In our pediatric dentistry office, parents frequently ask us about braces and whether or not their child will need them. While it is impossible to say for certain, start by looking in the mirror. If you or your spouse have crooked teeth or ever needed braces in order to straighten them, there is a higher likelihood that your child will as well. We understand that it is normal to want to know so that you can start saving up for braces early on. Still, it is impossible to know 100 percent if it will be necessary. With that in mind we suggest that you take the time to understand why kids need them in the first place.
Overcrowding is a major concern and one reason that patients end up needing braces. Teeth can become overcrowded when baby teeth fall out too soon. Take a look at a young child. It is very rare that you will ever see one with a crooked smile. Baby teeth are generally straight with the occasional gap here and there. Otherwise, they look good. The problem is that if your child gets into an accident, knocks out a tooth on the playground or gets a major infection; their baby teeth may fall out suddenly and before their time. With this happens, the surrounding teeth start to move out of their position, crowding out the space that was left for the new adult tooth to come in. As a result, the adult tooth can come in behind or in front of another tooth or sideways.
In our pediatric dentistry office, we can help to prevent overcrowding by decreasing the chance of a baby tooth falling out too soon. For this reason, we recommend visiting our office twice a year for a thorough teeth cleaning. We can remove harmful plaque and treat cavities and infections before they can spread. By doing so, we keep teeth both healthy and strong. Teeth that are free from infections are less likely to crack or chip upon impact. Infected teeth, however, are likely to sustain damage during a simple accident. This makes preventative care extremely important. We can also help by creating a mouth guard that your child can wear while practicing or playing sports. Doing so prevents hundreds of thousands of tooth injuries every year and can prevent your child’s tooth from being knocked out before it is supposed to fall out naturally.
By keeping teeth clean, healthy and away from accidents, we can decrease the likelihood that they will ever need braces to majorly straighten their teeth. In some cases, this requires simple preventative care while other times the intervention needs to be more active. If, for some reason, your child does end up needing braces, there are several options to straighten their teeth. For example, some children start with an expander that widens the pallet in order to make room for their adult teeth while others use a spacer to accomplish a similar goal. If braces, are necessary we can make recommendations and supervise the care of your child to ensure that their teeth remain in excellent health. To learn more, call our pediatric dentistry office.