Many children benefit when they get braces from the dental office. Having a crooked or lopsided smile may make your child feel socially awkward or self-conscious. In addition, crooked or misaligned teeth can lead to a number of dental health problems. Misaligned teeth can be more difficult to clean effectively, which can lead to tooth decay and gum disease. Bite misalignments and crooked teeth can also obstruct normal eating and drinking. You should schedule regular checkups with a pediatric dentist in St. Charles by your child’s first birthday. Some problems are best treated when children still have baby teeth. Other interventions should be performed later, once the permanent teeth are in place. Your dentist or orthodontist should be able to offer advice. There are, however, some signs you should look out for, which may indicate that your child may require orthodontic treatment.
Inspect the Appearance of Your Child’s Teeth
If you notice one or more of the following indicators, ask your orthodontist whether your child would benefit from being fitted with braces. His or her baby teeth appeared unusually late or early. He or she has lost individual baby teeth in an unpredictable or surprising way. Your child’s teeth or jaws appear misaligned, crooked, or out of proportion. The jaw seems too large or too small for your child’s face. His or her teeth are crowded or gappy. The upper and lower teeth do not fit snugly, or one set of teeth protrudes past the other.
Keep an Eye on Your Child’s Jaw Movements
Teeth may be the most noticeable sign that a child needs braces, but the jaw can also tell you if your child might benefit from this orthodontic treatment. Braces might be a good option if your child’s jaw moves in an unusual way or produces sounds when he or she is eating, or if your child has a habit of biting his or her cheek or roof of the mouth. If your child has difficulties eating, drinking, or enunciating words clearly, this may also indicate an underlying dental problem your dentist can address.