A common worry among parents is whether their little ones may need braces. Teeth misalignment and jaw problems are prevalent among children. Do not fret! There are considerable developments in orthodontic treatments to restore your little ones' dazzling smile and oral health.
Here are three warning signs that your child may need braces.
1. Overcrowding Crooked or Misplaced Teeth
Overcrowding is when a child's teeth develop too close together or overlap if the space in their mouth is small. Crowded teeth have several side effects on your child's oral health. Firstly, the cosmetic implications may be dire hence lowering their esteem. Further, the child may develop speech problems due to overlapping or crowded teeth. They may also experience pain and discomfort.
Crowding also affects the child's oral hygiene because they cannot efficiently brush or floss between the crevasses and cracks. This situation creates an opportunity for the build-up of plaque or tartar, thus allowing bacteria to grow. Bacteria will ultimately cause oral ailments like gum disease.
Crowding can also lead to mouth breathing, mild lisp, and uncomfortable chewing.
Your child may not need braces immediately. However, have a dentist monitor their oral development more closely. Braces will fix this issue by aligning the teeth in their proper position.
2. Thumb Sucking or Mouth Breathing
These habitual actions are early signs that your child may need braces. Thumb sucking or using a pacifier may change how their teeth grow. Over time, their front teeth may protrude while the bottom ones crowd. Thumb sucking can also cause misaligned jaws and jaw pain. This habit, though soothing, can cause lisping and difficulty swallowing if continued as their adult teeth grow.
Note that thumb-sucking for a few months or years may not affect your child's oral composition so much.
Habitual mouth breathing can change the shape of your child's face. They will develop long faces with narrow jaws because their tongue cannot rest at the roof of their mouth. A narrower jaw creates a smaller space for adult teeth. Hence, the child will experience an abnormal oral composition (overcrowding).
Such a child will greatly benefit from having braces to correct their alignment.
3. Spaces Between Teeth
It is common for a child to have spaces between their primary teeth. They have these gaps because baby teeth are much smaller than permanent teeth. Often, they fill as the permanent teeth replace the primary ones.
However, if the wide gaps persist after growing adult teeth, your child will need braces to close them. These gaps may cause problems with speech, appearance, or food trapping.
For more information on braces for children, contact a professional near you.