How to Know If My Child Needs Orthodontic Treatment?

dental care

Despite regular dental check-ups and oral care, some children often suffer from misaligned teeth, irregular jaw alignment, and bite issues. Most of these problems are common among children and can be attributed to genetics, childhood habits like thumb sucking, injury, etc. Irregularities in teeth and jaw alignment could lead to chewing and speech issues. However, timely intervention through orthodontic treatment can take care of such cases. 

But how to determine if your child needs orthodontic treatment or not? In most cases, your dentist will notify you if he/she feels that the child needs to visit an orthodontist for a specialized check-up. However, you could watch out for the following signs, as well: 

Difficulty in chewing or biting: Misaligned teeth or jaws could lead to difficulty in chewing or biting. While the misalignment might not be always visible, if your child struggles with normal chewing, then you should seek an orthodontist’s opinion.

Prolonged thumb or finger sucking: A common habit among children, it could lead to protruding front teeth and crowding in the bottom teeth. If your child doesn’t outgrow the habit by approximately 4 years of age, then it could be a cause of concern.

Mouth breathing: The habit can have an impact on your child’s facial appearance. Mouth breathing leads to a longer face with narrower jaws and affects teeth growth, as well.

Early, late, or irregular loss of baby teeth: Untimely loss of baby teeth can result in alignment and spacing problems. Gap teeth or crowding are common outcomes in such cases.

Crowded or misplaced teeth: Crowded teeth, gap teeth, or overlapping teeth are alignment issues that can obstruct proper oral care. Sometimes, these also lead to mouth breathing and speech impediments. 

Jaws that shift or make sounds: It means the jaws are not well-aligned and need immediate intervention to avoid further dental complexities. 

Jaws that look protruded: A well-aligned jaw is a foundation for well-aligned teeth. Protruding jaws can be corrected to make way for the proper growth of permanent teeth.

Biting the roof of the mouth: This could mean your child is suffering from overbite that needs early intervention to prevent damage to gum tissues behind the upper teeth. 

Teeth that don’t meet at all or meet abnormally: Irregular bite could lead to more serious dental issues in the future like fracture or loss of teeth besides chewing and speech difficulties.

Jaws and teeth disproportionate to the face: Of course, it means there are severe alignment issues that can be taken care of early through orthodontic treatment.

If your child is suffering from any of these irregularities, visit an orthodontist for a better understanding of the problem and a way forward. Early diagnosis of such dental problems can save your child from having disproportionate jaws and misaligned permanent teeth.