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7 Signs That Determine Your Child Needs To See An Orthodontist Now!

author icon By Dr. Satish Pai

Does your child need braces? If he is showing any of the symptoms mentioned below, it’s time for that visit to the orthodontist

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According to the American Association of Orthodontics, your child's first orthodontic appointment will be at the age of seven, or when his permanent teeth start descending.

But if your child is displaying any of the symptoms mentioned below, it might be time for their first orthodontic appointment to get fitted for a pair of dental braces.

Here are a few signs that determine if your child needs to get dental braces:

1) If Your Child Has Crooked Teeth

The most common reason for needing orthodontic services for children is correcting crooked teeth.

You might be wondering if your child's slightly crooked teeth are something that even needs correcting.

In this case, it's more than being able to flash that perfect smile. Crooked teeth can lead to dental pain and more dental problems down the road.

2) Thumb Sucking After the Age of Four

If your child continues thumb-sucking after the age of 4, it can illustrate that your child needs braces. Thumb-sucking can cause your upper front teeth to protrude forward. It can cause crowding in the bottom teeth too.

3) Prolonged Mouth-Breathing After a Certain Age

If your child breathes with their mouth open, it might affect the appearance of their face and the growth of their teeth.

Your child's habit of mouth breathing will mean their tongue is not able to sit on the roof of their mouth. A habit like this can cause your child to develop a longer face. This means narrower jaws and less space for adult teeth, which indicates a need for orthodontic services.

4) Irregular Loss of Baby Teeth

When your child is losing their baby teeth before proper time or because of tooth decay, it might be an indication that your child needs orthodontic services.

5) Missing Teeth or Teeth That Don't Descend On Time

If your child has teeth that are not descending on their own, it might cause a gap where the new tooth should be, or the baby tooth might still be intact.

Dental braces can help in this case by holding their other teeth in place till the missing tooth grows into its position.

6) If Your Child has Malocclusion

Malocclusion means that there is a misalignment between the two dental arches when the mouth closes. There are different types of misalignment, like crowding, where there's no proper room for your teeth to fit in mouth. This or excessive gaps in your teeth can be corrected through dental braces.

Misaligned teeth can cause a variety of other problems like an overbite (when teeth don't match up properly). Or it can cause a deepbite (upper teeth overlapping lower teeth), or an underbite, which is the opposite of a deepbite.

7) If Your Child Has Difficulty Chewing

Sometimes misaligned teeth can't be detected easily but can cause other problems. If your child shows problems in closing their mouth or chewing, they might require orthodontic services.

If you think your child needs dental braces, it's best to go to an orthodontist immediately to seek help. Misaligned teeth can cause many dental problems in the future, so prevention is always better than cure.

Author Bio:

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Dr. Satish Pai is an orthodontist and an Ivy League trained dentist who has and has served as a faculty at Columbia University. He believes that a perfect smile not only makes a person look great but feel great. As the founder of Putnam Orthodontics and a Partner at Brite Orthodontics, he is dedicated to providing the best orthodontic treatments to his patients. He also writes to educate people about everything orthodontics and the importance of correctly aligned teeth along with good oral health. In his free time, you can find him golfing, doing yoga or surfing, and spending time with this family.

Last review and update: January 2021

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