4 signs your child needs early orthodontics
If you endured train tracks as a teenager, you may be worried that your children will suffer the same fate. But thanks to early orthodontics, it doesn’t have to be that way for the next generation! Treatment with early orthodontics can minimise the need for braces and is increasingly considered the modern approach. At Happy Kids Dental, we can assess your child’s bite and teeth positioning as early as age seven. Taking advantage of a child’s still-growing jaw means we can use gentle treatments that may prevent the need for surgery or long-term braces in the future. So if you have a child under seven, here are the top signs to look out for:
1. Mind their mouth
Long faces, flat cheeks, receding chins, gummy smiles, narrow jaws without space for all the adult teeth… All of these problems can be consequences of an open mouth! If your child’s mouth tends to rest open, it may indicate that the tongue is not sitting correctly against the roof of the mouth. This is the optimal position for allowing the jaw to grow correctly and create the right amount of space for the adult teeth.
2. Listen to their breathing
Nasal breathing is what we are programmed to do naturally, delivering filtered, warm and moistened air directly to our lungs. Mouth breathing, on the other hand, comes with a huge number of adverse effects, including sleep deprivation (which in turn can affect behaviour and academic performance), incorrect jaw development and an open bite.
3. Check out their chin
Get your child to bring their lips together and watch what happens to their chin. If you can see or feel the chin muscle move or go hard, it means they are straining to bring their lips together, which can impact on jaw development.
4. Look at their lips
Ask your child to swallow with their lips together; if this causes the lips to move, it can indicate that teeth are not correctly aligned. And take a look at their top teeth, too – do they rest naturally on the lower lip? If yes, this also points to misalignment.
If you’ve spotted any of the above, bring your child to Happy Kids Dental for an early orthodontics assessment. In addressing the early causes of crooked teeth, we can often avoid the need for treatment in years to come – giving your future teenager one less thing to worry about.