Do you remember when you first became the Tooth Fairy? You might recall a pang of bittersweet nostalgia as you saw your child cross off yet another developmental milestone. You might have playfully reminded your little one, “No more losing teeth! You’re growing up way too fast!” However, you were swiftly and thankfully reminded of his or her youthful innocence when your child excitedly placed the lost tooth underneath the pillow.
Depending on your child’s age—and your years of Tooth Fairy experience—you’ve started to see your little one’s adult teeth appear. Suddenly, his or her perfect baby teeth are replaced with larger, imperfect adult teeth. Now instead of focusing on the dollar placed under the pillow, you’re starting to calculate the cost of braces. Read on to discover whether your child needs braces and how to best invest in your child’s new smile.
What Causes Orthodontic Problems?
Orthodontic problems are either hereditary or can develop over time. Problems passed down from parents can include issues with jaw structure, crooked teeth, and overcrowded teeth. Other orthodontic problems can be attributed to a child’s habits such as pacifier use, thumb sucking and mouth breathing. These usually lead to issues of spacing and bite.
Signs Your Child Might Need Braces
Irregular or delayed loss of baby teeth
Adult teeth that have not grown in
Trouble biting together
Misaligned teeth that are overcrowded or misplaced
Overbite (upper teeth overlap lower teeth)
Underbite (lower teeth protrude beyond upper teeth)
Crossbite (upper teeth sit inside bottom teeth)
Open bite (upper teeth and lower teeth slant outward and do not touch)
Accidental biting of the inner cheek or the roof of the mouth
Mouth breathing and/or snoring
Benefits of Braces
Braces provide your child with a myriad of benefits. Perhaps the most obvious benefit is the aesthetic advantage and increased confidence that comes from a gleaming smile. Another important reason is that braces improve oral health. Braces can help align your child’s bite, thus decreasing the potential for breaking (traumatic injuries) and wear (tooth grinding). When teeth are aligned, there are also less tight spaces where plaque can build and thus less opportunity for gum disease and tooth decay. Aligned teeth can also mitigate speech difficulties. Finally, properly shaped jaws can help with better breathing, sleep, and general well-being as children develop into young adults.
Get an Evaluation for Your Child Today!
Being a parent—and Tooth Fairy—means doing whatever it takes to give your little one the healthiest smile possible. If you believe your child might benefit from braces, contact Children’s Dental Specialities in Worcester, Massachusetts, to get an evaluation by Dr. Dan today.