child needs orthodontic treatment

How to determine if your child needs orthodontic treatment

As a child grows up, it is natural for parents to wonder if they need braces. In this article, we have answered most of the queries that you might have regarding braces for children. Fitting braces can be a time-consuming and expensive process. However, corrective dental braces have shown a high success rate.

Braces or other dental care helps in developing proper jaw alignment and function. It also is essential for oral sanitation and dental wellbeing. Teeth that have been correctly aligned are easier to maintain and clean, reducing the risk of gum, tooth decay, or other dental issues.

What is the objective of orthodontic treatment?

Some individuals have naturally aligned teeth that fit together; however, you must consider orthodontic care if your child has any problems with the spacing of the teeth or the bite. Orthodontics uses braces to straighten teeth, close gaps between teeth, correct problems with bites, and align teeth and lips properly.

Most individuals receiving orthodontic care are youngsters. However, adults do get braces too. In kids, orthodontic care is going to guide their proper jaw growth. This will help permanent teeth to grow in an aligned manner. Aligned permanent teeth will help prevent tooth and gum problems later on in life.

What are some advantages of early orthodontic treatment?

Early analyses of dental problems will allow timely interference, which will enable the development of dentition and guide jaw growth. However, even if orthodontic problems are not indicated at an early age, it is always better to get the opinion of a professional to monitor and start treatment at a suitable time.

Some advantages of early orthodontic care are:

  • Reduces the need for tooth extraction
  • Creates or preserves spaces for allowing eruption of adult teeth
  • Reduces time in braces
  • Reduces trauma risk of front teeth protruding
  • Stops gum recession and uneven tooth wear due to an underbite

When should a parent take their child to the orthodontist?

Even though orthodontic care can start from any age, there is a suitable timing for dental treatment for every person. In a few instances, early orthodontic care has significantly lessened the complexity of comprehensive treatment in the future and received a very aesthetic final result.

Dentists recommend that an early dental assessment be done – around the age of 7 – which is when the first orthodontic problems typically arise. During this time, the adult molars are going to erupt. It is also the time when milk teeth change to permanent teeth. Not that everyone needs orthodontic care so early on in their life; however, a thorough assessment will help decide when they must begin.

Signs that your child needs orthodontic attention

These are some symptoms which indicate that your child may need orthodontic treatment:

  1.  Crowded teeth alignment 

When a child’s teeth overlap or are situated too close to each other, it is called crowding. Crowding can result in painful biting or chewing, irregular teeth alignment and mouth breathing. It is also going to prevent the child from flossing or brushing correctly. This will lead to an excess plaque build-up and a higher risk of tooth decay. Braces can help you fix this problem by straightening the teeth and realigning them in a proper place.

  1. Breathing through to the mouth

Oral health, which includes gum disease and tooth decay, can be harmed by your child’s habit of breathing through their mouth. This results in a long face with narrow jaws since the tongue doesn’t rest on the roof of the mouth.

  1. Thumb-sucking

In children, oral habits like thumb sucking and other forms of finger sucking can lead to dental problems. This is because the front teeth are pushed forward by thumb-sucking, leading to lower teeth crowding. You may need to consider braces if your child continues to engage in these behaviours after the age of two or three.

  1. Misaligned jaw position 

If your child has a jaw that doesn’t match correctly, it will cause several problems, such as underbites, overbites, and crossbites. The misalignment of your child’s teeth will make it difficult for them to chew as well as causes frequent tongue or cheek biting. Being alert for jaw problems is an important way of telling if the child needs braces.

  1. Loss of baby teeth at an earlier or later state 

Do you think your child’s baby teeth are falling out at the wrong time? Your child might need braces. Loss of baby teeth early will cause teeth to grow into empty spaces as the adult teeth are growing still. Loss of baby teeth late is going to cause teeth alignment issues.

What kinds of braces are suitable for kids and which are not?

If you consult an orthodontist, you will be given several choices for your child’s braces. However, which one will suit them the best? As your child will be wearing the braces, it is a crucial decision to make. Below are some key features of the braces commonly used in orthodontic care.

  • Clear braces – aesthetic appearance
  • Invisalign – good compliance needed, extremely aesthetic look
  • Metal braces – pocket friendly
  • Lingual braces – highly aesthetic look

Are there any alternatives for braces?

Invisible braces, ceramic braces and metal braces are among the most common kinds of teeth straightening methods. However, if you are looking for a much quicker and permanent alternative, teeth straightening surgery will give you the desired results.

It is a minor procedure that will change your teeth alignment in the mouth. It can also help some people surgically realign their jaw for accommodating chewing and speaking.


Some orthodontic disorders may be easier and faster to fix if detected and treated relatively soon when adult teeth have erupted and face development is nearly finished.

Orthodontic therapy can not only improve your child’s smile’s appearance, but it can also help them avoid handling problems, such as declining oral health, dental discomfort or pain, and difficulty chewing, speaking, or looking for their teeth.

If you suspect that your child may need braces, the best course of action is to consult the nearest paediatric dentist.

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