- April 1, 2015
There’s nothing wrong with wanting the best for your kids! In fact, there are many parents out there who don’t do enough of that! We love to see concerned parents, but sometimes the concern happens too late. When it comes to braces, we know a lot of parents who never saw it coming!
We don’t do much with childhood orthodontics here at the office, but we are some of the first people who will notice your child’s problem. We will be pointing it out to you at some point and recommending a trip to the orthodontist!
However, we need you to know that if you act quickly and early, you might be able to prevent the need for childhood braces altogether! That’s right, you could save yourself and your child a whole lot of money and trouble if you know what to look for now, while your little one is still little! Let’s take a closer look.
Why Braces Exist
As we talk about this, we don’t want you to misunderstand. We believe in the power of braces! This type of treatment is imperative for many kids out there, and it gives some kids their only chance at a healthy, normal smile. We are not suggesting that all braces should be avoided.
We are saying that there are many cases of childhood orthodontics that are brought on by childhood habits. If you were to change those habits early, you could prevent the extensive treatment later on! There is one person who will definitely thank you: your teenager!
No teen wants to walk around school with a metal mouth, so while your baby or toddler is fighting you over dental habits today, know that one day, your teen will be thankful for what you did!
Early Habits to Look For
We’ve mentioned the fact that there are early habits you can look for that will help you prevent future braces. Let’s take a look at a few of those things and how they impact future smiles.
Sucking on Thumb/Pacifier – You are probably aware that extended thumb, finger, or pacifier sucking can cause damage to your child’s mouth. Not only can it change the placement of their teeth, but it can also alter the entire shape of the jaw! This will lead to the need for orthodontic care at some point.
Losing Baby Teeth Too Soon – Baby teeth are important. That tooth is a placeholder and guide for the adult tooth. If the baby tooth is lost due to poor health or injury, there will be big problems! Having lost its guide, the adult tooth will grow haphazardly, which will result in a very crooked smile!
Misshapen Jaw or Smile – Not all causes for orthodontics are related to bad habits. Some jaws are just misshapen. However, bad habits will make the situation worse, which will require more extensive orthodontic work than would have been necessary in the first place.
Taking Early Action Can Make the Difference
Regardless of whether a smile is in need of work because of poor habits or because of nature, early action will determine the amount of work needed in the rest of your child’s life. Let’s take a look at a few straight-forward things you can do to protect your child from a future of ugly, metal braces.
Good Habits – Be sure your child is taking great care of his or her teeth. Strong oral health habits go a long way in preventing decay and infection that will lead to an early loss of teeth. You should also take steps to end thumb/finger/pacifier sucking between the ages of 12 and 18 months, if not before.
Early Orthodontic Appointment – If we notice problems with the shape of your child’s mouth at early dental appointments, we will let you know! You can plan to take your child to see an orthodontist for early treatment. Sometimes an orthodontist can actually avoid using braces if treatment begins early enough (around 7 or 8 years old).
Set an Appointment Today!
Are you ready to help your child get a healthier smile? Contact us today to make an appointment. We would love to see you and your little one very soon!