How Do I Know If My Child Needs Braces?
The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that your child’s initial orthodontic evaluation occur by age 7 – the time when adult teeth are erupting. At Burrow Welchel & Culp Orthodontics, we evaluate your child’s smile to detect issues such as a possible overbite, open bite, crowding, or gummy smiles. Beginning treatment at this optimal time not only ensures the greatest result but also means less time and expense down the road. While it is best to speak with our orthodontists at Burrow Welchel & Culp Orthodontics to get a professional opinion, certain signs and symptoms may indicate the need for braces.
If your child’s teeth are noticeably crooked or misaligned, it could be due to crowding or other dental problems. Crowding occurs when there isn’t enough room in the mouth for all the teeth, causing them to overlap or jut out at odd angles. This can lead to difficulty brushing and flossing, as well as issues with eating and speaking. Crowded teeth can also cause tooth decay and gum disease since they are more difficult to keep clean. If your child has one or more of these symptoms, it may be time to consider braces or other appliances to help make room for the erupting adult teeth.
Difficulty Chewing & Speaking
If your child has difficulty chewing food or speaking clearly, this could signify their bite is off-balance. A proper bite should have the upper teeth slightly overlapping the bottom teeth when the mouth is closed. If this isn’t happening, there may be an issue with the alignment of their jaw that requires orthodontic intervention. Ignoring this could lead to further dental issues, such as painful TMJ (temporomandibular joint) disorder later in life.
Early Or Late Loss Of Baby Teeth
It’s normal for a child’s baby teeth to start falling out around age six and for their adult teeth to come in shortly after that. However, suppose you notice that baby teeth are falling out much earlier than expected (before age 4) or adult teeth are coming in much later than expected (after age 8). In that case, this could indicate an underlying issue with their dental development that needs immediate attention!
At Burrow Welchel & Culp Orthodontics, we understand how important a healthy smile is for kids of all ages. If you think your child may need braces due to any of these signs—or if you want peace of mind—we invite you to contact us today and schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced orthodontists!
Benefits Of Early Treatment
Early orthodontic treatment reduces the amount of time required for full correction since some orthodontic issues become much easier to correct if treated before the facial bones have fully developed. Early orthodontic treatments can also prevent overcrowding of the teeth and stop potential damage from protruding jaws and teeth grinding. Further, braces help teach children good oral hygiene habits, such as brushing and flossing, which are critical for success during treatment. Children can feel comfortable with their new smile throughout the process with today’s options for discreetly designed braces or clear aligners. Early treatment ensures children stay ahead of growth changes to enjoy the lifelong benefits of a straight smile!
Life With Braces
Life with braces isn’t so different from life without them. Braces do require some lifestyle changes, such as avoiding certain types of food that may damage the appliances or require more time to clean after eating. However, with proper care and guidance, children can still have a healthy diet while wearing braces. Children should also take extra care to brush and floss their teeth regularly to prevent gum disease and cavities. With the help of our team at Burrow Welchel & Culp Orthodontics, children can achieve a beautiful smile that will last a lifetime. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation and determine if braces are right for your child!