You can probably tell just by looking at your child if their teeth are perfectly straight or not, yet making the decision to get braces for your child can be especially difficult for a lot of parents. You may have concerns about whether your child really needs them, if they’re mentally ready for braces, and how the cost of orthodontics fits into your family’s budget.
The Benefits of Braces For Children
Orthodontic patients benefit from braces for many reasons, but the main reasons behind actually needing braces are often that the teeth are crooked, overcrowded, overlapping or have a malocclusion that results in an overbite or an underbite. Though healthy teeth can be moved at any age, seeing an orthodontist early can mean less extensive orthodontic treatment later, which ultimately saves money for treatment.
Besides straight teeth, the top benefits of braces are:
Reducing Tooth Decay and Gum Disease
Misaligned teeth have bigger issues than just an unappealing appearance. When your teeth are crowded or crooked, it creates tight spaces between your teeth that become food traps. These tight spaces make not only getting a throughout clean after brushing more difficult, but also make flossing a challenge, which can lead to gum disease. Straighter teeth are easier to brush, clean and floss for a healthier smile.
As you speak, your tongue moves against the top of your mouth and teeth which helps to form the sounds that come out. If your teeth lie backward in your mouth or push too far forward, it’s easy to develop a lisp or other speech problems, especially in children.
Preventing Future Jaw Pain
Jaw joints are known to attempt to self-correct issues in how the teeth fit together and over time this can lead to serious jaw disorders that cause pain and discomfort. Chronic headaches, jaw popping, and pain can all be side effects of a misaligned jaw.
A Straighter, Healthier Smile
The most obvious advantage of braces is the ability to straighten teeth. Having a crooked smile can lead to dental problems and self-esteem issues. By straightening teeth, braces make individuals feel more confident in themselves both physically and personally. Braces can not only help prevent the health issues listed above but can align the teeth to create a beautiful and healthy smile.
Your Child Should See An Orthodontist If…
- They lost their baby teeth early on in their childhood
- They lost their baby teeth abnormally late in their childhood
- There is difficulty in chewing or biting into food as a result of misalignment
- Your child used to or still does suck on their thumbs or fingers
- Some of their teeth are crowded or misaligned
- They tend to breathe through their mouth instead of their nose
- The jaw shifts or makes sounds of any kind
- Cheek biting is a common occurrence during meal times
- There are spaces or gaps between the teeth
- Their teeth are either too large or too small for their face
- Their teeth are extremely crowded around the age of 7 or 8
Visiting an Orthodontist Early On
Most dentists recommend a child visit an orthodontist by the age of 7 even if they don’t have any visible problems with their teeth. This helps parents to be aware of any potential issues an orthodontist see’s with their child’s teeth, and how their smile is developing as baby teeth are replaced with permanent teeth. Thomas Orthodontics will monitor your child’s growth until it is the optimal time for them to begin orthodontic treatment.
If your child has not seen an orthodontist yet and is experiencing one or more of the reasons a child should see an orthodontist, schedule a free consultation appointment with Thomas Orthodontics to discuss a potential treatment plan so your child can smile confidently for life.