So many children have braces. How can I tell if my child may need them and how soon?
There are many reasons why a child might benefit from braces. You should have your child start seeing a dentist within six months of the first tooth erupting or by age one. There is no set time to get started. Some problems are best treated as early as possible even when it is still mostly baby teeth in place (ages 6-9). Sometimes it is best to wait until most of the baby teeth have fallen out (ages 10-13). If your child is getting regular dental visits, your dentist will be able to determine when it’s time for minor intervention or a full evaluation for braces.
Here are some signs that a child is likely to benefit from braces:
Crowding is the most common reason to seek orthodontic treatment for kids. Crowding basically means that there is insufficient space in the mouth for all the teeth. Without the proper room for all those teeth, the teeth crowd each other resulting in crooked teeth.
Unfortunately, crowding tends to get worse over time as your child gets older and can make even the simple task of brushing and flossing more complicated, requiring more time and effort to clean all teeth properly. Severe crowding may result in areas that are virtually impossible to clean.
This can cause plaque accumulation which in turn causes tooth decay, bad odour, gum disease, and bone loss around teeth.
Orthodontic treatment at a young age will help align and straighten teeth in order to avoid future oral pain and health issues, and reduce the risk of cavities and gum disease.
An overbite refers to the vertical and horizontal overlap of the front teeth. The severity of the overbite can vary but an overbite is usually noticeable when the front teeth stick out much farther than the bottom teeth. An increased overbite may cause the following issues and oral health problems:
- Increased risk of trauma to the front teeth
- Significantly increase likelihood of fracturing the front teeth in cause of injury
– Complications and reduced longevity of dental restorative work such as cosmetic fillings, crowns and veneers.
A crossbite is an abnormal bite in which the upper tooth is behind the lower opposing tooth. If left untreated, this problem may cause:
- Excessive wear or fracture of both teeth
- Increased gum recession of the affected teeth
- nability to restore fractured or worn teeth
- Asymmetric jaw growth
An underbite is an abnormal bite in which all the upper front teeth are behind the lower front teeth. This sign is usually associated with disproportionate jaw size and may cause the following issues:
- Imbalanced facial appearance
- Accelerated facial ageing
- Difficulty biting and chewing
An openbite is an abnormal bite in which the front teeth do not touch. This may cause:
- Difficulty biting
- Speech problems, such as lisps
At Corne Smith Dentistry in Claremont Cape Town we can help with all your children’s needs, so come visit Dr Corne Smith at the practice for your dental needs.