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5 Signs a Child Needs Braces

Seeing the smile and happiness on your little one’s face can bring you so much joy as a parent. However, you have to protect this smile while they’re still young. 

Parents have to closely monitor their kids’ dental health to ensure they don’t have to live with major orthodontic challenges. While you’ll still need your dentist to determine if your kids need braces, here are a few signs to watch out for:

1. Crooked, crowded or blocked teeth

Crowded teeth are positioned too close to each other. This is not appealing and can make brushing and flossing more difficult. Fortunately, this type of condition can be treated with braces.

2. Jaw misalignment

Your child’s jaw position may also help in ascertaining whether he or she will need braces. The upper and lower teeth should be positioned appropriately above each other, with no uneven spaces in between. If any of the teeth seem like they are protruding, your child might need braces.

3. Early or late loss of baby teeth

Children often lose their baby teeth around age 6. Losing them earlier or later could cause problems. Early loss of teeth may cause neighboring teeth to move into the empty spaces left behind. Losing teeth later may also cause alignment issues as the growing teeth won’t have enough space to erupt.

4. Mouth breathing

Breathing through the mouth prevents the tongue from resting on the roof of the mouth. This, in turn, narrows the jaw, limiting the space available for permanent teeth to grow. This can lead to the need for braces.

5. Prolonged thumb sucking 

Thumb sucking can make babies feel safe and secure, and it’s a natural thing among children. The problem, however, is when this extends beyond age 4. This can cause crowding and alignment issues. Some changes can also be induced in the palate that can affect your child’s bite. 

All five of these signs are a clear indicator that your child needs braces. Leaving them to live with the resulting orthodontic consequences may affect their self-confidence and self-esteem. This may also impact their dental health and nutrition to an extent. 

For more information, or to schedule an appointment, call us today at 541-382-6565