Does my child need orthodontic braces?

For many pre-teens, orthodontic braces are simply part of growing up. So, how do you know if your child...

For many pre-teens, orthodontic braces are simply part of growing up. So, how do you know if your child really needs the teeth-aligning system? Braces aren't a necessity for everyone. But, if your dentist mentions any of these dental concerns, it might be time to consider braces.

Crowded or crooked teeth
As children lose their baby teeth and their mouths begin to fill with adult teeth, the teeth may become crowded. If the teeth are coming in too close together, they can begin to buckle and appear crooked. Braces can help straighten your child's smile.

An overbite or underbite
Are your child's lower teeth obscured when she smiles? She may have an overbite. This is when the top row of teeth protrude too far forward and obscure the lower set of teeth. The opposite can also occur. An underbite is when the lower set of teeth extend beyond the upper set. Both conditions can be corrected with orthodontic braces.

Number of teeth
As your child's teeth develop, you may notice gaps or pockets where a baby tooth fell out, but an adult tooth hasn't emerged. Or, two teeth may try to fit into one small space. Braces can help space teeth more evenly to create a straight smile.

Although both children and adults can benefit from braces, most dentists perform this procedure on children ages 10 to 14, when the facial bones and jaw are still growing and aligning, according to the Wexner Medical Center. Call and Atlanta-area dentist today for an initial dental evaluation and possible referral to an orthodontist. Children as young as seven years old can benefit from an evaluation.

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