Parents who want their children to enjoy the benefits of a beautiful smile for a lifetime often wonder when to consider braces. As your child grows older, your visits with a pediatric dentist should include an ongoing discussion about an appropriate age and reasons for braces and teeth extraction, among other procedures. If that has not necessarily been the case, the experienced professionals at Ponte Vedra Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics hope the following information helps you make an informed decision.
Telltale Signs Your Child May Need Braces
Studies indicate that upwards of 4 million people wear braces, and 3 million are usually minors. Although a high percentage of the population wears braces at some point, it’s essential to understand that not every child or adult needs their teeth realigned. Getting braces at a young age is generally considered prudent because properly aligned teeth support improved oral health. Braces may also prevent an unnecessary childhood tooth extraction that results from issues related to misalignments. If your child exhibits the following signs, schedule a consultation with a Ponte Vedra dentist as soon as possible.
- Premature Baby Teeth Loss: When first teeth fall out too early, the vacancies can cause others to shift. These migrations create uneven spaces for adult teeth to grow into. This may result in a crooked and uneven smile in many cases. By taking proactive measures such as braces, parents help their children enjoy healthy teeth and reduce the discomfort when second teeth arrive.
- Misalignment of the Jaw: When the jawbone doesn’t quite sync, overbites, crossbites, and underbites result in many instances. This, in turn, makes routine use of a child’s teeth exceedingly difficult. If your child has trouble chewing, forming certain words, or you hear a clicking sound when it moves, schedule an appointment immediately. Rather than allow the condition to worsen and others to manifest, a member of the Ponte Vedra Pediatric Dentistry team may suggest early braces.
- Prolonged Thumb Sucking: Sucking the thumb, finger, or a pacifier remains a common and reasonable occurrence among young children. But if the habit persists beyond the normal cessation of 2-3 years old, it can result in misaligned teeth. Some children’s ongoing practice pulls front teeth forward, causing crowding and discomfort. Braces may be an excellent way to cure the issue.
Anytime parents notice potential teeth crowding or something unusual, it’s advisable to err on the side of caution. Our team will review your child’s oral health history, conduct a thorough evaluation, and discuss age-appropriate braces if necessary.
Is My Child A Good Candidate For Braces?
The typical age minors get braces and retainers runs between 8 and 14 years old. However, wide-reaching factors go into a parent’s decision. In the majority of cases, waiting until adult teeth have emerged makes the most sense. There are instances in which taking steps at a younger age may be in the best interest of the child. Our goal is to deliver long-term oral health benefits through braces and other measures that include the following.
- Create Health Spacing and Reduce Crowding
- Minimize Potential Trauma from Protruding Teeth
- Correct Misalignments and Crooked Teeth
- Improve or Maintain Facial Symmetry
- Maintain Spaces for Adult Teeth
- Minimize the Need for Childhood Tooth Extraction
- Reduce the Need for Jaw Surgery Later in Life
As loving parents can see, there is no perfect age for your child to begin wearing braces. A wide variety of causes can prompt Dr. Lindsay Maples to discuss braces or a retainer with a concerned parent. Perhaps the most important thing you can do is visit a pediatric dental office. Do this regularly and monitor your child’s oral health with an experienced dental professional.
Contact Ponte Vedra Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics
Our Ponte Vedra dentist office provides parents and caregivers with the information they require to make good choices about their children’s teeth and future. Retainers, braces, and teeth extraction are all viable options to ensure your child enjoys good oral health and a beautiful smile. If you have concerns about teeth development, contact Ponte Vedra Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics and schedule an appointment today. It’s never too early to protect your child’s amazing smile.