Almost every parent wonders if their child will need braces at some point. Although some signs like an overbite or crooked teeth are apparent early on, others are not so easy to spot. It can be challenging to catch these symptoms before they begin to cause a problem with your child’s teeth.
When your child is exhibiting one or more of these subtle signs, you should take your child to see an orthodontist. You can find one by searching for “orthodontist Queen Creek” or your location on the internet and making an appointment.
1. Losing Teeth Too Early or Late
Children should begin to lose their baby teeth at around six years old. This continues until they are about 12 years old. Losing teeth earlier than this is a sign that the adult teeth are crowding and erupting too soon. Beginning to lose teeth later than six is a sign that the adult teeth are underdeveloped or are spaced too far apart.
2. Thumb and Finger Sucking
Thumb and finger sucking can cause baby and adult teeth to grow in at odd angles. Although the behavior is normal, if your child sucks their thumb or fingers obsessively, a visit to the orthodontist is a good idea.
3. Tongue or Cheek Biting
If your child frequently bites their tongue or cheeks, it could be a sign of malocclusion or misaligned teeth. Orthodontists can solve most cases of malocclusion and misalignment by using braces or other devices.
4. Breathing Through the Mouth
Mouth breathing is a sign of several issues and can also cause dry gums and tooth decay if allowed to continue. In some cases, an orthodontist can fix this with dental devices such as retainers and retractive orthodontics.
5. Speech Impairment
Tooth crowding or a misaligned bite can cause some speech issues. This usually happens when the tongue is not positioned correctly under the teeth.
6. Tooth Grinding or Jaw Clenching
Grinding and clenching are two severe dental issues. They can cause cracking, breaking and heavy wear on a child’s teeth. Eventually, these issues lead to tooth decay, sensitivity and pain. An orthodontist can fit your child with a bite guard or other device to correct grinding or clenching before it becomes a significant problem.
Each of these symptoms might indicate the need for braces or another orthodontic device. You should consult your local orthodontist if you notice any of these signs. They can help make sure your child has a healthy, straight smile.