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More Than Straight Teeth: Why Orthodontics for Children Are So Important

Everyone knows that people get braces when they want to straighten their teeth. There’s no denying how confident a bright, beautiful smile can make you feel, but did you know that there are a lots of other reasons why orthodontics are important for your oral health?

The benefits of braces go far beyond just a pretty smile. Having teeth and a jaw that are properly aligned can help prevent your child from developing all sorts of problems, including things like difficulty chewing or tooth decay. Keep reading to learn when to get braces for your child and why considering children’s orthodontics in Las Vegas is vital to achieving better overall oral health for you kids.

Signs Your Child Needs Orthodontic Treatment

Not every child will need braces. A simple way to gauge if your child needs orthodontic treatment is through regular dental checkups. Through visual exams and dental x-rays, your child’s dentist will be able to track any developmental abnormalities as your child’s teeth and jaw grow.

Parents can also watch for signs that your child needs orthodontic treatment. Talk to your child’s dentist if they experience any of the following symptoms:

  • Early, late, or irregular loss of baby teeth
  • Trouble chewing or biting
  • Visibly crowded, out of place, or blocked teeth
  • A jaw that is disproportionate to the face
  • A jaw that shifts or makes noises when moved
  • Biting cheeks or roof of mouth
  • Chronically breathing from the mouth rather than the nose
  • Teeth that align abnormally or don’t touch at all

Even if your child isn’t showing obvious symptoms, all children should have their first orthodontic screening no later than age seven. The orthodontist may pick up on issues that aren’t visible to the naked eye. While braces are one of the most common orthodontic treatment options, you can discuss your child’s option with the orthodontist. They can recommend when to get braces or other treatment in order to most effectively manage your child’s issues.

Solve Crowding for Healthy Teeth

One of the main reasons why orthodontics are important is that they can solve issues with crowding. This is one of the most common reasons for parents to decide when to get braces for their children. Crowding is basically what it sounds like; there isn’t enough room in your child’s mouth, so the teeth start to bunch up and get crowded.

Aside from the imperfections in your child’s smile, there are even more pressing reasons why orthodontics are important for treating crowding. Crowding that is left untreated will worsen as your child gets older. As crowding gets more severe, it will become increasingly difficult for your child to perform even the most basic pediatric oral hygiene tasks properly.

Solve Crowding for Healthy Teeth

Severe crowding can make it impossible to brush certain areas of the teeth, and it can be difficult to maneuver floss between teeth. This inability to properly clean teeth will cause your child’s teeth to accumulate plaque that can cause issues like tooth decay, bad breath, gum disease, and bone loss around the affected teeth.

Crowding is fairly easily treatable with braces, but it’s important to start treating the issue as soon is it becomes apparent. The earlier your child gets treatment, the less likely that the crowding will have adverse effects on their oral health.

Correct Abnormal Bites for Jaw Health

Even if your child’s teeth look straight, there are still other issues that may need to be treated with orthodontics. Another common issue among children is an abnormal bite. There are four types of abnormal bites: overbite, underbite, crossbite, and openbite.

Abnormal bites refer to the way that your child’s teeth look when their jaws are closed. Each type of abnormal bite can lead to specific issues for your child’s oral health, which is why orthodontics are important for correcting these bites.

If your child has an overbite, their front teeth overlap vertically and horizontally with the bottom teeth. Overbites can vary in their severity, but they’re most noticeable when the front teeth stick out much farther than the front teeth. If left untreated, overbites can increase the risk of trauma to the front teeth and the likelihood of fracturing the front teeth in the case of an injury. Untreated overbites can also lead to complications or reduced longevity of restorative dental treatments like crowns or fillings.

If your child has an underbite, their upper front teeth are completely behind their lower front teeth. This type of abnormal bite is common among children with disproportionate jaw size. If left untreated, underbites can lead to an imbalanced facial appearance, accelerated facial aging, and difficulty biting and chewing.

If your child has a crossbite, one or more of their upper front teeth are below the opposing bottom front teeth. When a crossbite is left untreated, it can lead to several issues around the affected teeth, including excessive wear, fracturing, increased gum recession, and inability to restore worn/fractured teeth. It can also lead to abnormal jaw growth.

If your child has an openbite, they have upper and lower front teeth that do not touch. If left untreated, this can lead to difficulty biting and speech problems such as lisps.

Figuring out when to get braces for your child means that you have to consider more than just straight teeth. Less obvious problems like abnormal bites may not be as physically apparent as crowding, but they can still lead to a whole host of oral health issues from tooth decay to jaw abnormalities to difficulty eating and more. Learning why orthodontics are important to your child’s oral health is an important step in making an informed choice about their treatment. If your child is ready for their orthodontic consultation, contact Children’s Dentistry to make their appointment today.