5 Signs It’s Time to Take Your Child to the Orthodontist

Posted on September 16, 2022


Orthodontic issues may not be a priority when you first start a family, but orthodontic treatment may soon be necessary for your child. If you have any concerns about the alignment of your child’s teeth, you should talk to your dentist or schedule with an orthodontist. Before you start that process, read on to learn about the top five signs that your child needs to see an orthodontist.

1. Overcrowding

There are a few issues that might arise because of overcrowded permanent teeth. Cavities are more likely to form on overlapping teeth since they are difficult to clean and closely spaced teeth can slow the development of adjacent teeth, blocking adult teeth from coming in. If this is not addressed, it may lead to the need for teeth removal, leaving behind obvious gaps that make biting and eating uncomfortable. Prompt treatment of overcrowding in a child’s developing jaw can prevent this problem and promote a healthy, self-assured smile.

2. Spaces in the Teeth

It may be a cause for concern if you see spaces between your child’s permanent teeth. This could be a result of a lack of permanent teeth or uneven spacing among existing teeth. If you see an orthodontist as soon as you notice this, they can close the gaps between the teeth as the jaw is still developing.

3. Biting Issues

You should take your child to an orthodontist if you hear popping sounds when they flex their jaw. Biting, chewing, and talking are actions during which you may notice these sounds. If unaddressed, this could eventually lead to jaw pain or joint pain.
Consult your orthodontist if your child is having trouble biting or chewing. One sign of this is frequent biting of the inner cheek. This can be corrected with treatments from your orthodontist.

4. Age

Depending on how their teeth have developed, your child may begin to lose their baby teeth around the age of five or six. As a natural consequence of this change, some permanent teeth may start to come in. This stage is critical for your child’s tooth and jaw development. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends having your child undergo an orthodontic evaluation by the age of seven. While this may seem young, it’s the best time to spot and resolve issues like tooth crowding and misaligned jaws.

5. Mouth Breathing

Although this symptom might not look like an orthodontic problem, mouth breathing can cause significant harm to your child’s development. Your child should see an orthodontist if they often breathe incorrectly, meaning that air is entering the lungs via the mouth and throat rather than through the nose. Mouth breathing can lead to sleep disorders, ear infections, upper airway infections, and facial growth irregularities that necessitate orthodontic correction. It’s best to address mouth breathing before it becomes a habit as it is more challenging to correct as the child gets older.

According to the Pennsylvania Dental Association, there are about 4 million people in the United States using orthodontic braces to get beautiful, fully functional smiles. If you think your child could benefit from braces, starting the process early is the best course of action. Get in touch with our expert team at Imagine Braces to schedule a visit for your child.

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