6 Signs Your Child Might Need Braces
As a parent, you want your child to grow up with a healthy smile they feel confident in as they age; at a certain point, you may be wondering if they need braces, clear aligners, or another solution. As the leading provider of braces in Jackson, MS, Dr. Danny O’Keefe and his team have put together the following comprehensive list of signs your child needs braces or other orthodontic treatment.
Crowded or Gapped Teeth
Perhaps the most common indication one needs braces is crooked or crowded teeth. Twisted, overlapping, or otherwise wayward teeth can be adjusted with braces to help them stay strong and healthy.
Spaces Between Teeth
Larger gaps can increase your child’s risk of cavities, gum disease, and other oral health issues. Orthodontic treatment such as braces can work to close these more sizable gaps to ensure permanent teeth stay healthy.
Irregular Loss of Baby Teeth
Children’s baby teeth should begin falling out around the age of 6; by 12 to 13, all of the baby teeth should be replaced by adult teeth. If your child’s baby teeth fell out earlier than usual — or they remain in the mouth longer than when they should fall out naturally — oral development issues that need orthodontic treatment can set in.
Visible Jaw Misalignment or Improper Bite
If you suspect your child’s jaw or bite is irregular, it’s best to see a professional for an orthodontic evaluation. Common jaw and bite issues to look out for include:
- Overbite (upper teeth jut outward)
- Underbite (lower teeth jut outward)
- Crossbite (where teeth do not overlap correctly)
- Open bite (A gap exists between the upper and lower front teeth when mouth is closed)
Difficulty Chewing or Biting
If it’s challenging for your child to chew or bite normally, this could be a signal of misaligned teeth or jaws. Keep in mind that misalignment can be subtle; you may not be able to pick up on it from the front view of your child’s mouth. Signs of chewing issues include food that’s left in the mouth or that falls back out of the mouth. Additionally, slow, inefficient chewing or eating may mean there are misalignment issues.
Prolonged Thumb Sucking
A largely harmless reflex in children, thumb sucking typically fades on its own by around age four. However, prolonged thumb sucking can impact the way baby teeth come in or the development of the shape of their mouth. An orthodontist can work with you to help your child break this habit and create a plan to correct issues that may have surfaced as a result.
Find Out if Your Child Needs Braces With Our Team in Jackon, MS
If you suspect your child has oral development complications and requires braces or another form of orthodontic treatment, the best way to find out is to schedule an appointment at Family Dental Care today. Drs. Danny O’Keefe and Jan O’Keefe Belote have helped numerous families just like yours achieve straight, long-lasting smiles with state-of-the-art orthodontic treatment.