sleep apnea

5 [Signs] that a Child, Teen, or Adult Needs Braces

LAST UPDATED: SEPTEMBER 13, 2016

Five Signs that a Child, Teen, or Adult Needs Braces

Although these fall in no particular order of importance, I’ll highlight five signs you may need braces, regardless of your age.

You may need braces if...

1.) You have an uncomfortable bite.Does your bite feel funny? Do you bite down and your teeth don’t fit together? Do you bite down and have a big space between your upper and lower teeth (an overbite)? Can you put your tongue between your upper and lower teeth? If you answered, “yes,” to any of these questions, you may need braces. You may also feel comfortable eating and chewing, bit that large space between your upper and lower teeth puts the teeth in a position where they can’t protect themselves that well (in addition to being unaesthetic).

When the teeth fit together nicely, they protect themselves as you move your jaw forwards or backwards. When you have a large overbite, the teeth aren’t protected. Another bite issue is an underbite. Your lower teeth stick out further than your top ones. With an underbite, it’s hard to chew, and your teeth are susceptible to trauma and damage.

Foods

2.) Food gets stuck in between your teeth.  Does chicken or steak get stuck in between a couple of teeth? If so, it usually means you have a “food pocket,” which forms when you have a small space between one tooth and another. That space causes food, usually meat, to get stuck because you’re chewing and grinding harder on meat. It will also more easily get wedged in between your teeth. If you don’t floss often, it may sit there for days or weeks, before the saliva takes care of it. Saliva can take a long time to flush it out and remove it. In the meantime, bacteria attack this food and create a “nest” for plaque to live in. You then develop problems like cavities and gum inflammation or recession. Underneath your gums, you’ll develop bone defects, and your bone will slowly fade away.

Difficulties

3.) Your teeth are crowded. Are your lower front teeth crowded? From a functional standpoint, if your teeth are crowded and overlapped, it’s even difficult for a professional hygienist to ensure your teeth surfaces stay clean. When they’re crowded, there may be two, three, or four surfaces contacting other teeth, and creating pockets and wedges more difficult to clean. Crowded teeth should be addressed to ensure you maintain the health of your gums and bones.

4.) You have speech issues. Have you been concerned about how your child’s speech is developing and how they pronounce certain words? The position of their teeth may affect his speech. Some of letters are difficult to say if the teeth are in a bad position. If he has a large overbite, the teeth are crowded or inclined; it may be difficult to get his tongue between the teeth. If your son or daughter has any speech issues, they may stem from the position of the teeth.

5.) You have difficulty sleeping.  Do you wake up after sleeping and still feel tired? Do you find yourself falling asleep when you sit down, whether it’s to watch a show after work or do homework during the day? If you answered, “Yes,” to these questions, consider these signs you didn't get a good night’s sleep. For many, it can be sleep apnea. For some, sleep apnea’s a neurological disorder. But for most people, it’s an airway disorder. Sleep apnea is treated different ways depending on your age. For a child, the airway is widened to increase the volume of air taken in--no appliance needed. But, many adults need a CPAP machine to position their jaws and maximize air flow.

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How to Get Your Best Smile

While a smile is the best thing you can wear, some people find themselves self-conscious about the appearance of their teeth. If crooked or misshapen teeth make you want to hide your smile, our team of orthodontists in Stafford is here to help! We know just what it takes to bring out the beautiful smile in anyone, and will work to do whatever is necessary to give you a grin you’ll be proud to show! Contact us today and let us get you started on the road to a beautiful smile.

Beecroft Orthodontics

239 Garrisonville Rd. Suite #101 Stafford,Virginia

Phone: 540-659-6300 Fax: 540-288-0706

Do I Need Braces?

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FAQ’s: Getting Braces Twice

Why do Some People Need to Wear Braces more than once?

Orthodontic appliances, Beecroft Orthodontics

I often hear this question from new patients: Why do some people need to wear braces more than once?

Often, parents have a friend or their kids have a friend in elementary school with braces. Then a concerned Mom will come in asking, “Why does Johnny’s friend have braces? He’s only in second or third grade. He doesn’t even have all his permanent teeth in. Why would he have braces now? Will he need them again?”

These are all valid questions.

I’m not a huge fan of putting braces on twice when it’s not necessary. But, there are a handful of cases where it is a good idea to have braces once, maybe twice.

Reasons you may need braces early

1.) A growth imbalance--an underbite. Often, when people have an underbite, their lower jaws will protrude or stick out relative to their upper jaws. The main reasons are either the upper jaws are not developed as much or the lower jaws are growing too much. Most of the time this is due to a genetic component, like a father, uncle or grandparent has the same issue.

You will then restrict the growth of the lower jaw to help the upper jaw grow, which is most effective with younger children, 9-12 years old.

 

2) A habit--most commonly, a thumb habit. When a child goes to bed, he puts his thumb in his mouth for a soothing effect, creating suction at the roof of his mouth. This causes the upper jaw to narrow and constrict. At the very least, if there’s no skeletal or tooth change, we have appliances that fit in the upper mouth and distract the thumb. This gives the child motivation not to put his thumb there.

3) The teeth are in a traumatic position. Sometimes, you don’t have a jaw imbalance, but the teeth came in just a little funny. Often, it’s not because the jaws are out of harmony, but the tooth is just displaced backwards. The reason you want it corrected earlier is every time you chew and bite, you create micro-trauma to that area. You want to get those teeth in the proper position to relieve that chance of something traumatic happening to the teeth.

4) The teeth are severely crowded. Sometimes when teeth are so crowded, your permanent teeth don’t have a chance to come in naturally. When that happens, you may have impacted teeth, which may cause trouble down the road. If you have so much crowding that it’s limiting the chances of your permanent teeth coming in, orthodontists will intervene a couple ways:

  • Spread the teeth out or tip them in certain ways to make more room.
  • Direct the general dentist to remove some baby teeth at the appropriate time to allow permanent teeth to come in.

5) Speech problems. Often, people with speech impediments or other speech issues have issues due to the position of the teeth. We can often fix this early.

6) Airway issues. If your child is snoring, having a hard time breathing at night, or was diagnosed with sleep apnea at a young age, we want to expand the palette. By widening the teeth and upper jaw, we can get amazing changes in the volume of air produced, inhaled and exhaled.

7.) Social reasons. Young kids come in and say because their teeth are flared or they have buck teeth, kids make fun of them at school. I advise we are happy to get those permanent teeth nice and straight, and we’ll monitor them, but they may need braces again when rest of the permanent teeth come in.

Why get braces early?

When you have braces early, there’s always the chance the rest of the permanent teeth won’t come in ideally. Sometimes they come in nicely and you don’t need braces or just need a few tweaks. Other times, they come in like the previous teeth came in and you almost need another set of braces. But when you get them early, you reduce a lot of the complications that would have come about.

The team at Beecroft Orthodontics are experts of dealing with every oral condition that might arise. Contact us today for further information or if you want us to help you pave the way to a perfect smile.

Beecroft Orthodontics, 10472 Georgetown Dr. Fredericksburg, Virginia

Phone: 540-898-2200

FAQ’s: Getting Braces Twice

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