So you think your little one may need braces, but how can you be sure? Here are a few signs that your child may need braces:
-Teeth that meet abnormally or not at all
-Crowding, misplaced, or blocked-out teeth
-Early, late, or irregular loss of baby teeth
-Jaws that shift or make sounds
-Difficulty with chewing or biting
The majority of orthodontic problems are genetic, meaning you inherited your space or bite problems. Others develop over time due to thumb- or finger-sucking, mouth breathing, dental decay, accidents, or poor nutrition. Another common reason is not enough room in the jaws for the teeth, so they become crowded or crooked.
What age should my child be evaluated for orthodontic care?
Though an orthodontist can enhance a smile at any age, there is an optimal time period to begin treatment. Beginning treatment at this time ensures the greatest result and the least amount of time and expense. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that the initial orthodontic evaluation should occur at the first sign of orthodontic problems or no later than age 7. At this early age, orthodontic treatment may not be necessary, but a complimentary consultation can anticipate the most advantageous time to begin treatment.
The most common time for orthodontic treatment occurs between the ages of 11 and 15. By the age of 12, most if not all of the permanent teeth have erupted and are in place, and crooked teeth, gaps and bite issues can easily be detected. These problems will rarely correct themselves, so this is when most parents decide to seek orthodontic treatment. Today’s braces are more comfortable than the ones you may have worn as a child and miles more efficient, resulting in fewer check-up trips and wear time.
We invite you to come explore your child’s options for orthodontic treatment with us at no charge. Call us to schedule your free evaluation with Dr. Bennett, and start improving their smile today!