How to Tell if Your Child Needs Braces

Do you think your child needs braces? The thought can be one of the most overwhelming things you have to deal with in adulthood. You want nothing but the best for you and your child. Yet you know your child is not going to want to wear braces. But untreated orthodontic issues can lead to problems with not just their oral health, but also with their overall health.

So when is it time to decide if your child needs braces? Only an orthodontist can make that determination. But there are a number of common signs which indicate that your child may need braces, five of which are listed below. So review the list, then contact the Antoine Dental Center in Houston, TX, if you have any questions.

#1. Your Child Has Gapped Teeth

Gapped teeth are one of the most noticeable signs that your child may need braces. Although some gaps between their teeth may close as all of their permanent teeth develop, unsightly gaps may remain. Worst of all, gapped teeth don’t just cause oral health problems, they can also harm your child’s self-esteem. They may even get made of fun of due to their gapped teeth, stunting their social development. You’ll want to schedule an appointment with an orthodontist if you notice gapped teeth in your children.

#2. Your Child Has Crooked Teeth

Much like gapped teeth, crooked teeth can harm your child’s self-esteem and social development. This can lead to bullying at school and other problems. Their oral health will also suffer because crooked teeth generally suffer from cavities and other tooth decay on a more frequent basis than correctly aligned teeth. This can necessitate numerous restorative dental treatments later in your child’s life such as root canals, dental crowns, or even having their teeth pulled.

#3. Your Child Has a Speech Impediment

One of the most common causes of speech impediments, such as lisps, are misaligned teeth. Misaligned teeth make it more difficult to develop correct speaking patterns, a problem which can follow your child for his or her entire lifetime. If you notice a lisp or other speech impediment in your child, schedule an orthodontist appointment to see if his or her teeth are causing the speech impediment.

#4. Your Child Complains of Pain When Eating

Orthodontic issues can make it downright painful to eat certain foods. If your child avoids eating high protein foods, or even chewy foods, it could be due to problems with their oral health. If this pattern is not corrected your child may not eat a balanced diet, which can lead to malnutrition and other serious health issues. Braces may be able to realign your child’s teeth and allow them to eat without pain.

#5. Your Child Displays Signs of Gum Disease

Much like tooth decay, children with crooked and misaligned teeth are more likely to suffer from gum disease. This is because plaque and tartar (the bacteria which cause gum disease) tend to accumulate on crooked teeth. Regular brushing and flossing may not be enough to remove this harm bacteria due to the angle of your child’s teeth.

In its early stages gum disease can lead to persistent bad breath and gums which bleed when you brush them. If left untreated, gum disease can cause swollen gums, tooth-loss, and other health problems. If you notice any potential signs of gum disease in your child, contact your dentist or orthodontist right away.

#6. Your Child Complains of Jaw, Lip, or Gum Pain

Orthodontic issues can make everyday life painful for your child. Misaligned bites and other problems may causes persistent or recurrent jaw pain. Frequent headaches have also been linked to misaligned bites. Crooked teeth can also irritate your child’s lips or gums. If you notice any of these signs, contact your orthodontist right away.

Make An Appointment

Are you worried that your child might need braces? Then don’t leave it to chance! Untreated orthodontic issues can lead to numerous oral health problems for your child. Orthodontic issues can also lead to malnutrition, speech impediments, and other problems.

Don’t risk it, contact your orthodontist in Houston today. The Antoine Dental Center offers both full dentistry and orthodontic services for every member of the family. Contact us today to schedule an appointment by calling 713-364-8890.