Are you concerned about your child’s dental health? Have you noticed that they’re having difficulty eating or speaking or are already showing signs of crowded teeth? These and other issues can all be helped with braces for kids. But when should you start taking your child to see a Cleveland orthodontist? What signs indicate that your child needs braces? Let’s take a look at 7 telltale signs. This will help you to decide when it’s time to seek out braces in Cleveland, Ohio.
1. Misaligned Teeth
Most of us would think about consulting an orthodontist in Middleburg when we notice that our children’s teeth are misaligned. Misaligned or crowded teeth are the most common reason for people of all ages to turn to braces.
The American Association of Orthodontists recommends you take your child to an orthodontist before the age of 7. Even at this young age, the orthodontist can see the early signs of problems. If your child is older than this, don’t delay in taking them for a check-up.
Misalignment may be easy to see – teeth that are protruding, overlapping, or have large gaps. But other forms of misalignment might not be so obvious. These may be due to biting issues related to the jaw.
2. Jaw Problems
Some children develop problems with their bite. This could include symptoms such as:
- Overbite – upper teeth protrude significantly over the front teeth
- Underbite – lower teeth protrude under the upper teeth
- Open bite – front teeth don’t meet when they close their jaw
- Crossbite – top teeth sit slightly behind the lower front teeth
If you notice your child has any of these issues, talk to an orthodontist in Cleveland. They will be able to diagnose the problem and recommend a course of treatment.
There are several options that the orthodontist may suggest. Braces for kids can help to gradually move teeth into position and correct many bite issues. A small number of more serious jaw problems may require surgery to correct.
3. Difficulties with Eating
Your child’s bite or teeth problems may not be easily visible. However, you may notice that he or she complains about difficulty eating.
Bite issues and misaligned teeth may make biting and chewing uncomfortable, even painful for some children. This can lead to reluctance to eat, with all its knock-on health issues.
If your child is showing these symptoms, it’s good to take them to an orthodontist in Cleveland for a check-up. Even when they have a mixture of baby and adult teeth, the orthodontist can identify the problem.
4. Speech Issues
Does your child have difficulty pronouncing certain sounds? To produce sounds clearly, the tongue, teeth, and jaw need to work together in harmony. If something is out of alignment, it can make it hard for your child to speak clearly.
Speech therapy may help, but if there is a structural issue, then Cleveland orthodontics may be the solution. Speak to your orthodontist about whether misalignment is causing your child’s speech difficulties.
5. Mouth Breathing
All of us breathe through our mouths at times. However, nasal breathing is much better for your child, as it provides a much higher level of filtration. It also humidifies the air and provides needed nitric oxide to the lungs.
If your child has problems with their jaw, this could be narrowing their airways. This may mean they feel more comfortable breathing through their mouth. An orthodontist will be able to diagnose if dental problems are contributing the mouth breathing.
Braces for kids can help fix the alignment issues, making it easier for your child to breathe naturally through the nose.
6. Ongoing Thumb Sucking
Thumb sucking is hard-wired into many children. Some even suck their thumbs in the womb! Some babies develop this habit to help them feel secure and to help them sleep.
As your child grows, they will usually grow out of this habit. By the age of 4, most children have stopped. Any misalignment caused by thumb sucking at this early age may naturally correct itself.
If your child continues to suck their thumb after this age, it can lead to dental issues. These can include overbite, open bite, and speech development problems.
First of all, work with your pediatrician to help your child overcome their thumb-sucking habit. Then your Cleveland orthodontist will be able to suggest treatments to overcome any issues it has caused. Research braces in Cleveland to find the best orthodontist for your child’s needs.
7. Losing Baby Teeth Early or Late
Baby teeth may only be a short-term fixture in our bodies. However, they perform many important roles. That’s why it’s a concern when children lose their baby teeth early or late.
Baby teeth are necessary for the mouth to develop normally. They help to maintain the length of the jaw arches. They also provide a guide for the adult teeth, which will later emerge.
Children normally begin to lose their baby teeth by 7 and have a full set of adult teeth by the age of 13. If your child’s development falls outside this normal range, consult your Cleveland orthodontist.
Time to Get Braces in Cleveland, Ohio!
If you notice any issues, it’s very important to book an appointment with a Cleveland orthodontist as soon as possible. Even if your child’s teeth are developing normally, it’s still good to visit your local orthodontist before they turn 7.
Early detection leads to better results for your child. If your child needs braces in Cleveland, Ohio, make sure you choose an orthodontist you can trust.
At Weiss and Tor Orthodontics, we believe in making patients feel at home. We take the time to get to know your child and their individual needs. We’ll guide you through every option so you get the best possible treatment for your son or daughter.
Schedule your complimentary orthodontic consultation today!