Teeth can become crooked, gapped, overlapped, or otherwise misaligned for many reasons. Sometimes genetics can impact the positioning of the teeth, but poor oral habits could also affect a person’s bite. If a patient has misaligned teeth, they could have a higher risk of forming dental problems like cavities and gum disease.
These patients will need intervention from a dentist or orthodontist to straighten their smiles or fix bite problems, regardless of the cause. But when is the best time to seek this teeth straightening treatment?
Patients of all ages can pursue orthodontic treatment. But dentists often suggest that young patients receive an orthodontic evaluation during adolescence or even earlier. Read on to learn why pediatric orthodontics might be the best way to ensure your child’s teeth remain straight and healthy.
Why Do Dentists Suggest Early Intervention for Orthodontics?
As mentioned, you can receive orthodontic treatment to straighten crooked teeth and amend bite problems as an adult. But it can be easier to align the teeth and jaw when you address these issues at a young age.
Dentists often suggest orthodontic treatment once children have lost all their baby teeth and their permanent teeth have grown into place. This way, you can see the position these teeth have assumed and address any issues that may arise. But the teeth have not yet fused completely in these positions.
Then palatal expanders, braces, or other oral appliances can more easily move the teeth or jaw before this fusion takes place. If your child has grown all of their adult teeth, it may be a good time to schedule an evaluation of their smile.
A pediatric dentist can provide limited orthodontics. But more severe malocclusions might need attention from an orthodontist. Your dentist can let you know the extent of treatment the child might need.
Can I Tell If My Child Will Need Orthodontics?
A dentist can let you know if your child will benefit from orthodontic treatment. But certain symptoms can let you know that the young patient might have bite problems. For instance, crooked teeth and gaps between teeth are visible and can be straightened with braces and more.
But other behaviors can point to alignment concerns in a child’s smile. If they have trouble eating, speaking, or performing other oral functions, they might have bite problems. Straightening the teeth or jaw can fix these issues and improve oral capabilities.
Snoring or mouth-breathing could also point to spacing or alignment issues with the teeth or jaw. Teeth grinding and clenching can also occur if the patient has an uneven bite.
These habits could put the patient’s oral health at risk by heightening the chances of contracting oral infections or tooth breakage. They can better protect their smiles and prevent dental emergencies by stopping these behaviors and straightening their smiles. Learn more by scheduling a visit with a pediatric dental expert today by calling 407.434.0267.