Time To Straighten Up? How to Tell if Your Child Needs Braces

As parents, you want the best for your children. You work hard to give them a good life and prepare them for the future.

You love their beautiful smiles and know a healthy mouth and smile will provide long-lasting benefits. What you may not know is if your child needs braces.

Some mouth conditions requiring braces are obvious, but others may be more subtle. It’s good to have all the facts before making this decision.

Let’s look at signs in where your child may need braces.


Uneven spacing with gaps between the teeth is definitely a sign that your child needs braces. This is usually caused by extra room in the jaw. This condition is very unsightly and will cause embarrassment as your child gets older. It also creates room for extra food to sit increasing the chance of cavities.


The opposite of having gaps between the teeth is having so many teeth in the mouth that they cross over one another. This is known as overcrowding or protruding teeth. There are more teeth in the mouth that can easily fit. Having a few of the teeth removed and getting braces can solve this problem.


When the bottom teeth stick out over the front teeth, this is called having an underbite. This is usually caused when the upper and lower jaw doesn’t develop at the same rate.

Having an underbite can sometimes cause difficulty in speech, especially with the ‘z’ and ‘s’ sounds. This condition is certainly a sign that your child would benefit from braces.


An overbite is when the upper and lower teeth don’t align properly and the front extends too far out. Using a pacifier excessively or thumb sucking are two possible causes for this condition.

Jaw Alignment

The jaws in some children are not aligned correctly. This misalignment creates problems with chewing or biting inside the mouth. Sometimes the jaw will pop or even shift and cause discomfort and difficulty eating.

Other Reasons Your Child Needs Braces

One of the best reasons for providing braces for your child is to maintain a beautiful smile. Teeth don’t always fall out or come in on a regular basis. Losing baby teeth too late or too early can mean uneven and unsightly teeth.

Family genetics can also play a part in crooked or misaligned teeth.

Whatever the cause, if they’re not fixed when they’re younger, the problem will continue to exist. Teeth do not straighten out on their own. A child’s teeth that are left unattended will grown into adult teeth with the same problems.

In addition to braces, some doctors also recommend sealants.

Taking care of these issues when your child is younger will also increase the overall mouth health for them as they get older.

What’s the First Step

You should always take your child to regular dental appointments for routine cleaning and check-ups. Should you or your dentist have any questions about the alignment or positioning of the teeth, you can be referred to an orthodontist.

The orthodontist will assess your child’s situation and recommend a plan. The sooner this takes place the easier it will be for the doctor to figure out what is causing the problem and corrective actions can begin before things get worse.

Younger teeth respond quicker and easier to re-alignment procedures including braces, however, you should always work in conjunction with the orthodontist’s advice on the best course of action.

The Straight Truth

It isn’t always easy to know when or if your child needs braces but there are definitely signs to look for.

Starting your child with good dental care early on and maintaining a relationship with their dentist will help make the decision easier when the time comes.

A beautiful and healthy smile will follow your child into adulthood. When they face the world with that radiant smile all the work will have been worth it.

For more information on braces, dental health or our specials reach out.

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