Teeth Problems and How to Fix Them: When to Get Braces

Rohan Mathew

Updated on:

Did you know that over four million individuals in Canada and the US are visiting an orthodontist for their teeth problems?

Braces or invisible braces are becoming so common and mainstream that it’s hard to find individuals these days who haven’t had a stint with being a metal mouth or going down the Invisalign trend. Those of us with kids of our own now wonder if they’ll also join the orthodontist statistic.

We’ll walk you through common teeth problems to look out for, when the contact an orthodontist, and why get braces below.

Teeth Problems To Look Out For

Common issues like misaligned teeth or malocclusion are the most common sign that answered yes when asked does my child need braces. But there are other signs that can indicate braces are in your child’s future.

We’ll walk you through the most common teeth problems to look out for in your child that could warrant a call to the dentist. Keep an eye out for these potential trouble issues that may not resolve themselves in time.

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Thumb Sucking

Thumb sucking is normal for children, but it shouldn’t surpass further into their toddler years. A child that sucks their thumb for too long will likely end up with misaligned teeth which will require braces later on in life.

It’s best to break this habit early to save a trip to the orthodontist!

Mouth Breathing

Typically, children who are mouth breathers end up getting braces later on in life. The reason for this is it prevents the tongue from resting on the roof of the mouth and instead has the tongue pressing on the back of the teeth. It also results in the jaw not growing properly because of this placement.

Crowded Teeth

Teeth crowding occurs when there isn’t enough room for the adult teeth to grow properly. This can be because the jaw still isn’t developed enough to house all the grown-up teeth, or maybe the teeth are coming in crooked. Crowding is the most common reason for getting braces to make sure the teeth are aligned.

Jaw Misalignment

Did you know braces fix jaw misalignment? That’s what those elastics are for!

Whether your child has an underbite where their bottom row of teeth sticks out in front of their top teeth or overbite where the top row of teeth sticks out over the bottom, braces can fix this issue earlier in life while the jaw is still developing.

Keep an eye out on how they smile and bite to determine if this is a potential issue.

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Losing Baby Teeth Early/Late 

If your child loses their baby teeth too early or too late it could mean they will likely need braces later on.

When they lose their teeth too early their adult teeth will try to move into the empty spaces and create a misalignment of their teeth. If they lose them too late, it may end up overcrowding their mouth trying to make room for their adult and existing baby teeth

What To Do If You Suspect Your Child Needs Braces

Before you call the dentist in a panic, make sure you do a regular assessment of your child’s teeth.

If you see the teeth problems that we listed above visible, check what age they’re at to determine if braces are worthwhile at this stage. Typically children that haven’t had all their adult teeth grow in, will likely need to have braces twice if you decide to get them before they all grow in.

It’s usually best to wait until their adult teeth come in to correct the alignment on already permanent teeth, rather than ones that will fall out or haven’t come in fully yet.

Once you determine that it’s likely time to do so, contact your dentist for recommendations of orthodontists in London or elsewhere. Sometimes family dental offices will have an in hour orthodontist that visits a few times a week to treat patients.  Schedule a consultation for an orthodontist to take a look at your child’s teeth for a treatment plan.

Your orthodontist will let you know how long they predict they will need to wear braces for, whether or not they will require a jaw realignment, and if their mouth may be too crowded and require a few teeth extractions. Trust the expert and don’t be afraid to get a second opinion. It’s better to do the job right the first time!

Braces can also be expensive. You will want to take a look at your medical insurance for coverage on orthodontic treatments to see what you will need to pay. Alternatively, if you don’t have medical coverage you can speak to your orthodontist about putting together a payment plan to help you with payments.

Why Get Braces?

Besides the obvious fact of your child having straight teeth and a great smile which will boost their confidence now and in the future as they become adults, they’ll also get the benefits of healthy teeth.

Having straight teeth lowers the amount of plaque and build-up which leads to cavities because there aren’t any crevices that food can get trapped in. Brushing and flossing with straight teeth is a lot easier to do and helps to maintain great oral health.

Of course, the option is completely up to you, but you shouldn’t ignore the multitude of benefits that go along with a braces treatment. You can speak with your orthodontist about the benefits and they will be able to provide you with the scenarios if you don’t decide to go the braces route.

Teeth Problems Solved With Braces

Now you know common teeth problems to look out for are your child’s teeth grow and develop.

If you think your child needs braces, don’t be afraid to contact your dentist for their opinion. This doesn’t mean you have to commit to the idea but it’s good to have an idea of what to expect in your child’s oral health.

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