Should my child have braces?
The question of braces for children is a common one we encounter at SHDC. The number of children having orthodontic treatment in Australia is growing by the year. It can be tricky for parents to decide whether their children ought to. Our dentists at SHDC can help with the planning.
Orthodontics is usually required when there is a misalignment of the jaws or a discrepancy between the size of the teeth and jaws, resulting in crowding. The causes of these conditions are often genetic.
There are several implications of crooked teeth or misaligned jaws. Often, children will express an aesthetic concern as their condition can really affect their confidence. In some cases, there may be difficulty with speech such as lisping, or even difficulty biting and chewing. As dentists, we often find crooked teeth can lead to trouble cleaning effectively, predisposing the child to cavities, gum infections, and pain. It is these factors that can lead parents and children to seek an orthodontic consultation.
We are often asked whether the crowding or jaw misalignment will just go away with time as the child grows. In some cases, the situation is improved with the natural growth of the jaws as the child grows. However, in some cases, it doesn’t, and while most orthodontics is performed during the puberty growth spurt, in some cases, children as young as eight or nine can benefit from certain treatments such as expansion devices. It is thus crucial that an orthodontic plan be established at an early age, with an understanding by the child and parents of when intervention may be required. Maintaining regular check-ups allows the dentist to monitor the growth of the jaws and any changes to the alignment of the teeth, and to make a referral to an orthodontist at an optimum time, if required.
If you have any concerns about whether your child might need orthodontic care, please call the practice on 8278 6858 to organise a consultation time.