orthodontic treatment

How Can You Tell if Your Child Needs Orthodontic Treatment?

Posted on November 10, 2021

orthodontic treatment

It is not uncommon for parents to think about orthodontic treatment for their children. The first time you notice that your child’s teeth are coming in crooked, the idea of braces might pop into your head. However, it can be hard to tell if your child needs orthodontic treatment or not. It is often difficult to see how severe the problem is just by looking at them, but some signs can indicate your child is a candidate for orthodontic treatment.

1. They Have a Large Overbite or Underbite

One of the most common signs that your child might need orthodontic treatment is a large overbite or underbite. When your child’s teeth don’t fit together properly, it can cause them to bite their cheek or tongue while eating and make it more difficult for them to chew their food. It can also lead to speech problems, as it can alter your child’s pronunciation of certain sounds.

2. Their Teeth Are Crowded or Gapped

If your child’s teeth are crowded or gapped, they might need orthodontic treatment. When children have crowded teeth, it can be difficult for them to chew their food properly. Crowded teeth can also cause your child to get more cavities and gum disease. Gapped teeth can be harmful to your child’s oral health as well since food gets stuck between them and is more difficult to brush away.

3. Their Teeth Are Crooked

While it might be difficult to see your child’s teeth if they have a mild case of crooked teeth, their smile can give you a good indication that something is wrong. If the positioning of your child’s teeth doesn’t seem quite right, orthodontic treatment might help them achieve a more aesthetically pleasing smile.

4. Their Teeth Aren’t Aligned

Many orthodontic treatments are meant to align your child’s teeth. If your child is missing some teeth or the positioning of their teeth isn’t quite right, an orthodontist can help them achieve a more aesthetically pleasing smile.

5. They Have Difficulty Chewing

If your child struggles to chew their food properly, they might need orthodontic treatment. When children have trouble chewing their food, it can be difficult to eat the right amount of nutrients. It can also cause malnutrition or undernourishment if they are eating too little due to difficulty chewing food.

In the United States, approximately 3.9 million children are orthodontic patients (per the AAO). While children are not always aware of their crooked teeth, parents often are. If you notice problems developing with your child’s alignment, schedule an appointment with your orthodontist to learn more about the benefits of having them undergo treatment.

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