How do I know if my child needs braces?

THINGS TO LOOK FOR:


Under-Bite

  • "Anterior cross-bite"
  • Lower teeth in front of upper teeth
  • Can include one or many teeth
  • Caused by:
    • Small upper jaw
    • Large lower jaw
    • Abnormal eruption of teeth

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Cross-Bite

  • "Posterior cross-bite"
  • Upper teeth inside of lower teeth
  • Can include one or many teeth
  • Can be on both right and left sides or on just one side
  • Caused by:
    • Narrow/constricted upper jaw
    • Large/wide lower jaw

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Open-Bite

  • Space between the upper teeth and lower teeth
  • Most often includes the front teeth (but can also include the back teeth)
  • Commonly associated with a thumb or finger-sucking habit

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Missing Teeth

  • Teeth on the right and left sides should be symmetric
  • Teeth can be missing from the mouth for various reasons
    • Don't exist - teeth never developed properly
    • Failure to erupt - can be caused by significant crowding or an abnormal eruption pattern

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Teeth that Fail to Erupt
The most common teeth that fail to erupt are upper canines (the "eye" teeth, next to the upper incisors)

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"Buck" Teeth

  • Front teeth that stick out too far are often associated with other orthodontic concerns.
    • Crowded teeth
    • Habits like thumb or finger-sucking
    • Small lower jaws with lower teeth that don't fit with the upper teeth
  • Correcting prominent front teeth not only improves self-esteem but also dramatically reduces the likelihood of traumatic injury to the teeth

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Crowding Teeth

  • Crowding occurs when the jaw is too small to accommodate all of the teeth in the jaw
  • Crowding can also be caused by premature loss of baby teeth and subsequent "shifting" of the teeth

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