Did you know that almost four million children are orthodontic patients in the US alone?

As a parent, you might notice some issues with your child’s teeth and may be wondering if it’s time for your child to get braces.

The question is: how can you tell when braces are necessary?

Read on as we look at seven tell-tale signs that it’s time for your child to get braces.

1. Abnormal Bite

An abnormal bite refers to an issue with the way that your top teeth and bottom teeth come together.

Ideally, your teeth will be aligned so that when you bite down your top teeth meet perfectly with your bottom teeth. For many children, however, this isn’t the case.

There are a number of different types of abnormal bites. The most common is an overbite which is when the top teeth stick out over the bottom teeth when biting together. In severe cases, an overbite can lead to issues such as gum disease and jaw pain.

Other types of abnormal bites include an underbite, where the bottom teeth protrude further than the top teeth, and a crossbite where the top teeth may sit in front of or behind the lower teeth.

Braces can help to rectify an abnormal bite and help teeth to align better.

2. Crooked Teeth

One of the most common reasons for getting braces for children is to correct crooked teeth.

Teeth that are at a slight angle or overlap each other can make children self-conscious about their smile. They could also lead to other dental issues if not corrected.

A common cause of crooked teeth is having a mouth that is overcrowded. When teeth are competing for space in your mouth, it can cause them to grow in incorrectly meaning that they are twisted or misaligned. Ideally, there should be just enough room for each tooth to grow in.

The opposite issue is when there are noticeable gaps between teeth. The best orthodontist will be able to rectify both of these problems using braces.

3. Problems When Chewing

When we think about braces, we often only consider the aesthetic improvements that they can offer. However, braces can also help deal with many oral health issues.

If your child has problems with chewing when they eat, this may be due to an issue with misaligned teeth. This is a key sign that they may need braces. If your child complains of pain when chewing or biting, or finds it difficult to do, then they probably require orthodontic care.

Speak to a professional, who can advise you on the best course of action to resolve the issue.

4. Thumb Sucking

Many children suck their thumbs when they’re babies, but for some, this can continue as they get older.

If your child still sucks their thumb once their adult teeth have grown in, then this can cause some dental issues. Sucking a thumb (or a pacifier) can affect the way that your child’s teeth grow. It can result in misaligned teeth; thumb sucking puts pressure on the top teeth and can lead to an overbite. It may also lead to pain due to jaw misalignment.

Find an orthodontist who specializes in children’s braces and they will be able to fix some of these issues.

5. Mouth Breathing

Have you noticed that your child tends to breathe in and out through their mouth rather than using their nose?

Mouth breathing can lead to a number of oral health issues. Breathing through your mouth causes the mouth to dry out, and your saliva is important for washing out plaque and remineralizing your teeth. A dry mouth can lead to an increase in cavities or gum disease. Mouth breathing can also lead to issues such as digestive problems, bad breath, and poor sleep.

Mouth breathing is often caused by misaligned teeth, so correcting these issues with braces can also help fix the mouth breathing.

6. Cheek Biting

Do you find that your child is often biting the insides of their cheeks when they’re eating? This can be very painful and can cause serious damage to the inside of their mouths.

If the jaws or teeth aren’t properly aligned, it can cause the upper or lower teeth to bite down too close to the inside of your mouth. This makes it far more likely that you will bite your cheek when eating or even when talking.

The solution to this problem is to correct the misalignment of teeth or jaws that is causing the bite to be too close to the cheek. Braces can help to correct this type of misalignment.

7. Self-Consciousness

An important sign that it’s time for your child to get braces is that they’re self-conscious about their smile.

Misaligned, prominent, or crooked teeth can be easily visible when smiling, and your child may be uncomfortable putting their teeth on display if they don’t look how they would wish. Braces can help to rectify these issues and provide your child with a smile they will be happy to show off.

This can help to boost their self-confidence and who doesn’t want to see their child smiling as much as possible?

Is Your Child Ready to Get Braces?

If your child is showing some of the common signs that it’s time for them to get braces, then we’re here to help.

We offer a wide range of dental services, including metal braces, self-ligating braces, Invisalign, Invisalign Teen, and more. Our orthodontists have unique training in patient evaluation, including assessment of growth patterns, facial geometry, familial traits,  individual emotional development, and personal expectations. We’re here to provide orthodontic and pediatric care at a price you can afford.

Book a virtual consultation with us today!