26 Jun Does my child need braces?
Most parents begin to consider braces for their children when they are noticeably displaced, crooked, crowded or there is spacing in between their teeth. However, there are several other considerations that your dental professional can help identify that influence function and speech from a very early age. The ideal interaction between upper and lower teeth is when the front teeth are sitting slightly above and forward of the lower teeth.
When the teeth are pushed too far forward, this is called an overjet. This can lead to mouth breathing issues and dry lips. It can also cause a frosty appearance of the front teeth. When the front teeth are overlapping the lower teeth, this is called an overbite. This can cause premature wear of the front teeth. If the upper teeth are sitting behind the lower teeth, then this called an underbite and can cause aesthetic and functional issues.
There are many other types of relationship between the upper and lower teeth that are fully examined as part of your child’s routine six-monthly active maintenance visits at Sensational Smiles Dental and will be discussed in detail with you.
When I should start considering the placement of my child’s teeth?
At the age of 6-7 years old, your child’s permanent front teeth will start coming through, as well as their first adult molars. At this age, your dental professional can begin to make a judgment on how the adult teeth will come through. Your child’s first full mouth x-ray is advised at this time so that the adult teeth can be visualized. This is important because the same jaw that holds your child’s first 20 teeth need to be able to hold their 32 teeth that are coming through!
If the jaws appear too small to hold the adult teeth coming through, this is when early intervention orthodontics is best utilized. Your dentist may prescribe an appliance that utilizes your child’s growth spurt phase to expand the jaw to be able to fit all teeth. If this problem is diagnosed later in life, the only option may be to extract healthy teeth. Early intervention gives you more options and more control over the health of your child’s whole mouth.
Your dental professional will also be able to tell you if they have enough space for all their adult teeth or if any baby teeth do not have an adult successor. This is important for you to be aware of so you can make considerations for the missing adult tooth. Whether this is to persevere the baby tooth for life, extract the baby tooth and bring the other adult teeth forward or if you would like the missing tooth replaced with an implant later in life. By the age of 12 years old, most children will have lost all their baby teeth and have their adult teeth coming through. At this age, we have a clear picture of all aesthetic and functional complications with your child’s teeth.
Orthodontic treatment extends much further than just braces, with a wide range of appliances individually customized to suit your child’s needs. This includes, but is not limited to;
- Traditional metal braces
- Ceramic Braces
- Metal braces of the inside surface of teeth
- Clear aligners such as Invisalign or Clear Correct
- Other orthodontic appliances e.g. expanders
Book your child’s free orthodontic screening today, for peace of mind and to have all your questions answered,