Getting braces fixed to straighten the teeth is the most routinely required dental treatment during the growing years (however, more and more adults are getting their teeth straightened to improve their smile).
"Malocclusion” (called as maal-ohk-klu-zun) is the scientific term used to describe improper alignment of teeth or jaws. It may manifest in a variety of ways as under:
- Many a times our teeth are either too small or too large according to the size of our jaw. If the teeth are too small, it may cause spaces between teeth, which look unsightly. While if they are too large and there is insufficient space in the jaw to accommodate them, the teeth erupt in a crooked/rotated/twisted position and have a bad alignment which may also cause frequent dental decay in the tooth as these are more difficult to clean completely.
- In many individuals, the upper and lower jaws are not equal in size. In such conditions one of the jaws becomes forwardly placed affecting the facial alignment and appearance.
- When the jaws and teeth are poorly aligned, it affects your ‘bite’- the way your teeth come together while chewing. So if all of the teeth do not meet evenly while chewing, orthodontic treatment is the correct option for you.
- If your child has any of the habits like Thumb/finger sucking, tongue thrusting or mouth breathing it may be detrimental for correct positioning of the teeth and jaws and may be the cause of malocclusion. Early intervention through orthodontics in such cases is of immense benefit.
Lots of kids don’t have perfect teeth, so don’t worry if your child doesn’t have them. Take a look at his classmates and you will come to know that many children in this age group wear braces to correct their teeth. If your child needs braces, it is best to start consulting an orthodontist first from when your child becomes 8 years old, so as to take best care during the growth phase.