Braces and orthodontic treatment are used to correct “bad bites,” or malocclusion (teeth that are crowded or crooked). Some children may have straight teeth, but their upper and lower jaws may not meet properly.
Correcting these problems can create a nice-looking smile, but more importantly, orthodontic treatment can result in a healthier smile.
Review this quick guide to determine if they actually need orthodontia care.
Braces and orthodontia care can be helpful to correct:
• A misaligned bite
• Crowded, poorly-positioned teeth
What to look for: If you notice your child has crowded teeth or if he or she is having trouble eating or speaking, talk to your dentist about possibly seeing an orthodontist.
The need for orthodontia can be the result of genetics, an injury, early or late tooth loss, or thumb-sucking.
Orthodontia can be a cosmetic need or medically necessary. In some cases, a bite or teeth alignment can not only affect a child’s appearance, but can negatively impact the way a child bites, chews, and speaks. It can also increase the long-term potential for developing periodontal disease or temporomandibular joint (TMJ) problems.
At what age should your child have orthodontia care?
Ages vary but generally all permanent teeth should be erupted (ages 11-15). Historically, most children started wearing braces in their early to mid-adolescent years, after all of their permanent teeth had erupted. In more recent years, there has been a trend toward earlier intervention to take advantage of high rates of growth and to correct certain conditions that might otherwise adversely affect growth and development. Consult your dentist to find out what is best for your child.
If it turns out your child doesn’t need braces, you could always spring for some fake ones to satisfy their need for the tooth sparkles.
Learn more about Delta Dental of Idaho’s ortho program.