Did you know that around 75% of all teens and children end up needing some type of orthodontic treatment? However, it’s not always clear when the best time is for orthodontics—but fortunately, you don’t have to rely on any guesswork if you know what to look for! Keep reading to learn more about five observable signs that likely indicate it’s time for your child to begin their orthodontic journey.
#1. Difficulty Biting and Chewing
If your child’s teeth don’t close together as intended, they’ll experience trouble whenever they’re eating. This increase in difficulty biting and chewing can lead to some pretty severe consequences, including indigestion and malnutrition, in addition to general discomfort during mealtimes. It’s also possible for children with misaligned teeth to injure themselves by biting their tongues or the insides of their cheeks while eating.
#2. Overlapping, Protruding, or Misaligned Teeth
This is one of the most obvious signs that your child might need orthodontics; bite issues like overbites and underbites, teeth that protrude where they aren’t supposed to, or even teeth with too much space between them all often warrant orthodontic care. These issues can occur naturally or due to physical trauma; in any case, treatment offers the best path toward a healthy and beautiful smile in the future.
#3. Difficulty with Speech
Teeth aren’t just for biting and chewing food; they also play an important role in speech, among other functions. This means that if your little one is having issues with pronouncing certain sounds and controlling the flow of air within their mouth and throat, they might have dental issues that necessitate orthodontics. You can determine this by paying close attention to your child’s speech; if they’re mispronouncing certain words consistently, or unable to make certain sounds, you should take them to their orthodontist.
#4. Irregular Loss of Baby Teeth
Under normal circumstances, children begin losing their baby teeth around age 5 or 6, though it can sometimes happen earlier and can also continue for a couple of years afterward. However, if your child is losing teeth much sooner or later than this, it might indicate the need for braces. Baby teeth that don’t fall out as intended can cause damage to permanent teeth that usually results in overcrowding or misalignment.
#5. Mouth or Jaw Pain
Not every dental problem is observable to the untrained eye; it’s very possible that your child might experience jaw or mouth pain that necessitates the need for orthodontics, even if nothing inside of their mouth appears out of the ordinary. One common cause for this pain is misalignment, but it’s certainly not the only cause. In any case, getting your child the assistance they need should be your top priority, whether you can see the issue or not.
About the Practice
Here at West Brookfield Dental, we’re proud to offer the finest level of dental care for patients and families in the West Brookfield, MA community. We’re able to provide a comprehensive range of treatment options for patients of all ages, including orthodontics for children. If you have any questions about the blog or you’d like to schedule a visit for you or a loved one, you can contact us online or over the phone for further assistance. Telephone: (508) 867-2777.