It is estimated that about 45% of children will need braces to be able to fix serious oral health problems, like a misaligned bite. However, many other children may need to get braces simply to improve the appearance of their smiles. 

As a parent, it can be difficult to determine whether or not your child may need braces. Do you want to learn more about common signs that your kids’ teeth need help? 

Keep reading this guide to see if it is time to get child braces. 

Crooked Teeth

One of the most obvious signs that your child will need braces is if they have crooked teeth. While braces can help improve the aesthetics of your child’s smile, they will also help improve their dental health. 

If you have noticed that your child has overlapping teeth, the only way to get these fixed is by using orthodontic services to restore them to the right position. 

Difficulty With Normal Tasks

Another common sign that you should consider getting your child braces is if they are having difficulty with normal daily tasks.

For example, many children who need braces may have trouble chewing or biting. This is often due to a misaligned jaw which makes it hard to close your mouth properly. 

Other signs may include difficulty speaking. If your child has serious problems with their teeth and jaw alignment, it can lead to slurred words. This is because there is not enough room in your child’s mouth for their teeth. 

By getting your child braces, these problems that they deal with daily can be solved. 

Too Much Spacing

Similar to crooked teeth, another sign your child may need braces is if there is too much spacing between their teeth. This can be a less serious problem than crowded teeth, as it will not lead to misalignment, but it can still cause further complications. 

If your child has extreme gaps in their teeth, it is best to visit an orthodontist to see if braces are the best option. 

Mouth or Jaw Pain

Next, if your child has frequent pain in their jaw or mouth, they may require braces. For example, a misaligned jaw may lead to TMJ or can worsen other jaw issues. By getting braces, you can easily realign the jaw to eliminate this pain. 

Some common types of jaw pain include a stiff or sore jaw, clicking noises, or even persistent headaches. By getting your child’s jaw aligned, it can resolve this pain and prevent future pain as well. 

Losing Baby Teeth Early or Late

In most cases, your orthodontist will choose to wait to give your child braces until they have all of their adult teeth. However, in some cases, your orthodontist will recommend braces for a child with mixed baby and permanent teeth. 

One sign that your child needs braces is if they lose their baby teeth too early or too late. 

If you lose your baby teeth too early, it can cause problems with crowding when your adult teeth emerge from your gums. To prevent any of these problems from developing later in life, your orthodontist may recommend braces to fix bite or alignment issues. 

However, if your baby teeth fall out too late, the adult teeth that come in may grow crooked. 

Typically, you can expect your child to start losing their baby teeth when they are about 6 years old. They will usually lose all of their baby teeth by the time they are 12 years old. 

Misaligned Bite

Next, if your child has problems with a misaligned jaw, they will likely need braces to fix their bite issues. A misaligned jaw may make it difficult for your child to chew and may result in teeth that do not meet normally. 

There are many common types of misaligned bites. First, they may have an overbite or a protrusion. This is when your upper teeth extend farther than your lower teeth. 

Other types of bite issues include underbites, crossbites, or an open bite, where your teeth do not meet at all. 

To fix a misaligned jaw in your child, you can get braces or other types of orthodontic treatments that will slowly align their mouth with gentle pressure. 

Poor Oral Habits

Finally, you may need to consider getting braces for your child if they have bad oral health habits. Some of these may include teeth grinding, chewing hard objects, and more. 

For example, many children who suck their thumbs or fingers as they grow up will often have to get braces. This is because regularly sucking your thumb can push the upper teeth out and can lead to serious jaw and teeth misalignment. 

By preventing your child from developing some of these habits at an early age, you lower the likelihood that they will need braces to correct issues from these habits. 

Find the Best Local Orthodontist for Child Braces Today

While many children will need braces to improve the aesthetics of their smile, there are other, more serious reasons why you may need to get your child braces. 

If your child has any of these problems, they may need to visit their orthodontist to discuss getting braces. Are you looking for an orthodontist in Billings, MT? Creekside Orthodontics can help! We provide family orthodontics including Invisalign, traditional braces, and clear braces. 

Contact our Billings orthodontics office today to learn more about our options for child braces and to set up an appointment with our doctor!