Signs Its Time for Your Child to Get Braces
Your child’s teeth will go through many stages in the first twelve years of their life. Milk teeth begin emerging at around six months of age. Their primary teeth should be complete by the time they are approximately three years old. From this age until their pre-teen years, they will lose their milk teeth, and permanent teeth will eventually set in. Each child’s progress varies, but unfortunately, not every child will have the benefit of naturally straight and aligned teeth.
As a parent, your primary concern regarding their teeth should be keeping them healthy and clean. Teach your child to maintain good oral health with regular brushing and flossing and routine check-ups with their dental care providers.
When should my child get dental checkups?
You should schedule an appointment with a pediatric dentist as soon as you see the first tooth emerge. Seeing a dentist can help spot early signs of tooth decay and gum disease. You should also make it a point to see an orthodontist before your child turns seven. At this age, they may have lost many of their baby teeth, and permanent teeth may have already begun to appear.
An orthodontist can help assess if your child has a normal bite or if corrective orthodontic treatment like braces is necessary. On average, children can be fitted for braces from between nine and 14 years old. Some orthodontists may recommend starting treatment before nine, depending on the severity of the condition.
How will I know if my child needs braces?
An orthodontist will need to make a thorough examination of your child’s oral situation before deciding if braces are necessary. However, if you haven’t been to see one recently, there are warning signs that parents should watch out for. If your child is suffering from one or more of these issues, may mean it’s time to see an orthodontist immediately:
- Your child grinds and clenches their teeth, especially while sleeping.
- Their top or bottom sets of teeth protrude excessively.
- They have exaggerated gaps between individual teeth.
- Your child’s teeth are crooked because it appears they are crowding or collecting towards one side of the jaw.
- Your child has difficulty speaking or forming specific words.
- They complain of frequently biting their tongue or the insides of their cheeks.
- Their jaws make a clicking sound when they chew.
Is my child too young for braces?
Your child may not exhibit any obvious signs of dental misalignment or concerns with their jaw, that is why it is best to get an early assessment to rule out risks, even when they still have their milk teeth. Early intervention can help your child overcome oral problems as well as and avoid developing more severe complications down the line.
An orthodontist may recommend orthodontic treatment to create spaces in between crowded teeth to make room for growing ones. Early braces can prevent facial misproportions from a misaligned bite. They can also reduce the likelihood of gum disease and tooth decay and help your child avoid the need for dental surgery.
You should be concerned about crooked teeth and a misaligned bite not because they ruin your child’s appearance, but because they can severely impair your child’s development. Dental issues can negatively affect their ability to eat and speak properly as they grow older.
Braces can take up to two or more years to correct dental alignment, so it is important to get assessed early. An orthodontist may not necessarily recommend braces outright, but by knowing the signs ahead of time, you can take steps to put your child on track for a healthy, beautiful smile.
Are you looking for expert orthodontic treatment in the Gold Coast? We are committed to keeping your teeth straight. We will determine the underlying cause of your orthodontic issues and create a customised treatment plan for the most effective and lasting results. Visit our website to find out more or to book your appointment today.