The Importance of Orthodontics for Children

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Braces are important for straightening teeth and can give children, teens, and adults a straight and beautiful smile. While that is important, there are also many other reasons why orthodontics can be helpful, especially for children.

Braces can be good for oral health and are important when it comes to aligning the teeth and jaw and preventing other problems (tooth decay, problems chewing) that could prove tougher to deal with later and could cause long term issues.

Signs That A Child Requires Orthodontic Treatment

While some children may benefit from braces, others may find that they don’t need them. Regularly going to the dentist will help determine if orthodontic treatment is need through dental x-rays and visual exams that help the dentist follow along and track any abnormalities.

Keep an eye out for these signs as well and speak to your dentist if these symptoms appear.

  • Difficulty biting or chewing
  • Disproportionate jaw
  • Shifting or noisy jaw when moving
  • Biting roof of mouth, cheeks
  • Teeth that are visibly out of their place, crowded, blocked
  • Odd loss of baby teeth not on schedule
  • Abnormally aligned teeth, teeth not touching
  • Breathing through the mouth, not the nose

Children should have their initial orthodontic screening done by the time they are seven years old. This may help an orthodontist notice issues and be able to discuss an orthodontic treatment with you. They’ll discuss the options with you and recommend a treatment that is best, whether that is braces or something else.

Solve Crowding of Healthy Teeth

Orthodontics for kids can help solve crowding issues. Parents often decide to get children braces to deal with crowding. This is when teeth bunch up and they crowd in on each other. If left unchecked, crowding will only get worse with time.

Your child may even have difficulty maintaining oral hygiene as it blocks flossing or brushing sometimes, leading to increased bacteria and plaque that can cause decay, gum disease, or bone loss. Crowding should be treated early so that a child will not experience negative oral health effects.

It Corrects Abnormal Bites

An abnormal bite is bad for jaw health. Orthodontics can help treat this issue. There are four types of these bites: Openbite, crossbite, underbite, overbite.

Openbite: the front upper and lower teeth don’t touch. Lack of treatment can cause biting and speech problems.

Crossbite: The upper front teeth have one or more below the front teeth on the bottom. Lack of treatment can cause issues around the teeth affected such as fracturing, excessive wear, gum recession, inability to restore fractured or worn teeth, and abnormal jaw growth.

Underbite: In these cases, the front teeth on the top are behind the lower ones in the front completely. This bite is seen commonly with children that have disproportionate jaws. If this bite is not treated, it can lead to the an apparently imbalanced face, facial aging, and problems with chewing and biting when eating.

Overbite: In these cases, the teeth in the front overlap with the teeth on the bottom, vertically as well as horizontally. The severity of the overbite can vary. It is easily noticed and can be treated. When this situation is not treated, an overbite can increase the chances that the front teeth will experience trauma. Chances of fracturing the teeth through an injury can occur. Lack of treatment can also eventually cause complications to occur and reduce the longevity of dental treatments like fillings or crowns.

You may have thought prior to reading this article that braces for kids are all about getting straight teeth. However, now you know that it also has a lot to do with development and ensuring that problems are treated and don’t cause more issues down the line. Abnormal bites can be noticed through regular dental visits, so it’s important to make sure that your child is making their scheduled checkups.

Orthodontics can be a huge part of helping your child have a straight smile and good oral health. Getting treatment can help prevent oral issues and promote tooth, gum, and jaw health. See if your child requires the benefit of braces by getting an orthodontic consultation–make an appointment today!

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