Warning signs that my child needs braces!

Warning signs that my child needs braces!

“Sir/Ma’am, your child needs to get braces for their teeth. If you don’t get braces now, so many things can happen…more dental decay, tooth pain, asymmetry of jaws, facial contour……” and then what follows are a series of questions, online searches, asking friends and colleagues!

Recently, I have come across so many parents asking me about what are those warning signs that they must look out for. Getting braces is a treatment that burns a decent hole in your pockets. Naturally, everyone wants to get their facts right before plunging into that kind of a pool of investment.

Here I will try to give you a very brief, yet, a very insightful take on how to judge for yourself if you need to start worrying about your child’s dental and facial structure or not.

Now moving on to the warning signs. For your understanding I have divided it into two groups:

  1. For children who still have some of their milk teeth(PRE-TEENS)
  2. For children/teenagers with all permanent teeth(TEENAGERS)

You should know that while some of these problems like the Deep bite and Spacing are considered normal for a child of perhaps 6-9 years, they are a definite warning sign in a teenager and MUST be treated.

FOR CHILDREN WITH MILK TEETH (FOR PRE-TEENS)

If your little one’s teeth look anything like these you might have to get an orthodontic treatment for them as they grow older

Openbite

If the upper and lower teeth do not close (open bite) it could be because of persistentthumb sucking or tongue sucking.

Crossbite

If upper and lower teeth criss-cross with each other, this is an indication that they would require braces.

Protrusion

Normally upper teeth should be a little ahead of the lower teeth. If you notice that the difference is more than 5-6 mm you should visit

Crowding

Permanent teeth erupting out of line with other teeth.

Reverse bite

Lower teeth are either ahead of or edge to edge with the upper teeth. NOTE: This condition requires the treatment to be started by the time the child is 7 to 8 years old.

FOR CHILDRENWITH ALL PERMANENT TEETH (TEENAGERS)

Apart from the above discussed features, here are some more to look out for in your teenager’s teeth to assess their need for braces.

Crowding

Permanent teeth erupting out of line with other teeth, overlapping with each other shows there is not enough space in the mouth for all the teeth to erupt in their proper places.

Spacing w/wo openbite

Spaces between the teeth should not be ignored either. Problems like tongue thrust, speech problems, loosening of teeth occur in people with such teeth.

Deepbite

Upper teeth completely covering the lower teeth or more than half of the lower teeth is again a warning for futuredental problems like hypersensitivity, and shortened facial height etc.

Protrusion

Upper teeth protruding forward or both upper/lower teeth protruding forward causing the face to look protruded or lips to not close completely.

Reverse bite

Lower teeth protruding ahead of upper teeth. This is a progressive malocclusion and increases further with age. The lower jaw keeps growing forward and the lower part of the face looks elongated horizontally. After attaining adulthood, this condition requires surgery to restore the cosmetic and functional attributes of the face and the jaws. Early treatment with braces can prevent that and channel the facial growth to make the face look symmetrical.

I hope these images draw a somewhat better picture in your minds so as to what to notice when you see your kids smile the next time.

Don’t let them hide their smiles in pictures!

Don’t let them be camera shy!

Visit an orthodontist and give them the gift of a dazzling smile!

Dr Chetna Kumar
BDS, MDS(Orthodontics & Dentofacial Orthopaedics), FAGE & Certified Invisalign Provider

If you have any more queries that you might want to ask, this is where you will find me!

Email: chetnakr4@gmail.com

 

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