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braces for kids

Does My Child Need Braces?

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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.

Can Kids Get Straight Teeth Without Braces

Braces in children are such a common sight in developed countries that they've turned into a cultural item; much like watching Disney. While some parents are known to have their kids braced up for aesthetic reasons, majority of the kids who don braces do so under the direction and guidance of their dentists. Well, actually, it's not dentists who prescribe and fit braces but orthodontists, who are essentially the masters of teeth alignment procedures.

If you've ever worn braces, you will admit that although there's some pain in the initial days, the long term benefits are quite satisfactory. Talking of the pain, there are indeed some children whose bodies are just resistant to braces, which results in recurring pain and discomfort whenever they have braces on. For such children, braces end up being a problem instead of a solution.

So what should you do in such a case? Can the bad teeth just straighten themselves as the kid gets older?

Answer: No, Teeth Can't Straighten Themselves Without Treatment

The worst thing you can do is to give up on your child's dental condition after you realize braces won't work. See, it is by good reason that teeth alignment procedures are mostly done on kids. For one, their dental structures are still developing and are thus likely to respond much better to corrective procedures. If you leave it too late, the problems continue to entrench themselves, making them harder to treat.

Preventing Children From Having Crooked Teeth

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Crooked teeth can affect children's appearance and oral health. Teeth that are not straight can affect speech, make it difficult to brush and floss, and increase the risk of developing problems with their oral health (gum disease, tooth decay).

When it comes to crooked teeth developing, genetics may play a part. It is important that you know what signs you should look out for, taking action if you see anything to go to the dentist. Check out these four ways to help maintain your child's teeth and gums and keep them healthy.

1. Break bad habits.

Toddlers may have a tendency to suck on their thumbs, but breaking this habit is important. Continued sucking could damage front teeth, the gums, and the roof of the mouth, particularly past the age of three. Bottle feeding and sucking pacifiers past a point are also not good for developing teeth.

Research helpful tips for any bad habits your child has, from not wanting to brush to sucking their thumb, so you can break the habit early and reduce the chance of it having a negative impact.

2. Teach them oral hygiene.

Your child needs to care for their oral hygiene. Teaching them how to care for the gums and teeth will keep them healthy now and prepare them for good habits to protect them later. When their first tooth develops, make an appointment for them at the dentist.

The dentist will look at their teeth and confirm that it's all going well or voice concerns. They can also give tips on age appropriate oral hygiene practices and what you should be doing at home. Brush with your kids and make it a fun event. Make sure they know to brush in the morning for two minutes and again at night and be there too! Play music or get them electric brushes to make it more enjoyable.

3. Respond to tooth loss.