Our elementary and middle schoolers grow so quickly, which makes it that much harder to know when they’re truly ready for braces! Around age 7 and above, their teeth, mouth, and jaw seem to change by the day – making it the perfect time for them to meet their orthodontist.
Not sure if your child is ready for braces? Here are a couple telltale signs:
Smile has gaps, missing teeth, or overcrowding
As kids lose their baby teeth and start growing adult teeth, they rarely come in perfectly aligned. However, while some crookedness is to be expected, if there are big holes or gaps in their smile, that may be a sign that things are not coming in correctly or they might be a good candidate for braces.
Conversely, if their teeth seem crowded and like adult teeth have nowhere to go, braces or expanders could help their teeth grow in straighter. Either way, early intervention can save them from more comprehensive treatment in the future.
Difficulty chewing, biting, or eating
Sometimes issues with our teeth or jaw can make daily activities uncomfortable or downright painful! If you notice your child having trouble with things like chewing or biting down on food, it is a definite sign to schedule an exam with an orthodontist. We’ll be able to let you know if they will be able to grow out of whatever difficultly they’re experiencing on their own. We can also let you know if they’re a good candidate for some Phase 1 or Phase 2 treatment to help them eat more comfortably.
Jaw problems like clicking or popping
When most people think about the orthodontist, they picture straightening teeth and creating beautiful smiles. While we certainly spend a lot of our time changing the appearance of someone’s mouth, we are specially trained to look at how the entire mouth and jaw work together. If your child starts to notice weird noises when they chew or move their jaw around, make an appointment with your local ortho right away. While most of these issues are not especially serious, if they continue untreated for too long it can cause bigger issues down the road.
We’re Here to Help!
Our team loves visiting with kids 7 and older, which gives us a chance to check out their smile and show them the orthodontist doesn’t have to be scary! If your child is over age 7 and hasn’t seen an orthodontist, or they’re exhibiting any of the signs above, give us a call to schedule their complimentary exam today.