One of the most common things parents worry about is the requirement of orthodontic treatment for children. Do you also wonder if your child needs braces? It’s easy to find out!
The following signs and symptoms indicate that your children might need braces or another form of orthodontic treatment, and you should take them for a dental check-up at the earliest convenience.
9 Early Signs That Your Child Needs Orthodontic Treatment
Thumb Sucking With Permanent Teeth Eruption
Generally, kids stop thumb sucking when their permanent teeth start to erupt. But if your child continues thumb sucking while his or her permanent teeth start coming in, it might lead to crowded bottom teeth, or protruded front teeth, or both. You must get a dental check-up soon in this case.
Are your child’s teeth too close to each other or overlapping each other? If yes, they have crowded teeth, and you should consult an orthodontist for this. Crowded teeth cause difficulty in speaking and chewing. Your child can also develop conditions like lisps, mouth breathing, and misaligned teeth.
Early or Late Loss of Baby Teeth
Typically a child loses baby teeth around the age of 6. If your child loses baby teeth too early or too late, they can get misaligned teeth or spacing issues in the mouth. This condition will require orthodontic intervention.
An abnormal bite is visible when teeth and jaws are closed. In an overbite, the front teeth overlap the bottom teeth and underbite leads to a vice versa condition. In a crossbite, the upper front teeth are below the bottom teeth. You need orthodontic treatment for children with any of these or other bite issues.
All the abnormal bites mentioned above can be the result of a misaligned jaw. When both the jaws don’t align, the teeth also can’t align. Because of this condition, your children may complain of difficulty in chewing or accidentally biting their own tongue. Take them to the dentist for a check-up if they do so.
Does your child breathe from the mouth while asleep? If their mouth is wide open while sleeping, they are indeed mouth breathing. It can lead to smaller space for adult teeth to grow as their mouth is often wide open the whole night.
Pain or Difficulty in Biting
You can be almost sure of a misalignment issue if your kids complain of difficulty in biting and chewing. Even if you can’t see any visible misalignment, you should start orthodontic treatment for children if they are avoiding eating.
Teeth Grinding in Sleep
Grinding teeth in sleep is a disorder found in both adults and kids. It is also known as sleep bruxism. This grinding of teeth shifts the positioning of jaws and teeth, causing misalignment. If it happens with your kid while asleep, you should visit a dentist.
Difficulty in Speaking
Speech difficulties are often caused by misaligned jaw and teeth. Does your child slur while pronouncing certain words? Or are they not able to pronounce certain letters? Commonly kids find it difficult to pronounce “S” and “R” if their teeth and jaws are misaligned. This issue can be resolved by timely orthodontic treatment.
Apart from braces, there are many other advanced options available in orthodontics nowadays. So don’t hesitate to contact your orthodontist if you notice any of these early signs of dental distress in your kids, such as crowded teeth, prolonged thumb sucking, mouth breathing, grinding teeth in sleep, etc. Misalignments and bite issues can be resolved easily if the orthodontic treatment starts early.
***Author Bio: Creating perfect smiles is what Dr. Satish Pai is committed to. An orthodontist by profession, he believes that a perfect smile is a powerful part of a person’s personality. When he is not working hard on perfecting his patients’ smiles at Putnam Ortho, he is busy writing engaging articles about everything related to healthy and perfect smiles. His other passions include golf, yoga and surfing. Spending time with his family always brings a smile on his face.