Predicting whether your child will need braces can be difficult. All children progress at varying rates and the position of the primary teeth do not necessarily indicate the position of the adult teeth. Still, it is recommended that children be evaluated by an orthodontist by the age of seven. Though it may be too early to determine if future orthodontic treatment will be necessary, these early visits are useful and important.
Your orthodontist is specially trained to identify a number of factors that may suggest that your child will eventually need braces. As a parent or caregiver, you may also be able to provide valuable information that will assist your orthodontist in the evaluation.
Crowded primary teeth may indicate that your child will eventually need braces. It is healthy and normal for a small child to have wide spaces between the primary teeth. Since these teeth are much smaller than the adult teeth, these spaces are important to allow enough room for the larger adult teeth. When the primary teeth are crowded or overlapped, it is reasonable to predict that there will not be enough room for the adult teeth.
The shape of your child’s jaw and palate are also indicators of future orthodontic needs. A jaw or palate that appears small or out of proportion may lead to an improper relationship between the upper and lower teeth. Without the help of braces, conditions such as a crossbite or an overbite may develop.
Any combination of orthodontic conditions can be influenced by your child’s daily habits. Habits like thumb-sucking, the use of a pacifier, and tongue-thrusting have all been linked to conditions such as an open bite or flaring of the teeth.
Where there is a strong possibility that braces will be necessary, your orthodontist may intervene with a variety of orthodontic techniques. These techniques are designed to reduce the necessity for braces or reduce the severity of the orthodontic condition. If your orthodontist deems that immediate intervention is not necessary, your child may be scheduled for an annual evaluation to monitor his growth and progress.
Don’t wait until your child enters high school to begin discussing braces. Consult Dr. Steve Giannoutsos, serving Ridgefield CT, today to discuss your concerns. Call 203-544-9338 to schedule your visit.