Although children normally dread the thought of getting braces, having dental problems corrected while young provides them with a happier and more fulfilled life. It is best to catch issues as soon as possible. Therefore, it is recommended that children make their first visit to an orthodontist early since many problems develop between the time of initial tooth eruption and the age of 12. Catching and treating problems early can significantly reduce or even eliminate the aggravation and expense of more extensive procedures when children get older. Your dentist can make early evaluations and advise which treatments are best suited to solve problems, or whether it is best to wait until the child has lost their baby teeth, which occurs between the ages of 10 and 13.
Signs Your Child Might Need Braces
Sometimes, dental problems can occur either before initial visits or between visits to the orthodontist. However, there are several signs to watch for in order to determine if your child might have developing dental issues that require braces. If any of the following signs are observed, you should make an appointment with a dentist as soon as possible. Again, catching issues quickly can prevent a great deal of hassle and cost as well as provide relief to your child.
- The normal age for losing baby teeth is between 10 and 13. If your child loses their initial teeth either early or later than that time, you should have them evaluated by an orthodontist to determine why.
- As your child’s teeth enter and grow, occasionally check to see if there are any unusual disturbances, such as overcrowded, blocked, or unusually placed or angled teeth.
- There could be a problem if the teeth or jaw are disproportionate to the rest of the face, or if the teeth do not meet normally.
- If your child has problems or discomfort biting or chewing, or they frequently bite their cheeks when eating then problems may be present.
- Consistently breathing out of the mouth, prolonged sucking of the thumb, or sounds or shifting of the jaw could be an indication of dental problems.
If your orthodontist determines that your child requires braces to correct some problem, it should be conveyed that they can participate in all activities as normal with only a few practices that need to be observed. For example, children with braces can participate in sports or play musical instruments using special mouth guards. The main rules are to avoid eating and drinking certain items that can damage or prevent braces from working.
There are also various options for braces today which may be used depending on the problem. Braces may be made of such materials as metal, ceramic, or plastic while some are almost completely invisible.