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How to Tell if Your Child Needs Braces

Common Signs and Orthodontic Treatment Recommendations

How Do I Know if My Child Needs Braces?

It can sometimes be difficult for parents to determine whether their own child needs braces. While most parents think of the tween and teen years as the prime time for orthodontics, there are many good reasons children should be seen even sooner. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends kids be seen for an initial checkup with an orthodontic specialist at no later than age 7.

Even if a young child’s teeth appear straight, there could be subtle problems with jaw growth or with the permanent teeth still underneath the gums that only an orthodontist can detect. In these cases, the orthodontist can advise a course of action and appropriate timing for treatment.

Comprehensive treatment (full braces) usually begins once all baby teeth have shed, usually around 11-13 years of age. However, at earlier ages, it is important for parents to recognize the signs that indicate a child will need either early treatment or full braces down the road.

Common Signs

In knowing these signs, parents can be aware of what constitutes good reason for their child being seen by an orthodontic specialist for evaluation.

  • Protruding teeth (usually indicates an overbite jaw relationship)
  • Upper back teeth that set inside of the lower teeth
  • Shifting of the lower jaw when biting down
  • Crowded teeth
  • Open bite (vertical space between edges of upper and lower front teeth when biting down)
  • Underbite (lower teeth that are set in front of upper teeth)
  • Late or early loss of baby teeth
  • Crooked teeth or smile
  • Excessive spacing between teeth
  • Biting on the roof of the mouth
  • A jaw that is disproportionate with the rest of the face
  • Finger or thumb sucking habits

Pediatric Orthodontists TemeculaWhile many of the problems mentioned are inherited, some are brought about through habits, like thumb-sucking.

If you notice your child has any of the above signs, it is advised to bring them in sooner rather than later for a consultation. Through an early orthodontic evaluation, you will be giving your child the best opportunity for a healthy, beautiful smile. Even if it is determined at the consultation that no near-term treatment is needed, parents will benefit by having peace of mind that things are developing normally.

Dr. Redford and Dr. Burke offer their first-time patients an in-depth consultation free of charge. At this time, the doctors will be able to expertly determine if any problems exist and offer treatment plan options.

What are the Potential Advantages of Braces?

Maintaining proper oral health and hygiene ideally begins in early childhood. One aspect of fostering good oral health includes undergoing orthodontic treatment.

Not all children need early orthodontic treatment. Those who do need intervention and receive it tend to fare better than others who wait until their teen years to be seen.

If a problem is properly identified and addressed during childhood, it can prevent more significant problems from developing and/or more invasive treatment from being needed later in life.

Well aligned teeth that fit together properly also help to facilitate good overall dental health. The following issues may gradually manifest when crooked teeth and improper bite relationships exist.

  • Gingivitis and subsequent periodontal disease (gum disease)
  • Challenges in speaking and chewing properly
  • Detrimental wear and tear on enamel
  • Loss of teeth

Due to the difficulty in adequately cleaning teeth that are overcrowded or crooked, harmful bacteria can accumulate. This may lead to deterioration of the teeth and overall poor gum health.

In the long run, putting a child’s oral health first can save time, money, and effort by preventing future complications that may result from unidentified issues.

What Types of Braces are Available for Children?

Burke & Redford Orthodontists offer patients only the safest, most technologically advanced options when it comes to braces appliances.

While the patient may be offered various options when it comes to the type of appliance, the orthodontist will be there to knowledgeably guide and rightly inform any decisions made by the patient.

Some of the most popular braces options offered by Burke & Redford Orthodontists are the following:

  • Metal (self-ligating) braces:

As the realm of orthodontics has advanced, the traditional braces appliance has as well. It is far less noticeable and bulky than it used to be. Younger kids enjoy picking out different colors of ties to go along with their appliances. Teens and adults usually prefer something more discreet.

  • Ceramic (self-ligating) braces:

This option gives the same result in the same amount of time as metal braces. However, instead of metal, the brackets and wires may either be tooth-colored or clear. This makes them quite subtle and nearly imperceptible.

temecula orthodontistOne of the most popular options is Invisalign. These clear aligners may be removed whenever needed, unlike fixed braces that are adhered to the teeth.

No matter what appliance is chosen, ensuring the patient is comfortable and worry-free throughout treatment is of utmost important to our board-certified doctors.

Burke & Redford Orthodontists prides itself on being able to offer our patients cost effective, cutting-edge treatment. We offer free consultations to all our new patients as well as competitive zero interest financing options.

If you would like to get your child started on the road to optimal oral health with the best Temecula orthodontist, please give our offices a call at (951) 699-8011 to schedule a free consultation to discuss the topic: How to Find Out if Your Child Needs Braces. We have two convenient office locations in Temecula and Lake Elsinore.


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