pediatric dentistry and orthodontics specialists are here to support children and parents as they navigate the road to a straight and healthy smile. 

We understand that it can be hard to determine whether your child needs braces on your own, so we’re here to guide you. Our December blog covers all the vital information about braces in kids and how you know when it’s time to consider them. 

Age for orthodontic evaluation

The American Orthodontic Association recommends that children have an orthodontic evaluation at 7 years old

Our team can evaluate your child’s baby teeth to gather important information about how their teeth will develop and grow as an adult. This allows us to prescribe braces or other orthodontic treatments that will help your child grow up with great oral health and a straight smile. 

But, if you notice problems with your child’s teeth before age 7, we recommend scheduling their orthodontic evaluation sooner. 

Problems that might mean your child needs braces

Some of the different potential problems that may indicate your child needs braces are: 

Losing baby teeth early or late

Kids typically start losing baby teeth around age 6. As adult teeth grow in, they essentially push baby teeth out. The teeth fall out in stages, with the front top and bottom teeth being first. 

The molars, at the back of the mouth, are usually the last to go. They're typically don’t shed until around age 9-12. Early or late tooth loss can cause your child's permanent teeth to grow in wrong, so they may need braces to prevent that from happening. 

Problems eating

Discomfort when chewing or biting may indicate a problem with the alignment of your child's baby or adult teeth. 

Sometimes braces are needed to restore healthy alignment and allow your child to eat without pain.

Mouth breathing

Mouth breathing isn't actually an orthodontic issue, however, it can cause certain muscles to shift and disrupt the proper balance in your child's mouth. 

This can lead to bite problems, tooth crowding, and other problems like teeth grinding, but braces can stop those from developing. 

Jaw movement

If your child's jaw frequently moves too much or clicks as they move it, it usually means that their teeth don’t fit together correctly when they close their mouth.

A bad bite means your child could have crooked teeth as well as difficulty chewing and other issues. Braces can shift the teeth and their underlying bone to correct the bite. 

If you have these or any other concerns about your child’s teeth or oral health, don’t hesitate to reach out to our Kids Dental Center team, whether they’re a toddler or a teen. 

Next steps if your child needs braces

After your child’s orthodontic evaluation, we can tell you whether your child needs braces. If so, we may recommend a two-phase treatment plan to get ahead of the problem. 

By starting orthodontic treatment earlier, while your child’s still growing, we have more control over tooth movement. Early treatment now might equal less time in braces later. 

We offer a range of high-tech braces options like Invisalign®, clear bracket braces, and lingual (behind-the-teeth brackets) braces. So, today’s braces definitely aren’t as uncomfortable or prominent as you may remember from your childhood. 

Are you recognizing some possible signs of bite problems in your child? We’re here to help. Call our office or contact us online now.

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