Around age 7 and above, our kids’ teeth, mouths, and jaw seem to change by the day – which makes it harder to know when they’re truly ready for braces! However, this period of dramatic growth also makes it the perfect time for them to meet their orthodontist.
Not sure if your child is ready for braces? Here are a couple of telltale signs:
They have difficulty chewing, biting, or eating
If you notice your child has trouble with things like chewing or biting down on food, it is a clear sign to schedule an exam with an orthodontist. Sometimes issues with our teeth or jaw can make daily activities uncomfortable or even painful! We’ll be able to let you know if they will be able to grow out of whatever difficulty they’re experiencing on their own. We can also let you know if they’re a good candidate for some Phase 1 or Phase 2 treatment to help them eat more comfortably.
Smile has gaps, missing teeth, or overcrowding
As kids lose their baby teeth and start growing adult teeth, they rarely come in perfectly aligned. However, while some crookedness is to be expected, if there are big holes or gaps in their smile, that may be a sign that things are not coming in correctly or they might be a good candidate for braces.
On the other hand, if their teeth seem crowded and like adult teeth have nowhere to go, braces or expanders could help their teeth grow in straighter. Either way, early intervention can save them from more comprehensive treatment in the future.
Jaw problems like clicking or popping
When most people think about the orthodontist, they picture straightening teeth and creating beautiful smiles. While we certainly spend a lot of our time changing the appearance of someone’s mouth, we are specially trained to look at how the entire mouth and jaw work together. If your child starts to notice weird noises when they chew or move their jaw around, make an appointment with your nearest Amazing Smiles location right away. While most of these issues are not especially serious, if they continue untreated it can cause bigger issues down the road.
We’re here to help!
Our team loves visiting with kids 7 and older, which gives us a chance to check out their smiles and show them how fun the orthodontist can be! If your child is over age 7 and hasn’t seen an orthodontist, or they’re exhibiting any of the signs above, give us a call to schedule their free exam today.