There are a lot of common dental issues with kids, but perhaps one that they are most fussed about is getting braces. Braces help align a person’s teeth, allowing them to chew, breathe and speak normally, but braces can be quite pricy and kids don’t really like going to the dentist – so how do you know when you really need to take them to a specialist and get an opinion?

Trouble eating

Kids’ baby teeth start coming in at different ages, and that means that they start eating solid foods and chewing at different times. However, by the time their adult teeth come in, they should be eating solid foods like it’s nobody’s business. If their baby teeth fell out while they were very young, they have a bigger chance of needing braces because of the way their adult teeth developed. But misalignment of the teeth can lead to trouble chewing and eating, so if you notice food falling out of their mouth while they’re eating, not chewing properly, chewing just to one side or any other form of eating that seems conspicuous, you might want to take them to a dentist and see what the problem is.

Trouble speaking

Misaligned teeth can often be a cause of a speech impediment. However, this is one of the harder ones to pinpoint, because there can be many reasons for troubled speaking. But, if the child is pushing forward with their tongue while they’re speaking, you will hear a lisp, but they will also be pushing their front teeth forward. If they can’t properly close their mouths because the misalignment of their teeth prevents the jaws from locking up, they might not be able to say some sounds. The first step is taking them to a speech therapist that can help them with their speech issues. If they recommend seeing an orthodontist, that’s your next step.

Regular visits to the dentist

It’s important that you teach your kids that there’s nothing scary about going to the dentist. Luckily, we have a very friendly local orthodontist in Chatswood whom the kids have grown to trust, so picking up on the fact that one of them needed braces was just a matter of a routine visit. Sometimes, dentists will refer you to a specialist to get the braces fitted, but here, they did it all, and it wasn’t an issue of getting everything set up. For teenagers and even adults that need the braces, there’s an option of Invisalign, which is a completely transparent type of braces that will help you get your teeth back in order without the “embarrassing” kid-with-braces look.

Visual inspection

In extreme cases, you will be able to notice when the child’s teeth are misaligned. They will be overlapping, going inwards and outwards and that might change the way they look with their mouth closed, because the teeth play a role in how the jaws align. So you can pay attention to how their smiles look and you will notice if there are any discrepancies. You can also pay attention to small wounds on the insides of the mouth, because misaligned teeth can mean a lot of biting your own cheek.

Wearing braces is nothing to be ashamed of, and with the benefit you will get – both aesthetically and medically, they are definitely worth the little bit of discomfort you go through when you’re having them set up. Consider your teeth and your mouth a vital part of your health, and you’ll have no problem. If you want that Hollywood smile, you have to put some work into the pearly whites.