There are several considerations to be addressed when discussing the possibility of undergoing a teeth straightening procedure. A visit to the orthodontist around the age of seven will help to identify potential problems with your child’s bite and whether braces will be needed.
That is not to say that the orthodontic process will commence at that age. But your orthodontist will have a pretty good idea of what can be anticipated and advise you when you should consider further treatment to correct your child’s malocclusion.
It is fair to assume that if your child’s teeth are coming in crooked, braces are likely to be needed. Teeth do not magically straighten out as your child ages, but as baby teeth are lost and permanent teeth erupt, they are going to fill in the gaps and not be as crooked as you imagined.
Very often the child will experience an overbite, underbite, or crossbite due to an early habit of thumb-sucking or insufficient jaw space to accommodate all of the child’s teeth. Teeth that are malformed or fail to erupt all together can result in a malocclusion that should be corrected.
If your orthodontist suspects insufficient jaw space, a palatal expander may be recommended to try to make more room for the upper teeth to come in. Or the extraction of unnecessary deciduous teeth may be recommended. These types of early interventions may resolve a problem before it can escalate into the need for years of orthodontic care.
In addition to the appearance of your child’s teeth, there are other signs to watch for that might indicate the need for teeth correction. If your child struggles to pronounce certain sounds or has developed a lisp, a speech issue could mean there is a need for orthodontic correction. Or if you notice difficulty chewing or swallowing, a follow up exam is needed.
Straight teeth mean much more than just a beautiful smile. Crooked teeth provide areas for bacteria to grow that are difficult for the toothbrush to reach. These areas become more prone to dental decay and the possible development of gum disease.
Regular dental visits and a consultation with an orthodontist will offer your child the best chance of enjoying straight teeth for life. Schedule one with our specialists by calling 210-921-9191 to speak with our caring team today!