Child with bracesFar too many people ignore the importance of straight teeth. The truth is, it’s not only an issue of aesthetics. Crooked, crowded, and generally misaligned teeth can lead to different oral problems.

  • Some people with misaligned teeth have difficulty speaking or pronouncing some sounds.
  • For more severe cases, the misalignment may cause TMJ (temporomandibular joint) disorder.
  • Most people with misaligned teeth are also more susceptible to tooth decay and gum disease. Misaligned teeth make it extra difficult to remove plaque and food debris using a toothbrush and floss. This means gum disease and tooth decay are more possible.

Fortunately, most cases of teeth misalignment are reversible. In such cases, the dentist may recommend certain orthodontic appliances such as braces, retainers, and aligners. Different treatments may have similar effects, but the dentist may recommend a specific treatment for a specific issue. For example, in most young patients, the treatment of choice involves traditional metal braces, which move the teeth very slowly to a more appropriate position. A treatment like this may take up to two years, with the dentist making incremental adjustments to the braces until the teeth are in ideal position.

Finding Out if Your Child Needs Braces

Your child may benefit from a dental treatment involving traditional braces. Some of the signs your child may need braces include the following:

  • He/She lost her baby teeth too early or too late.
  • He/She lost her baby teeth irregularly.
  • Your child has some difficulty chewing food.
  • His/Her teeth appear very irregular or misaligned.
  • There are blocked-out teeth.
  • Your child complains that his/her jaw is painful, shifting, locking, or making a clicking sound when he/she is speaking, chewing, or yawning.
  • Your child always seems to bite the inside of his/her cheek, or mentions that his/her teeth reach the roof of her mouth.
  • There are gaps between his/her teeth.

It may not exactly be cheap to pay for braces, but the long-term effects can be life-changing for your child. See your dentist today to find out more.