Children are developing, and the medical care they receive during childhood can significantly impact their health as an adult. That’s why children’s dentistry is a crucial part of a child’s healthcare plan. Establishing effective oral healthcare routines during childhood can prevent serious dental issues like gum disease.
Some children require special dental tools to correct dental issues. Dental tools include dental implants and braces. Let’s look at some reasons why children need braces, signs a child needs braces, benefits children experience from braces, and how a pediatric dentist can help.
Reasons Children Need Braces
Approximately 45% of kids need braces to correct dental issues. Another 30% of children could experience dental and facial benefits from braces. Combined, three out of four children would benefit from wearing braces. There are four main reasons children need braces.
1. Crooked Teeth
Even teeth ensure a proper bite. Crooked teeth can cause health issues such as temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ). Excessive tooth wear can also lead to cracked teeth.
2. Overlapping Teeth
When teeth overlap inside a person’s mouth, their teeth are uneven, making it hard for them to chew food. Some people with overlapping teeth are prone to grinding, which can cause other oral health problems, such as recessed gums and TMJ.
3. Crowded Teeth
Sometimes, teeth are too close together. Crowded teeth make it hard to maintain good oral health because they inhibit your ability to floss or correctly brush your teeth.
Jaw alignment is vital because it ensures you can chew and swallow food correctly. Correct alignment also promotes dental health. Misaligned jaws can cause dental problems, such as jaw pain and uneven wear on a person’s teeth. Wearing braces can correct an overbite or underbite.
Signs Your Child Needs Braces
Anyone can see a pronounced overbite or underbite. Here are some other signs could also indicate that a child needs braces.
Irregular Baby Teeth Loss
Most children start losing their baby teeth when they’re six. When baby teeth fall out too early, it can indicate tooth decay or other serious dental issues. Losing baby teeth late can also signify dental problems and suggest your child needs braces.
Chewing or Biting Issues
Your teeth perform crucial functions every day. People use their teeth to cut and grind food. Without teeth, you may have issues safely swallowing food because you can’t form a bolus from chewed food. Difficulty chewing or biting food can indicate your child needs braces for kids.
Prolonged Thumb Sucking
It’s possible to develop a misalignment through harmful actions like thumb-sucking. Consequently, some children need braces to correct oral health issues caused by prolonged thumb sucking. Thumb sucking also carries other dental health risks because thumbs can deposit dirt or bacteria in a child’s mouth.
Most of the time, breathing is something people do without thinking about it. You may not even realize that most people use their noses to breathe. Mouth breathing can be a sign that a child’s upper jawbone is underdeveloped, and they may need braces to correct the issue.
The Benefits of Braces
Wearing braces can prevent severe dental issues, such as pain, spasms, and gum disease. Correcting tooth alignment ensures children can effectively chew and swallow their food and enable them to maintain good dental health.
Braces for kids can impact a child’s mental health. Correcting dental issues promotes a positive self-image and can boost a child’s confidence. Self-image may also prompt parents to consider cosmetic dentistry for their child or to invest in aligners to correct dental issues.
Your teeth are an essential speech tool. Your lips, tongue, and teeth work together to allow you to form words. Without teeth, it’s harder to say some words. Wearing braces can correct dental issues, preserve a child’s oral health, and prevent tooth loss.
How can a pediatric dentist help your child?
Pediatric dentists train to provide dental and oral healthcare to children. Approximately 23% of children either feared seeing a dentist or disliked their dental care, a figure highlighting the need for dental care tailored to the unique needs of children.
Pediatric dentists understand the unique dental needs of developing children. They customize their offices to create welcoming environments where children feel comfortable, promoting a positive experience. When you’re looking for braces near you, consult a pediatric dentist. Your pediatric dentist can explain the types of braces, how braces for kids can help your child, and ways your child could benefit from other dental procedures.
If you think your child needs braces for kids or other dental care, contact us to schedule an appointment with one of our pediatric dentists. We’re happy to discuss your concerns and answer your questions, so that your child can get the dental care they need.
AlSarheed, M. (2011). Children’s Perception of Their Dentists.
Imani, M.M., et al. (2018). The Effect of Orthodontic Intervention on Mental Health and Body Image.
Naidu, S., et al. (2019). Does My Child Need Braces?-A Comprehensive Review.
Opfer, Chris. (2022). Does your child really need braces?