Dental braces are designed to solve a huge range of orthodontic issues in children and teens. Ideally, for best results, you should have your child assessed by an orthodontist by the age of seven. However, if your child is older than that, it’s never too late for braces. Here’s a look at just some of the issues braces can correct.
Jaw deformities can refer to any issue with the shape of the jaw. These deformities affect eating, speaking, smiling, and even breathing. Typically, when you use orthodontics to correct jaw deformities, the process starts with a jaw surgery followed by orthodontics.
Overbites and Underbites
Does your child have an overbite or an underbite? If so, dental braces can help to correct both of those issues. In some cases, the orthodontist first uses the braces to straighten any teeth that are crooked. Then, during stage two of the treatment, the dental braces address the jaw alignment issue.
An overbite is when the top teeth protrude more than the bottom teeth. This can be a condition a child is born with or it can form due to thumb sucking or using a pacifier. Similarly, an underbite is when the lower jaw protrudes further out than the upper jaw. It can be genetic or caused by environmental factors. Braces can help in all of those situations.
Overbites and underbites aren’t the only bite issues addressed by braces. If a patient’s bite doesn’t line up for any other reason, dental braces may help. When a bite lines up correctly, the teeth fit together perfectly when the mouth is closed.
When a bite is misaligned, the teeth may rub against each other in inopportune ways. That can wear down the enamel and lead to cavities, jaw tension, or other issues. Braces can help your child avoid all of those issues.
Spaces Between the Teeth
If your child has spaces between their teeth, braces can also help. Also called diastema, a gap between the teeth can occur in many parts of the mouth, but it often occurs between the two front teeth. With that gap, your child may need a surgery called a frenectomy. That’s a removal of the excess tissues between those two teeth.
When using braces to correct gaps, the orthodontist may put dental braces on just a few teeth to close the gap. However, in other cases, your child may need a full set of braces. That’s because when you move a few teeth, you need to move the rest of them to ensure that everything lines up correctly at the end of the process.
Just as dental braces can address gaps, they can also help with overcrowding. Depending on your child’s needs, they may just need braces, or they may need to have some teeth extracted followed by braces.
These are just a few of the issues you can address with dental braces. To learn more, contact us directly. At Dentistry for Children and Teens, we have a children’s orthodontist on staff. Regardless of what’s happening with your child’s mouth right now, we can help them to achieve a perfect smile.