4 Signs Your Child Needs Braces

Good health is a critical ingredient for living a fulfilling life. Oral health is a vital aspect of general body health that is sometimes neglected. Research indicates that poor oral health increases the risk factors of chronic conditions such as heart disease.

As such, everyone needs to take up good oral practices from a young age. This will also reduce the chances of losing teeth later in life. Orlando FL orthodontists suggest that the best time to begin orthodontic care is at the age of seven.

This is the ideal age as your child will have a mix of both baby and adult teeth. Thus, your orthodontist will be able to examine both the existing teeth and the incoming ones to determine the likely hood of any dental issues to arise.

At this developmental phase, issues with dentition are easily fixed with braces. Here are some signs your child needs braces.

Early or Late Loss of Milk Teeth

If the loss of baby teeth does not happen at the right time, there are high chances your child will need braces. This is because the early loss of teeth can cause misalignment of growing teeth and overcrowding. Also, when the loss of milk teeth begins late, there may be overcrowding, which will be accompanied by jaw pain.

Teeth Spacing

When there is extra space in the jaw for the teeth to grow out into, it will translate into spaces between the teeth. The condition whereby there are gaps separating teeth of different functions is known as a diastema. It can cause

  • Chewing to become problematic.
  • Digestive issues due to swallowing large chunks of food.
  • Bad breath.
  • Yellow teeth.
  • Pain in the gums.
  • Bleeding gums.

Early orthodontic care is essential as spaces between teeth can have far-reaching consequences that will affect your child’s general bodily health now and in the future.

Thumb Sucking

Thumb-sucking is a common habit among young children. However, if it persists beyond the age of 4, it can lead to teeth alignment problems. Vigorous thumb sucking exerts pressure on the teeth and jawbone, which can cause the front teeth to protrude outwards.

Usually, when children join preschool, they will stop this habit due to peer pressure. However, if it persists, you can talk to your child about it without being overly persistent, as this could reinforce the habit. Here are some other measures you could take to help your child.

  • Identify triggers such as boredom, hunger, anxiousness, and fatigue that prompt them to suck their thumb. Thereafter, try as much as possible to mitigate these triggers. It is important that you use positive reinforcement to entice them to stop.
  • Use calm and gentle reminders when they instinctively suckle on their thumb.
  • Try using thumb shields and orthodontic devices designed for this task.

Thumb sucking is a habit that begins in the womb, before birth. It is reflexive behavior that soothes children and helps them cope with stressful situations. Therefore, you must be patient with your child as you help them stop with this habit. If they forget and suckle instinctively, use calm and gentle reminders.

Mouth Breathing

Breathing through the mouth may seem like a harmless behavior, but it plays a role in determining how growing teeth develop. It can cause crooked teeth, facial deformities, poor growth, as well as gum disease and bad breath. Here are some signs that indicate your child breathes through their mouth.

  • Irritability.
  • Slower than normal growth rate.
  • Large tonsils.
  • Increased crying episodes at night.
  • Cracked or dry lips.
  • Sleepiness during the day.

Several factors can cause mouth breathing, and the treatments vary depending on the cause. If it becomes persistent, early orthodontic care is recommended to ensure the dental formula of your child is not affected.

In Conclusion

In addition to the health implications, poor oral health can harm your child’s esteem and thus affect their social life. Therefore, ensure that your child starts receiving orthodontic care early in life.

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