The arrangement of your teeth is determined largely by genetics. Even though many people are born with perfectly straight teeth, just as many need the help of an orthodontic specialist to achieve proper dental alignment. Braces for kids can begin to rectify many problems early on, before the self-conscious high-school years. Here is how to tell if your child needs braces.
Visit Your Dentist Regularly
The best way to know if braces are in your son’s or daughter’s future is to start visiting a dentist by the child’s first birthday. A dental professional can tell if there are any issues that may require an orthodontist down the road. Some signs of possible problems include:
● Baby teeth that do not emerge on the standard schedule
● Difficulty eating
● Crooked, missing, or crowded teeth
● Teeth protruding from the wrong part of the gum or the roof of the mouth
● Malocclusion (poor bite), such as an overbite (disproportionately small lower jaw) or underbite (disproportionately large lower jaw), or crossbite (laterally misaligned upper and lower jaw)
● Jaws that are not in proportion with the overall face and head
When to See an Orthodontist
Braces for kids can be applied as early as eight or nine years of age. Most orthodontists recommend beginning treatment before age 14, while the child is still developing and permanent teeth are coming in. Once teeth are rigidly set and wisdom teeth emerge, orthodontic treatment may be more difficult.
Your EDP dentist can keep a close eye on your child’s mouth and will tell you when it’s time to look into braces for kids and visit an orthodontist. That is why it’s important to take your children for regular dental checkups. You can save up to 60% off of regular dentists’ fees when you choose and enroll in an EDP Dental Plan. If you are referred to a participating orthodontic specialist, you may pay 25% less than you would without a plan. So sign up with EDP online or call 1.800.777.1085 and get started today.