It is estimated that about 45% of kids require braces to fix misaligned biting issues, among other functional ones, and a profound 75% of children can benefit from having their teeth straightened. Dental braces are usually recommended as a means to fight 2 major problems: (1) jaw misalignment, where the patient either has an overbite (the top teeth are extruded compared to the bottom teeth) or underbite (the lower teeth are protruded and cover the upper ones), and (2) tooth crowding, usually of the bottom teeth (90% of children). All these conditions are collectively referred to as malocclusions, and besides an unattractive appearance, they can be the cause of serious health issues in the long run.

Why Wear Braces in the First Place?

Some people treat their dental conditions for self-esteem and cosmetic reasons, which includes the improvement of the shape of their face. Others seek the real benefits to wearing braces, which allow them to speak more effectively, bite and chew their food easier, and be able to maintain their oral hygiene and health to enhanced levels.

When we Usually Wait

The real question is, how many sets of braces are indeed required? No one can put a finger on a particular number.

  1. Overcrowding

Some research suggests we wait until the child’s late teens when the jaw will have grown to its full size, before the child begins a treatment, even in cases of more severe crowding. In the majority of cases, we usually adopt a wait-and-see approach, unless our case requires otherwise.

  1. Open Bite

An open bite is another form of malocclusion and occurs when the front teeth don’t meet the bottom teeth when the jaw closes and the child bites down. Early intervention in regards this case is not yet proven necessary, given that the bottom and top rows of front teeth keep are growing toward each other as the child gets older. So, it is proposed to wait until all the so-called baby teeth have been replaced by the adult teeth, before proceeding to a treatment.

  1. Overbite

Approximately 30% of children have buck teeth or an overbite, which is a skeletal abnormality that is usually not treated with braces, but other devices that help realign the jaw. You can have this issue addressed when the child is 7-8 years old or during their teens.

  1. Crossbites and Underbites

These conditions are much less common compared to crowding and overbites in kids. The majority of orthodontists feel that they should be addressed early as it might be easier to correct.

That said, our experience has shown that there are very good reasons for going ahead with braces at an early age (that is prior adulthood).


Benefits of an Early Intervention

First of all, in case of crowded teeth, your child can wear braces for cosmetic reasons and to be able to clean his or her teeth easier. Of course, both reasons offer significant benefits each. For example, your child might feel uncomfortable with the way their teeth look. Let’s face it, some issues with the teeth can be disfiguring, which, in turns, can make your child lose their self-confidence and suffer poor relationships. We all know, as parents, what this can do to a child – to any person, in fact. We see children getting bullied every day with tragic results, and such issues are not to be taken lightly. So, you will probably need to consider an orthodontic treatment. Also, those that can’t chew properly can experience pain. In this case, undergoing a treatment the soonest possible is considered critical.

Other than that, being able to clean your teeth thoroughly can keep you away from serious  problems, such as gum disease that could lead even to tooth loss and serious inflammation. And we are just scratching the surface of the colossal iceberg here.

However, the one responsible for recommending an orthodontic treatment to your child is your orthodontist; a trusted professional that you know wants the best for you and your family. One that truly cares about how you feel, bears your concerns, and answers your questions patiently. At Straight Teeth Suite in Leicester, we are happy to have cultivated such friendly and family-like relationships with our patients, because our genuine care for them is hard to miss.

To us, your child’s health is as important as it is to you, so contact us, have your first consultation free of any obligations and let’s discuss your child’s options in full!

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