Trying to figure out whether your children need braces can be a tricky matter. As children begin to grow up, their baby teeth fall out one by one to be replaced by the teeth that will occupy their mouths for the rest of their lives. In some cases, the teeth grow in picture perfect, giving the child a beautiful Hollywood smile from day one. Many other children, however, grow up with moderate to severe problems with their teeth. Some problems may correct themselves as the child grows up and his or her jaws change their shape to accommodate the larger teeth, but most will require braces or other dental work to fix.
Problems regarding tooth alignment should be diagnosed as early as possible so that they can be fixed quickly. Today, many dentists and orthodontists are recommended that children be evaluated to determine whether or not they need braces at age 7. This may seem unusually young, but remember that the typical orthodontic treatment using braces takes a few years in total. Catching these problems early and beginning treatment at a young age ensures that the braces will be off before your children hit their self-conscious adolescent years. Also some orthodontic issues such as severe under bites become much more difficult, or even impossible, to treat after a certain age.
Checking your children’s teeth at home can help you determine whether or not they may need braces. Look for signs of over or under biting. In these cases, either the top or bottom teeth will protrude farther than they should, causing misalignment when the child bites down. Ask your children to smile as wide as they can, showing their teeth and clenching their jaws together. If the teeth do not align properly when they are clenched together, the child may be in need of braces or some other sort of dental procedure.
Other things to look for include overlapping, crowded, or crooked teeth. Not only are these unattractive issues to deal with throughout life, they can cause a number of other dental problems. Crowded and overlapping teeth are much more difficult to clean at home, and even present problems for dentists during routine cleanings. These teeth can be difficult or even impossible to floss properly, making them ho tspots for plaque build-up which can eventually lead to tooth decay. Diagnosing problems with tooth alignment early in childhood is not only done for cosmetic reasons; it is necessary for good dental health throughout life.
Try to check your children for possible dental complications as early as age 7, or whenever their permanent teeth have fully grown in. Most tooth alignment issues can be corrected at any time in life with the proper dental implants, but catching the problems early can make things easier for you and your kids alike. Nipping these problems in the bud will help to ensure a beautiful and healthy smile for life. Give your kids a head start by checking them for dental problems to see if they might need braces.