When Should a Child Get Braces? Key Signs You Should Be Looking for

Did you know that over 4 million people wear braces in the United States alone? Of those 4 million people, around 75% are children and teenagers.

This is because it’s a good idea to attack any oral health issues early to prevent longterm damage that could negatively affect your child’s overall health.

If you have a child that you think may need braces, you’re going to want to have an idea yourself before calling an orthodontist. In doing so, you can better prepare both you and your child for what lies ahead.

But when should a child get braces? And how do you know what signs you need to look out for to determine if braces are necessary for your child? If you’re asking questions like those, wonder no longer, because we’re here to help!

In this article, we’ll tell you all of the basic signs that your child needs braces. We’ll also tell you what the causes of some of those signs are, so you can try to avoid them completely.

Crowded Teeth

As your child begins to lose their baby teeth, you’ll start to see the signs of whether or not they’re going to need braces rather fast. One of the first signs you’ll see, should your child need braces, is overcrowded teeth.

When your child has overcrowded teeth, there simply isn’t enough room in their mouth for their adult teeth to come in. This usually leads to their teeth coming in sideways, or crooked, which can cause them to experience pain while chewing or lead to them speaking with a lisp.

The good news? Figuring out if your child has overcrowded teeth is simple. It’s also the best place to start when trying to determine if braces are a must-have or not. 

Gaps Between Teeth

Another telltale sign that your child is going to need braces soon is if they have gaps forming between their adult teeth. Unlike overcrowded teeth, gaps between the teeth occur when there’s too much space in the mouth for their teeth. 

These gaps can lead to gum pain and irritation for your child, especially when chewing. That irritation can cause gum disease, too, which is why we recommend that you correct the issue permanently via braces while they’re still young. 

Losing Baby Teeth Early or Late

As you’ve probably already noticed, all the signs that your child is going to need braces occur after your child loses their baby teeth. That said, when they lose their baby teeth could be another tip on whether or not a trip to the orthodontist is in your future.

For instance, if your child loses their baby teeth too early, that often means that they’re going to need braces after those adult teeth finally come in. Anything around 3 to 4 years old is too early to lose baby teeth, so keep that in mind if you have a child around that age or younger. 

On the other hand, losing baby teeth too late could be another sign that it’s time to start putting back some extra cash for braces. Anything around 13 years of age or later is too late to start losing baby teeth, which is worth noting, too. 

Thumb Sucking

Believe it or not, extensive thumbsucking is another sign that your child could be destined to have braces later in childhood. Why exactly? Well, thumb sucking, and even frequent pacifier use can affect the way that your child’s teeth come in.

More specifically, it can cause your child’s teeth, and even their jaw, to become misaligned. So, if you have a young child who soothes themselves with their thumb or pacifier, try to break that habit now before it’s too late. 

Breathing Through the Mouth

Breathing through the mouth can do a lot more damage to your child’s oral health than just making their breath smell bad. On top of that, it can also cause the shape of your child’s face to change, which can lead to the need for braces later in life.

The cause of mouth breathing is often the result of your child’s inability to rest their tongue against the roof of the mouth. If that’s the case, your child will most likely develop a narrow jaw, which means overcrowding of the teeth is also likely.

Underbite and Overbite

Both an overbite and underbite can be a sign that your child will need braces, as well as other dental work, to correct the issue. Failure to address both an overbite and underbite can lead to dental and breathing issues that will follow your child into adulthood.

On top of that, both an underbite and overbite can make it difficult to eat certain foods. When you visit your child’s orthodontist to determine what is the best age to get braces for them, they can help you decide what other issues need to be addressed, as well as how to best do so.

When Should a Child Get Braces?

When should a child get braces? And do they really need them? As you can see, there are many different answers to those questions, as each child is different, so you have to decide that for your child yourself.

Thankfully, finding an orthodontist in your area to help you out shouldn’t be difficult. So, if you think that braces might be beneficial to your child, we recommend that you book a consultation today so you can give your child a pain-free smile.

Worried about other aspects of your child’s health? Check back with our blog often, as we have all of the latest need-to-know information regarding a healthy lifestyle.

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