How can I tell if my child needs braces?

Children’s teeth develop at different rates and, as parents, we do our best keeping teeth clean and instilling good dental hygiene habits in our little ones. And we reply on our dentist’s expertise at each six-monthly check up to tell us that all is well, or whether any treatment is needed. 

But is there any way to tell whether you child might need braces in the future? And is there anything you can do in the meantime to help? 

As your child’s baby teeth grow and adult teeth start to appear, you might notice crookedness and irregularities. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that something’s wrong. Often, teeth work themselves out in their own time as your child’s jaw grows. But some things can be pre-empted – let’s take a look.  

• You or your partner had an overbite or crowding

Some types of overbite are hereditary, so if you had problems with ‘goofy’ teeth as a child, chances are your offspring might, too. But don’t worry, there’s lots of things your dentist or orthodontist can do to correct it. 

• Your child sucks her thumb 

While thumb sucking doesn’t always cause problems with teeth, it often does. Sucking your thumb from babyhood can cause the upper jaw to grow unevenly, causing protruded teeth. Getting your child to stop this habit is hard, but a reward system might be an incentive. 

• Baby bottle or dummy useage

Prolonged bottle feeding can have the same result as thumb sucking, as can over-using a pacifier or dummy. Keep an eye on how your child’s teeth are developing, and try to encourage drinking from an open cup as soon as you can – and let the dummy fairy take care of that dummy!  

Your child’s baby teeth came out early

Losing baby teeth too early – or losing teeth in the ‘wrong’ order – is not that common, but can happen. This can cause crowding, as the space the baby tooth was preserving is lost. If you child loses a baby tooth before the age of four, you should consult your dentist. 

• Your child has crooked teeth

Crooked teeth can occur when permanent teeth grow in around baby teeth that haven’t yet fallen out. Or they could be caused by a jaw that’s not yet large enough to accommodate adult teeth. 

If you have any concerns at all, speak to your dentist or orthodontist, who will be able to give you the best advice. A brace or Invisalign can correct all manner of teeth and jaw problems, and after a few months, your child’s brand new smile will be something to be very proud of!

How much do braces cost?

Getting your teeth aligned and your smile perfected needn’t cost the earth – in fact, things have moved on so much over recent years that treatment is quicker and more cost-effective than it used to be. We know that one solution is not going to fit everyone’s budget,...

Can I play sports with a brace, and is it safe?

Playing sport is something lots of children – and adults – love, so when your child is told that she needs braces, it might come as a bit of a shock. Will she still be able to play contact sports? Will she have to miss out on her favourite team games, or will she need...

Which braces work the fastest – traditional or Invisalign?

Everyone wants everything in super-quick time these days – so why not straight teeth? Well, getting your best smile takes time and patience, but it will be worth it in the end, trust us. So, is there any way you can speed up the time it takes to straighten your teeth...

What’s the best age to get braces?

Is it better to get braces as a child, or should you wait until your teens to get your teeth looked at? And what about if you're an adult – is it too late?  Firstly, the good news is that it's never too late to get your teeth seen to. Many people associate braces...

Do braces hurt, and how can you ease the pain?

It’s a bit of a worry, and probably playing on your mind if you’re thinking of getting braces for you or your child – but do braces actually hurt? And how long might they feel uncomfortable for?  A lot of people find a trip to the dentist stressful, but it...

What can you eat with a brace – and what should you avoid?

Getting a brace means you’re well on your way to the smile you’ve always wanted. But first, there are some ground rules that you need to follow when eating and drinking to make sure you get the best possible results. Some foods and snacks can get stuck in your brace...

How do braces really work?

So you’ve decided to have your teeth corrected, and you’re looking forward to getting the right brace or aligner for you – but what actually happens once your brace is fitted, and how does it work?  The general principle is that braces apply gentle pressure to...

How to choose the best orthodontist

Going to the dentist in the old days used to be something you just did because you had to. But nowadays, there’s a wealth of choice out there, and plenty of excellent orthodontists ready and available to help you get your teeth and smile just the way you want.  But...

Can my child get braces on the NHS?

Some children also qualify for NHS orthodontic treatment such as braces, but your dentist would first need to assess your child’s eligibility. If they have minor irregularities, then they wouldn’t be able to access free treatment – it’s only the severe cases that get...

Four braces problems you can fix at home

Most the time, having braces is pretty straightforward, and you’ll be able to go about your day-to-day life without having to think about them too much. However, there may be times when problems occur.  The best course of action is to call us straight away if...

Pin It on Pinterest