How Do I Know If My Child Needs Braces? 

child with braces

Although a perfectly straight smile may be beautiful, a healthy bite goes further than being aesthetically pleasing and braces can help. Properly-aligned teeth are easier to clean, which means a reduced risk of tooth decay and gum disease. In children, a proper bite supports chewing and speech development. If you wonder if your child may need braces, you can learn some common signs in this guide from the experts at All Kids Dental.

Your Child May Have Early Or Late Loss Of Baby Teeth

If your child is losing baby teeth prematurely, or even behind schedule, this can be a common indicator of orthodontic issues. Typically, a child gets their first teeth between the ages of 1-3 years old. These baby teeth usually fall out by the age of 6. A child is expected to have all their adult teeth by the time they reach 12-13 years of age. If a child’s teeth fall out much earlier than expected or have yet to loosen even after they were expected to fall out, this can be a sign that your child may need braces.

Your Child May Have Improper Bite Or A Misaligned Jaw

If you notice that your child has issues with chewing or biting, this could be an indicator that you have an improper bite. There are a number of common jaw and bite problems that occur when teeth do not align properly and can be corrected by braces.

  • Underbite: lower teeth extends past and does not overlap well with upper teeth

  • Overbite: upper teeth extends past and does not overlap well with lower teeth

  • Crossbite: teeth generally do not line up properly when your mouth is closed

  • Open bite: there is a gap in between the upper and lower teeth due to improper alignment, even when the mouth is closed

Your Child May Have Crowded Teeth

If your child’s teeth are overlapping or crooked, they could benefit significantly from orthodontic correction. Crowded teeth can keep other permanent adult teeth from growing healthily. Without correction, a child could develop a lisp, or have difficulty chewing.

Your Child May Have Peculiar Habits: Such As Sucking Their Thumb, Breathing Through Their Mouth, Or Grinding Teeth

You might not know this, but a number of common habits in children can affect their dental well-being. Excessive thumb-sucking in the ages of 2-4, or extended pacifier use, can actually affect the way your child’s teeth grow. Thumb-sucking can pull teeth forward and create crowding in the bottom teeth. Similarly, if a child breathes through their mouth, this can also affect the way their teeth come in.

In mouth-breathing, a child’s tongue does not rest properly on the roof of their mouth. The result can be that they have narrow jaws and longer faces. Teeth grinding can be a sign that your child has an existing misalignment. If left untreated, the grinding habit can cause damage to teeth and further create other issues in the alignment of the teeth and jaws.

How Can All Kids Dental of Suffolk, VA Help?

If you are wondering if your child will need braces and need professional input, look no further than the pediatric dental experts at All Kids Dental in Suffolk, VA. All Kids is proud to offer the very best dental care for your children in Suffolk and the surrounding Virginia neighborhoods. Call and schedule a visit with Dr. Joe and Dr. Brett today!