Every parent wants a beautiful and healthy smile for their child. Not all of us are blessed with perfectly proportioned teeth or symmetrical jaws. For many people, this leads to a massive drop in confidence, and self-pity. Using braces at an early age can help remedy this problem.
According to the American Association of Orthodontics, around 4.5 million Americans-mostly children and teenagers wear braces on their teeth. 80% of all the people undergoing orthodontic treatment are in the age group of 6-18 years.
The AAO believes that children should receive their orthodontic consultation regarding braces around 7 years of age. During this age, there is a general pre-screening to help the orthodontist in identifying the deformities in a child’s teeth. A dental CT scanner can identify soft tissues or sensitive nerves that might create problems for the dental well-being of a child.
WHY ARE BRACES NEEDED?
If the orthodontist finds the following deformities, then your child might need braces consultation.
Crossbites occur due to the misalignment of the top, and bottom rows of teeth. In this situation, sometimes either the upper or the lower teeth rest near the tongue, or cheek giving a cross-like appearance. An untreated crossbite can lead to tooth decay, gum diseases and excessive stress on the jaw muscles.
They can be corrected using braces in childhood.
A very common problem spacing occurs when a child’s jaw bone and the teeth are not proportional. Smaller teeth, as compared to the jaw bone can lead to the development of large spaces between teeth. These gaps trap food while eating which can later turn into cavities.
According to the misalignment classification method, developed by Dr. Edward Angle who is also considered the founding father of orthodontics, spacing may be present with Class I bite misalignment.
This can be resolved by simple metal braces.
Crowding occurs when a child loses teeth too early or too late. Also, if the jaw is too small to accommodate the teeth, it can lead to overcrowding. Overcrowding can obstruct the proper cleaning of the teeth that might lead to diseases like plaque and tooth decay.
For some individuals, it can create difficulties in chewing which causes wearing out of teeth in strange places. This can be treated using simple braces at an early stage. If it gets too late, tooth removal becomes unavoidable even with braces.
4) OPEN BITE
This issue is related to jaw growth. Children usually suck their thumbs or fingers which lead to the development of an open bite. Dummies can also create open bites. This type of deformity can be excruciating for the kids.
Children might have to go through headaches, jaw pain, facial pain, swelling, sinus congestion, and neck problems. The treatment of open bite depends solely on the severity of the situation. Orthodontist consultation is vital before any further treatment.
Another misalignment that is found in children, a protrusion can also arise from regular sucking of the thumb. But sometimes, the protrusion is simply related to the shape and size of the upper and lower jaw of a child. Overcrowded teeth might push front teeth out of the jaw, leading to protrusion. Protruding teeth aren’t covered with any lip muscle which makes them more prone to outside substances that cause damage or decay. A child with this type of malformation can have problems with chewing the food. This leads to digestive problems. This can also be treated by braces, but under careful supervision by an orthodontist.
6) DEEP BITE
In a deep bite, the upper teeth row completely overlaps the lower teeth row. If left untreated, a deep bite can cause gum-related problems, pain in the jaw joints, inefficiency in biting and chewing which in turn leads to poor digestion and even hearing problems.
The remedy for deep bites is the use of multiple braces over a long time.