It’s usually teenagers that wear braces, but did you know that children can get them as well? It’s recommended for children as young as 7 to get braces, according to the American Association of Orthodontics. As many as 90% of children wear braces for legitimate reasons.
It’s also important to maintain healthy dental habits that can prevent your child from getting braces in their pre-teen and teen years. Accidents, injuries, and poor habits can cause misalignment issues. Here are six reasons why your child may need braces.
1. Jaw Pain & Grinding
Regular teeth grinding and clenching can alter the growth and shape of teeth. Not correcting or identifying the problem early in life can move and shape the teeth which can lead to misalignment over time. This can also lead to overbites and underbites. Braces can help reduce the effect and provide the foundation for a healthy smile.
Your child can also wear a mouth guard for sports or sleep. This can protect them from damage or misalignment issues.
Crossbite is one of the biggest reasons why most children wear braces. This happens when the jaw moves to one side as a result of improper fit of the lower and upper teeth. Crossbites can lead to other problems such as asymmetric growth, chipped teeth, jaw pain, and worn out teeth. This can cause significant damage and require jaw surgery later in life if left untreated.
Children who suck their thumbs and drink out of bottles can change the growth of their teeth. Most kids begin thumb-sucking at the age of seven while other start it later in life. It could be another reason why children need to wear braces. Thumb-sucking should be addressed as soon as possible to treat jaw pain and misalignment issues.
4. Active Bone Growth
Most children and pre-teens heal from broken bones since their bodies are actively growing. The bones in their bodies develop just like the bones in their jaw. When your child wears braces, the dentist can use this active growth to improve misalignment issues in less time. You shouldn’t push off treatment into the teenage years since it can cause decrease the treatment time. These misalignment issues can cause more dental problems later in life.
5. An Early Finish
Once you realize that your child does need braces, you want to get them as soon as possible. That means they’ll be removed at an earlier age than expected. This eliminates the need for braces in adulthood. Most teenagers don’t like to wear braces during the junior high and high school years for aesthetic and style reasons. So, it’s important to schedule an appointment with your child’s dentist as soon as possible.
If your child needs an orthodontic device before removing braces, then it’s important to get that out of the way. Some of the most orthodontic devices are known as expanders or retainers. Starting them early on these devices can correct these issues before the teenage years arive.
6. Oral Health
Unfortunately, braces can cause food particles to accumulate in the teeth. It’s important for your child to practice healthy oral habits such as brushing and flossing after every meal and making frequent appointments for check-ups and follow-ups.
This can help provide them with an oral health routine that will stick with them throughout their life. Braces can also help prevent bacteria and particles from gathering into the teeth gum pockets when used in combination with healthy habits.
That’s why training your child to use orthodontics such as braces can provide them with a foundation for a healthy smile.
Keep in mind that not all children will need braces early or later in life. Some kids are just better off with braces than other types of orthodontic treatments. However, your dentist should force your child to get braces.
It’s important for parents to look out for issues that can help them determine if their child qualifies for braces. The best way to find out is to book a consultation with your child’s dentist. A consultation is a free appointment in which the dentist conducts an oral exam and determines if your child is a candidate for braces.
It’s important for your child to have as few dental problems as possible. This guide is to help keep parents informed so they can prevent problems from happening.