You see other kids in your neighborhood with braces. This makes you wonder whether or not your child should get theirs.
First and foremost, understand that they’re not merely cosmetics. Their purpose is to correct particular periodontal defects. To help you out, here are four reasons your child might need braces:
- Crooked Teeth
Top on this list is the most widespread teeth problem in kids. Misaligned teeth come as a result of different factors, such as the following:
- Genetics: Some orthodontic conditions run down through the family. So, if you have crooked teeth, your child will most likely follow suit.
- Poor oral hygiene: If your child doesn’t brush their teeth properly, they could get gum diseases or even periodontitis. These conditions may cause teeth to loosen and shift from their original position.
- Malnutrition: Your child might lack the necessary nutrients, like calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and fat-soluble–vitamins A, D, E, and K–all of which are critical in forming healthy teeth. It may be as a result of eating too little food overall or digestive disorders that prevent their body from absorbing these nutrients.
- Early tooth loss: Suppose your child loses one or two teeth at a very young age. In this case, the rest of the teeth automatically shift into the gap. When permanent teeth grow, the crowding and misalignment will start.
This list extends to other causes like thumb sucking, tongue thrusting, accidents, and mouth breathing. If your child has meandering teeth, it’s best to consult your orthodontist. They’ll advise you whether or not your child needs braces. If they need some, mobilize your finances for the orthodontic fixtures. Braces for kids cost just a couple of hundred dollars, or thousands, depending on the exact type you want or your child’s oral condition.
2. Different Bites
You’ve probably heard of different types of jaw deformities like over-, under-, open bite, and suchlike. Here’s a brief breakdown of these types:
- Overbite: The front teeth on your child’s upper jaw stick out too far.
- Underbite: The front teeth of the lower jaw protrude outwards further than the upper teeth
- Crossbite: Upper or lower jaws deviate to one side, either left or right, such that the two lack symmetry.
- Open bite: The front teeth don’t touch even when the child closes their mouth.
- Deep Bite: The upper teeth excessively overlap the lower teeth or vice versa.
If left untreated, these malformations may cause substantial discomfort and pain when chewing food. Your dental surgeon will assess your child’s condition and advise you accordingly on the best treatment option. Some bite conditions can be corrected by the use of braces, while others may need surgery.
3. Jaw Problems
Perhaps your child has, one time or the other, complained about jaw pain. It might be to such an extent that they can’t comfortably eat or speak. One of the causes of jaw pain is wayward teeth. Since they don’t sit in a natural position, the jaw may experience stress and fatigue.
To correct this problem, your kid may need braces to help realign the teeth. But if the jaw pain comes from other conditions, like the temporomandibular joint and muscle disorder, you may need to prepare them for surgery.
Never-ending thumb sucking places undue pressure on the upper front teeth. Sooner or later, the front teeth protrude outwards, resulting in an overbite, open bite, or both conditions. Perchance you didn’t know the effects, and your child has been in this habit for years, visit your periodontist to assess the damage before it gets even worse.
If the upper front teeth already stick out, wearing braces might restore them to their natural alignment. But you’ll still have to break the thumb sucking habit, lest the bracing is in vain. To help you out, use tricks like the following:
- Talking to your child to make them understand the repercussions
- Giving them alternative things to chew
- Preventing the conditions that trigger thumb sucking. If they do it whenever they sit down to watch TV, reduce their TV time.
- Painting their nails in bad-tasting nail polish
- Tying an ace bandage to the elbow to make it uncomfortable for them to bend their elbow
- Rewarding them for every day they spend without thumb sucking.
As you read the points above, did you find any that apply to your child? If you did, make a point of visiting your orthodontist as soon as possible. The faster you arrest the deformity, the better the teeth will develop. You don’t want to push it too far until they grow old and call it quits.
Medical experts will propose a thorough assessment of the child’s orthodontic health before the age of seven. However, they may wait until they’re 10 years old before they get their first braces. Eventually, your kid will give you all the praise for your prompt actions. They’ll get that much-needed perfect smile that boosts their confidence when in public. And, most importantly, they’ll be able to eat and speak without pain and discomfort.