You might not be surprised to know that approximately 4.5 million Americans are wearing braces at any time. But did you know that 80% of them are between 6 to 18 years of age? Now you may be thinking that “Does my child need braces”? “How would I know”? This article will give you the answer. Keep reading!
Braces are a well-known orthodontic treatment that aids in the alignment and straightening of teeth, improves bite and jaw function, and boosts general dental health. But how can you determine whether your child requires them? Here are the 8 most significant indicators that your little champ’s oral health can be improved with braces.
1. Early Loss of Baby Teeth
Every kid loses baby teeth. However, losing baby teeth too soon may indicate some issues with their permanent teeth. They can be crooked or misplaced. This might result in biting troubles and other dental concerns. So, if you notice your kid losing their baby teeth before age five, braces may be needed to correct their bite and avoid future difficulties.
2. Excessive Thumb Sucking
Thumb sucking is a normal behavior among young infants, but it can create difficulties with tooth alignment if it persists past the age of five. If your child is a chronic thumb sucker, braces are often required to treat any dental abnormalities that have arisen as a result.
3. The Underbite Problem
When the lower jaw protrudes past the upper jaw and the lower teeth overlap the top teeth, it results in an underbite. This can lead to eating, speaking, and general oral health issues. If your child shows such underbite symptoms, your orthodontist can prescribe braces as an underbite treatment for your kid.
4. Gapped Teeth
Gaps between teeth can be a cosmetic issue for some children, but they can also cause problems with their oral health. Food can get stuck in the gaps between teeth, leading to tooth decay and gum disease. If your child has gapped teeth, braces can help to close the gaps and prevent further problems.
5. Teeth That are Crowded or Misaligned
It is difficult to clean crowded or misaligned teeth properly. Thus they can create a lot of dental health problems. Misaligned teeth also disrupt biting alignment. If your child's teeth are also crowded or misaligned, braces can help rectify the condition and avoid future dental problems.
6. Overbite Issue
Have you noticed your child's upper teeth stick past their lower teeth? That's what's known as an overbite, and it can cause problems with eating, talking, and overall oral health. But don't worry. Braces can help fix the issue and give your child a healthier smile.
7. Breathing Through the Mouth
Breathing through the mouth can disrupt your child's tooth alignment and overall dental health. If your little one is a mouth breather, they may need braces to fix any dental problems that have arisen. So, it's essential to encourage your child to breathe through their nose.
8. Chewing or Biting Issues
If you've noticed that your little one is having trouble chewing or biting, it could be due to misaligned teeth or jaw abnormalities. Braces may be the answer to remedy this condition and prevent future dental problems.
When Can Children Get Braces?
The age at which a child or a teen can wear braces varies according to their orthodontic needs. However, the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) recommends that children get their first dental check-up by age 7. This is because some orthodontic issues, like crowded teeth and overbites, are simpler to repair when the jaw is still developing.
However, it does not imply that the braces treatment can only start at age 7. Some kids may require it sooner, and some later. An appointment with an orthodontist is the best approach to deciding if your child needs braces and when they should get them.
How Long Does a Child Wear Braces?
The answer to this question varies depending on a number of factors, including the severity of the orthodontic condition, age, and adherence to the orthodontic treatment plan. Most children wear braces for 12-24 months. However, this might vary depending on the condition stated above.
Remember, following the orthodontist's instructions and attending all follow-up appointments are critical to achieving the greatest and quickest results.
A beautiful smile boosts confidence, and it's never too early to care about your child's dental health. Children can benefit significantly from braces. They can straighten teeth while also improving overall dental health. Therefore if you are concerned about your child's teeth, don’t think twice before making an appointment with an orthodontist.
They can assess your child's orthodontic requirements and propose the best course of action. Your child can have a healthy, attractive smile for years with appropriate care and attention.
Author Bio: Dr. Satish Pai is an orthodontist and Ivy League-trained dentist who has served as a faculty at Columbia University. He believes a perfect smile makes a person look great and feel great. As the founder of Putnam Orthodontics and a Partner at Brite Orthodontics, he is dedicated to providing the best orthodontic treatments to his patients. He also writes to educate people about orthodontics, the importance of correctly aligned teeth, and good oral health. In his free time, you can find him golfing, doing yoga or surfing, and spending time with his family.
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