How to Tell if Your Child Needs Braces

Let us help you figure it out!

Around 3 in 10 people have what is described as an ‘angel’s smile’. That means their top and bottom teeth sit straight when together without grinding, gapping, or overlapping. Around half of us have at least moderate degrees of malocclusion – our teeth do not sit perfectly together – and as we get older, our teeth shift, and crowding generally gets worse, especially in the lower jaw. 

At Glow, we strive to understand and recognize your unique desire, needs, and circumstances. The pictures below are a good reference point for determining whether you or your child would benefit from Invisalign or braces. Take a look and if you have any questions or just want to talk, please give us a call or talk to us via our website. We offer complimentary smile consultations too! 

braces, Crowding Crossbite Open bite Protursion Deep Bite Underbite Spacing Oral habits

Other concerns:

  • Early or late loss of baby teeth
  • Space remaining after the loss of a permanent tooth
  • Difficulty chewing or biting
  • Mouth breathing
  • Jaws that shift or make sounds
  • Speech difficulties
  • Biting the cheek and the roof of the mouth with teeth
  • Facial imbalance
  • Grinding or clenching of the teeth
  • Manipulation of space for ideal prosthetic restoration placements such as implants and bridges

Both the Canadian Association of Orthodontists and the American Association of Orthodontists recommend that children be seen by an orthodontist (like Dr. Irene) by the age of 7. This doesn’t mean that we expect 7-year-olds to start wearing braces or Invisalign. The goal is to check your child’s smile and development to assess if and when any orthodontic treatment may be needed. If your child can wait, we can reassess your child’s growth on a yearly basis from there on (also complimentary!). 

As an orthodontic specialist, Dr. Irene will also let you know if you don’t need braces or Invisalign. Sometimes there are easier and simpler solutions to your smile. For example, if your teenager presents with the main concern of closing gaps between 1-2 teeth and has otherwise a great smile and occlusion, Dr. Irene will recommend getting aesthetic fillings instead as an alternative solution.

Sometimes, orthodontic treatment may need to wait if there are active cavities or if your child needs to improve brushing and flossing first. In some cases, you might already have a perfect smile! We will always consider and discuss the potential benefits and risks of getting braces or Invisalign with your family. That’s why we offer a complimentary consultation for everyone, so you get to know whether an orthodontic treatment is needed or not, and if so, when and why.

The major benefit of getting braces or Invisalign, of course, is a beautiful and healthy smile with boosted self-esteem and confidence. Here are some other benefits that you might not have thought about

  • Functional improvements with biting, chewing, and speaking
  • Improved breathing by expanding the upper jaw in growing children 
  • Allows unerupted, ‘stuck’ tooth/teeth to erupt 
  • Allows an implant, bridge, or other restoration to be placed ideally by changing the position of teeth
  • Eliminate crowding and spacing 
  • Jaw growth modifications in growing kids 
  • Correction of a deep bite and/or crossbite that can otherwise lead to tooth wear and tooth trauma 
  • Correction of an overjet which has a risk of trauma in children
  • Aligned, leveled teeth and gum in harmony with your smile and face
  • Facilitates better cleaning by aligning your teeth 

Remember that orthodontic treatment is always an informed choice that you make. You shouldn’t feel pressured into starting an orthodontic journey if you don’t fully understand the benefits and goals of the treatment. This is an important consideration as your motivation plays a crucial role in the success of orthodontic treatment. If you have any questions, or just want to say ‘hello’, give us a call, send us an email or talk to us on our website to chat. Discuss the options with the Glow Orthodontists Langley