Your baby’s first set of teeth should emerge at around six months, with a second set arriving at around two and a half years old. These “baby” teeth are eventually replaced by permanent adult tooths that come later. But sometimes, those first sets of teeth don’t come in properly or fit correctly. This can lead to misalignment of the mouth, known as malocclusion.
If a baby's tooth is crooked or missing, it can affect the child’s oral health and appearance for years to come. For example, if a child is missing a tooth in the front of their mouth, it can affect their appearance by causing their face to look sunken in. This can also lead to problems with speech if they don’t have enough room for their tongue to move freely.
Children who wear braces at a young age tend to have better self-esteem and confidence later in life than those who don’t. Knowing that their teeth are straighter and cleaner can improve how they feel about themselves and how others perceive them. Plus, the embarrassment of a child having metal brackets all over their mouth can be alleviated by choosing ceramic brackets instead.
Braces for children tend to be less noticeable than those for adults because children’s jawbones are still developing. Additionally, elastic ligatures or appliances like headgear can help adjust your child’s bite over time. Visit Mark Lowe DDS for the best dental care for your children.
How Can I Tell if My Child Requires Early Orthodontic Treatment?
There are various ways to tell if your child needs early orthodontic treatment. If you notice any of the following features or behaviors in your child, you should seek evaluation:
- Early tooth loss occurs
- When your child's teeth do not meet appropriately during biting.
- Snoring and/or mouth breathing
- If your child's front teeth are crowded
- Biting or chewing problems
- A hindrance to speech
- If your child's jaw slips when opening or closing his or her mouth
- If your child is over the age of five and still sucking a thumb or finger
The Benefits of Early Treatment
The appearance of your smile can impact your confidence and self-esteem, especially when your child is undergoing a lot of changes at school and with friends. Getting your child started with orthodontic treatments early on can help guide their teeth into alignment before they hit their teenage years. This can even prevent the need for more extensive treatments later when permanent teeth have fully grown out.
At our office, we provide different types of orthodontic treatments for children. These treatments are designed to help correct some orthodontic issues before all permanent teeth erupt. Visit Mark Lowe DDS at 7055 N Fresno St #203, Fresno, CA 93720, or call (559) 435-0966 to schedule an appointment.