Does My Child Need Braces?
Braces can help straighten and correct your child’s crooked or misaligned teeth. However, these orthodontic devices do not come cheaply. Besides, they are somewhat uncomfortable, especially during the initial weeks of wearing them. Your little one will have some adjusting to do before they can get used to them. Therefore, it is quite understandable if any parent would be reluctant about getting braces for their child.
If you need reassurances about getting braces for your kids, then here are a few signs to look out for:
Persistent Thumb Sucking
Kids have a tendency to suck their thumbs or fingers from the time they are babies. The habit is quite normal as it makes them feel secure when they are bored. Thumb sucking is also a self-soothing mechanism when they are idle or upset.
Children who suck their thumbs stop doing so without intervention by the time they reach 8 years old or school-going age. Anything beyond that age means that your child is struggling with oral issues like gum discomfort. Without proper intervention, incessant thumb sucking can lead to serious dental problems, including root damage and teeth misalignment.
Braces can be a viable solution for any older child (8 years and above) struggling with gum discomfort and teeth misalignment. This treatment will help realign the teeth and make chewing more comfortable.
Crooked teeth can lead to chewing difficulties. Your child may struggle to chew their meals properly and they may end up swallow large chunks of food, which might be dangerous to their health. Brace treatment can help realign the crooked teeth and make it easier to chew. However, make sure that you consult an orthodontist to ensure the problems do not result from sensitivity or tooth decay.
Biting Inner Cheeks
If you notice that your child is biting their inner cheeks regularly due to crooked or misaligned teeth, then it is high time you consider getting them some braces. Regular biting of the inner cheeks is a result of a large bite and if left untreated it can cause oral ulcers.
Finding Out the Ideal Age for Braces
Braces are not ideal for children below the age of 9 years. Younger kids are still developing their first set of teeth and brace treatment may not be beneficial to them. However, this is not the case for older kids aged 9 to 14 years. If your child falls under this age bracket and they are experiencing the problems highlighted above, then consider getting them some braces. The average length of time you should expect your child to wear braces is about 2 years.
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