We’ve always known there was a good chance our boys would need braces. I had braces as a kid, and both the boys seem to have inherited my big teeth/small mouth combo. There also might have been some thumb sucking.
Not all kids need braces, but if you’re wondering if yours might, here are some signs to look for.
It’s a good idea to call the orthodontist if you notice any of the following:
Crowded or Misaligned Teeth
If your child’s teeth look crooked, or if there is clearly not room for incoming permanent teeth, it is a good idea to call for a consult. This doesn’t automatically mean he’ll need braces. Some crowding is minor enough that the doctor might suggest a, “Wait and see,” approach-another reason it’s smart to go in sooner rather than later, so a professional can monitor his bite and growth.
The gap toothed look can be cute on little kids, but it may mean the need for orthodontic treatment.
Overbites or underbites can cause serious damage due to wear on teeth that aren’t coming together properly. These are often treated with a combination of braces and other appliances. Orthodontists have had special, advanced training beyond general dentistry.
Problems Chewing Food Properly
Lots of kids are messy eaters, but if yours seems to be having trouble chewing properly, it could be because his teeth aren’t working together as they should.
If your child is having speech problems, it’s worth finding out whether it’s a sign of a misaligned bite. Correcting it may help your child academically and socially.
Of course, only an orthodontist can say for sure whether your child will need braces. If you’re in the Puyallup, Washington area, orthodontist Dr. Larson has bright, fun offices right by the downtown library. His friendly staff will be glad to welcome you for a free, no-pressure consultation at a time that is convenient for you.