Signs Your Child Needs Orthodontic Treatment

Teenager with orthodontic braces

Recognising signs of alignment issues in your child or teenager’s smile can help them to be treated quicker by your orthodontist. When a child needs orthodontic treatment, it can affect their daily routine causing difficulty brushing their teeth, chewing their food as well as denting their self esteem.

Learn the signs that orthodontics for your child is needed, as well as brace options for children and teenagers with the guidance provided below.

Signs Your Child Needs Orthodontic Treatment

One of the easiest ways to know if your child might need orthodontic treatment is simply how they look. If you notice that your child’s teeth are displaying any of the following, speak with a dental professional:

  • Crooked teeth
  • Overlapping
  • Overcrowded mouth
  • Overbite
  • Underbite

Malocclusion is an orthodontic term for misaligned teeth or jaws. It also means bad bite.

Overbite is the how much the upper front teeth cover the lower front teeth. An open bite is when there is no overlap or coverage. A deep bite is when the upper teeth cover the lower teeth too much, usually more than than 33%.

Overjet is the horizontal distance in millimeters between the upper incisors and the lower incisors. Normal overjet is 2-4mm. Increased overjet is greater than 4mm. Negative overjet is less than 0mm and this is sometimes called underbite.

Alignment issues with your smile can be due to a variety of factors: losing your baby teeth early, thumb sucking, accidents and can even be inherited.

How to Identify Issues Early

It is incredibly important for people of all ages to attend regular dental check up appointments. This allows dental professionals to monitor your oral health and to identify early signs of dental issues. They can also provide essential dental care advice and address any concerns you may have.

If your dentist notices alignment issues with your teeth, they may refer you to an orthodontist. An orthodontist is a qualified dentist who continued into further training to specialise in irregularities in teeth and jaws. They can help you to explore brace options to straighten your smile.

Brace Options for Children and Teenagers

With advances in orthodontics, there is now much more choice in terms of brace options for children and teenagers:

Fixed braces are the most traditional design of braces, where brackets are fixed to the front of your teeth with a wire inserted through each bracket. This helps to create tension to straighten your teeth.

Invisalign Teen uses transparent custom moulded aligners to move your teeth into position. To help gauge wear time, blue wear-indicators are included, as well as six free individual replacement aligners in case they are misplaced.

During your child’s orthodontic treatment they will be expected to attend regular appointments to monitor their progress and offer brace care advice. If you notice a loose wire or broken bracket you must get in contact with your orthodontist as soon as possible. Even if you have an upcoming appointment, it is important to get in touch as we may not always have time for a brace repair during a routine check up appointment.

If you are interested in brace options for children you can enquire about a consultation with us when you call 020 8265 9797.