As baby teeth make way for permanent teeth, many parents find themselves asking an all-important question; will my child need braces? And the truth is, it depends.
Whether or not your child would benefit from orthodontic intervention comes down to a host of factors, ranging from serious problems that can affect their ability to eat and bite correctly through to the look of teeth and the self-confidence a beautiful smile allows.
So let’s take a look at five important signs your child may need braces.
Research indicates eight out of ten teens could benefit from some form of orthodontic assistance, and by far the most common reason is crowding of teeth.
Crowding occurs when there simply isn’t enough space in the mouth for all teeth to be in the correct alignment. As more adult teeth emerge it’s a problem that tends to get worse.
Crowding makes it harder and more time consuming to maintain oral hygiene, with some teeth less accessible when it comes to brushing and flossing. If left untreated this can result in tooth decay, gum disease and ultimately tooth loss.
Overbite and overjet
When it comes to facial shape, eating and teeth health, the way the top and bottom front teeth relate to each other is critical. Ideally, the top teeth will only overlap the bottom to a certain degree and will not protrude beyond them too little or too far. If they do the situation is known as increased overbite or overjet.
Increased overbite refers to top teeth excessively overlapping the bottom teeth vertically, while increased overjet refers to excessive protrusion of the top teeth beyond the bottom teeth horizontally.
Either scenario can leave teeth prone to injury and wear, and make it harder to maintain any future restorative work like veneers or crowns. Importantly, a severe overbite or overjet can impact the shape of the face.
A cross bite involves a single upper tooth or group of teeth that sit behind the opposing bottom teeth. It can occur in the front or side of the mouth and is often the result of a narrow upper jaw.
Like an overbite, it leaves affected teeth prone to trauma, makes it harder to fix damaged teeth, impacts the facial shape, and can result in excessive tooth wear.
Under bite refers to a scenario where the bottom teeth protrude beyond the upper teeth. Again, this situation can lead to excessive tooth wear and leave teeth prone to trauma. A serious under bite can also impact speech.
An open bite occurs when front teeth are unable to meet even when the jaws are closed. This can result in difficulty biting and even speech problems such as lisps.
The best way to determine whether or not your child needs braces is to seek expert orthodontic advice, and the sooner the better.
While most children do not commence orthodontic intervention until they are aged between 9 and 14, the Australian Society of Orthodontics (ASO) recommends that your child should get a check-up with a specialist orthodontist as early as the age of 7.
This allows trained experts like the Norwest Orthodontics team to monitor your child’s development and get the “jump” on issues early.
About Norwest Orthodontics
Norwest Orthodontics specialises in the treatment of children and adults. We pride ourselves on our personalised service, care, and open communication.