Warning Signs Your Child May Need Orthodontic Treatment

child-orthodontic-treatmentAt an early age, parents will be able to detect signs that can help them determine if their children need braces. The ideal age for fitting braces is between nine and 14. During this time, children have lost most or all of their baby teeth, but their permanent teeth are still growing. A parent should be able to tell from a much earlier age if they can expect their children to need braces. Here is a helpful list of warning signs that may indicate your child will need braces in the future.

Persistent Thumb Sucking
While thumb sucking may help a child sleep better, this habit should have been eliminated. If left untreated, they could cause the teeth to be pushed out too far and the jaws to grow in the wrong direction. Furthermore, speech problems and eating difficulties are quite common in children with these persistent habits.

Underbite
This is a very severe problem that should be treated at a young age while the child is still growing. The upper jaw, in these cases, is not growing at the same rate as the lower jaw.

Protruding Teeth
This problem is often related to a thumb or finger habit, but can also be growth related. The lower jaw is not growing at the same rate as the upper jaw. The biggest problem in children with severely protruding teeth is that they can fall and break or crack a tooth, which will result in extensive dental work for the rest of their lives. It can also cause extreme wear on their back teeth and, later in life, jaw problems.

Insufficient Room
This is a common problem seen daily. Often, the parent tells us their child lost baby teeth months ago and become worried with no adult teeth in sight. Most of the time, it is a problem with crowding. Early intervention with expansion-type appliances can make room without the need for extractions.

Mouth Breathing, Snoring Or Teeth Grinding
All of these can be associated with a bad bite, narrow arches, crowding and your child’s habits. Early intervention can provide a solution to help children breathe better and sleep better, too. Studies show that children who do not sleep well at night often have problems focusing at school and have excessive daytime sleepiness.

If you have questions about the early signs of a child needing braces, or believe your child may need braces, call us at 203-292-6644. We can help determine the best action for your child and put them on a course for a bright and straight smile.