Signs Your Child Should Get An Orthodontic Exam

Orthodontic treatment is faster for children than for adults. Thus, if you suspect that your child has an orthodontic problem, schedule an examination with the dentist for diagnosis and treatment. Here are some of the telltale signs that might mean that a child has an orthodontic problem and should get an exam.

Mouth Breathing

Breathing through the mouth increases the risk of sleep apnea, jaw pain, and gum disease, among other complications. Mouth breathing has numerous potential causes, one of which is an irregular jaw (in shape and size). Irregular jaw development affects the arrangement and shape of teeth. Therefore, if your child is breathing through the mouth, there is a chance that they have or will soon have orthodontic problems.

Speech Problems

Your tongue, teeth, lips, cheeks, and other associated parts of the mouth all work together for correct pronunciation of words. When one part doesn't develop properly, the pronunciation of words also suffers. Thus, a child with misaligned teeth is likely to develop speech issues. Take your child for an orthodontic examination if the child can't pronounce certain words properly.

Premature Teeth Loss

A child's baby teeth act as place holders for their permanent teeth. The baby teeth help to direct the permanent teeth on where to grow and the direction of growth to take. Thus, the permanent teeth might not grow properly if the baby teeth fall off prematurely. For example, if a child loses their baby teeth too early, the remaining (adjacent) baby teeth might crowd into the vacancy. The permanent teeth that were supposed to erupt and sit in the vacancy may then fail to grow in the correct place.

Consult a dentist for help if a child loses their baby teeth prematurely. The dentist may be able to use placeholders to maintain the space for the permanent teeth. If the damage has already been done, the dentist may be able to reverse it before it gets too serious.

Thumb Sucking

Thumb sucking may be relatively harmless at a young age, but its danger increases as the child grows. If a child sucks their thumb for too long, the habit pushes their teeth outwards and a bite problem is likely to ensue. Thus, if your child is older than five years old and still sucking their thumb, you need to get a dentist to intervene and prevent potential problems.

Jaw Pain

Lastly, you should also get an orthodontic exam for a child who is always complaining about their jawbone. Maybe the child has a bite problem that is creating unbalanced forces on the teeth. In such cases, some teeth may be overwhelmed by the forces upon them, and the stress can trigger jaw pain.

For more information, contact a dentist who offers orthodontic treatment like clear braces.