In 2016, 84.6% of kids between the ages of 2-17 visited the dentist. While regular visits to the dentist are great, sometimes preventative cleanings are not enough.
It’s not unusual for kids to need baby braces. And there are many reasons to get braces because they can help prevent future problems and ensure your child has a great smile.
If you’re wondering whether or not your child needs braces, keep reading. We’re sharing with you seven signs your kid needs braces on baby teeth.
Signs Your Child Needs Baby Braces
Many parents wonder what age do kids get braces. There is no real answer since it depends on the situation and the child.
Most kids get braces after their permanent adult teeth have grown in. Typically, this is between the ages of 10-14.
However, kids as young as six and seven can also need braces on baby teeth. Getting them placed on their teeth earlier rather than later can help prevent additional problems from showing up as they age.
Why You Should Consider Getting Braces on Baby Teeth
While you may want to wait to get your child fitted with braces, waiting may cause additional problems such as:
- Plaque build-up
- Gum disease
Other problems that can arise aren’t always related to their teeth. It’s not uncommon for people with a misaligned jaw to suffer from frequent headaches.
Why Healthy Baby Teeth Are Important
The health of your child’s teeth is important, whether they are baby teeth or permanent adult teeth. Your child’s baby teeth need to be healthy for the following reasons:
- Baby teeth help your child speak clearly
- Help maintain a normal facial appearance
- Help set up your child for a lifetime of healthy permanent teeth by being kept clean and decay-free
Baby teeth also hold space for where the permanent teeth will go.
Do Not Pull Out Your Child’s Baby Teeth
While it may seem tempting and was probably not considered a big deal when you were a child, you should let your dentist pull out your child’s loose baby teeth.
Pulling it out yourself may damage the tooth’s roots. That can make it more difficult for the permanent teeth to grow in properly.
1. Unusual Loss of Baby Teeth
Typically, when a child loses a baby tooth, it’s a reason to celebrate and wait for the Tooth Fairy. But in cases where your child’s teeth are falling out too early or too late, they may have teeth that needs braces.
For teeth that fall out too early before their permanent teeth come in, other teeth may begin moving into those empty slots. And for teeth that fall out too late, adult teeth may already be trying to replace them.
2. They Sucked Their Thumb (or Fingers)
While some children suck their thumb or fingers may find it comforting, as they age, this may result in them needing braces on baby teeth. The habit of sucking on fingers or a thumb can place too much pressure on their teeth.
And it can also cause their front teeth to jut out, giving them buck teeth. One way to prevent this from being one of the reasons to get braces is to encourage your child to stop sucking their thumb.
3. A Misaligned Jaw
A kid needs braces if their jaw isn’t matching up correctly. And if it’s left unattended, it can cause crossbites, overbites, and underbites.
Teeth that aren’t properly aligned can also make it difficult for your child to chew. They may end up frequently biting their cheek or tongue.
4. Crowded and/or Crooked Teeth
You may already be able to spot for yourself that your child has teeth that needs braces. Especially if you can plainly see that their teeth are beginning to crowd together or even overlap with one another.
While it is possible that in some cases the new teeth coming in can cause the teeth to shift back into proper alignment, that’s not very typical.
Overcrowded Teeth Lead to Other Dental Issues
Also, crowding can also cause the following problems if left unattended:
- Mouth breathing
- Uncomfortable chewing and/or biting
And overcrowded teeth are harder to brush and floss properly, which can lead to excessive plaque which can lead to tooth decay.
5. Missing Teeth and Teeth That Never Ascended
Your kid needs braces if their adult teeth aren’t descending on their own. It may be that the baby tooth is still there.
It may be that the adult tooth just hasn’t grown in yet. Getting braces helps keep the other permanent teeth stay in their proper place so they can develop properly.
Meanwhile, the adult tooth that never descended into place is guided into its permanent place. Also, if there are any teeth that have shifted, this is the perfect time to straighten them out as well.
6. Problems With Their Bite
There are many problems with bites that can cause a child to need braces on baby teeth such as:
An underbite occurs when the lower jaw sits forward of the upper jaw.
When the upper and lower front teeth don’t touch.
Overbites happen when the upper front teeth stick out too far.
Deep bites are when the top front teeth excessively overlap the bottom front teeth.
And these are just a few of the bite problems that may require your child to get braces.
7. Difficulty Biting or Chewing
Healthy mouths have aligned teeth that help with proper biting and chewing. If you notice that your child is struggling to bite into foods such as apples, they seem to have trouble chewing foods or if they’re complaining about feeling pain when they chew, they may have teeth that needs braces.
Grinding their teeth while they sleep is also a sign that their teeth may be out of alignment.
Braces will help correct those bite problems so that their teeth are perfectly aligned and are working as efficiently as possible.
Get to Know Us
We know it’s not always an easy decision to get baby braces for your child. Which is why we want to make you feel as comfortable as possible.
Our team is here to answer all your questions and provide you with support every step of the way. Click here to get to know us.