Children worry about many things as they transition from childhood to adulthood and among them are bad breath and their facial appearance. Teeth that cannot fit together correctly greatly impact on these two issues. It is harder to keep them clean, resulting in bad breath or worse still, early tooth decay and eventually teeth loss. Crooked teeth can also undermine one's appearance. Therefore, as a parent, it is important to check out on your child's dental condition to determine whether they need treatment or not. Orthodontic treatment will guarantee your child a more pleasing appearance, a healthier mouth, and teeth with a greater probability to last a lifetime.
Does Your Child Need Orthodontics?
The best person to determine whether your child can benefit from an orthodontist is your dentist. Your dentist will make this decision after a thorough examination of your child's dental history, and a series of X-rays to determine the plaster models of his/her teeth. Your child is a candidate for orthodontic treatment if they exhibit any of the following:
- Overbite- this is where the front teeth on the upper jaw protrude too much until they cover the lower teeth. This is the most common reason for children needing orthodontic treatment.
- Underbite- this is a situation where the lower teeth protrude too much until they cover the upper teeth.
- Overcrowding- this happens to people with narrow jaws. Their dental ridge lacks enough space to accommodate all their teeth, resulting in crowding.
- Open bite- have you ever seen a person whose upper teeth and lower teeth miss to meet when they have their mouth closed? This is called open bite. It is likely to happen to children that suck their thumb over a long time of their childhood.
- Asymmetrical teeth- some people have teeth with an upper center that doesn't line up with the lower center. In this condition, a person's teeth depict a crooked appearance.
- Spacing- this is where a person has spaces or gaps between their teeth. This usually happens when a person has teeth that fail to fill up their dental ridge, or when one has missing teeth.
A combination of any of the above warrants a child for an orthodontist visit
How Orthodontic Treatment Works
Depending on how severe your child's dental issues are, he/she can be subjected to either a fixed appliance method or a removable one. Common fixed appliances include popular braces and fixed space maintenance. The removable appliances include aligners, removable space maintainers, jaw re-positioning appliances, lip and cheek bumpers and removable retainers. Both the fixed and the removable appliances have the same operational principles. They assist in moving teeth, retraining muscles and controlling the growth of jaws. Always talk to your dentist to know which one best suits your child's dental condition.