Orthodontic treatment is most effective when given to children or adolescents. To help parents decide if their child needs braces, take a look at these common warning signs. If your child shows any of these signs, you may want to bring them to an orthodontist to get a personalized diagnosis and treatment options.
Baby Teeth Problems
Baby teeth function as space savers for the adult teeth that are growing beneath the gums. When baby teeth fall out at early, late, or in an irregular order, it may be an indication that orthodontic treatment is necessary.
Teeth Alignment Problems
Poorly aligned teeth can contribute to bite problems and are one of the most common signs that braces may be needed.
- Crowding is the most common alignment problem in children. This occurs when there’s not enough space in the mouth.
- Less common than crowding, spacing can occur when new teeth fail to come in or come in late.
Bite problems can not only have aesthetic effects for a developing child, they can also cause difficulty chewing that may lead to jaw pain or uneven wearing of the teeth.
- Overbites occur when the top teeth extend horizontally or vertically much further than the bottom teeth.
- Typically caused by disproportionate jaw sizes, an underbite occurs when the front bottom teeth extend beyond the front top teeth.
- Underbites occur when top teeth do not come down over the front of the back teeth.
- Protrusions occur when the front and bottom teeth are slanted forward away from the the interior of the mouth.
Mouth and Jaw Pain
Mouth and jaw pain may not be visible to others, but they are the most serious indicators that orthodontic intervention may be necessary.
- Cheek biting can be caused by a number of bite and teeth misalignment problems.
- Jaw pain occurs when the complex system of bones and joints in the jaw are put out of normal alignment, often due to poorly aligned teeth or bites.