Should Your Teenage Kids Wear Braces?

happy smiling girl with dental braces and glasses. young cute ca

For some people, wearing braces is a mark of adolescence. But contrary to what most parents believe, not all teenagers have to wear them. Many high schoolers have this orthodontic treatment for various reasons, mostly to straighten permanent teeth or fix an overbite.

Braces come in different types. You may have seen the traditional metal ones or have worn them yourself during your youth. Dentists nowadays may also suggest ceramic braces or aligners depending on your child’s teeth condition. Since you have several options, the question now would be whether your teen needs them or not.

To answer this question, consider these reasons to get braces and determine if your child needs to wear them soon:

To Straighten Teeth

Most kids become self-conscious of their physical features once they hit their teen years. They begin fussing over their outward appearance, including their teeth. Some children gain misaligned permanent teeth due to genetics, but it’s not the end for them. Wearing braces could solve this condition and give them the confidence to smile again.

Your child might not have a severe dental issue yet, but correcting the alignment of their teeth early on can prevent that from happening. Dental clinics specializing in childhood orthodontics, like Magical Smiles in Caroline Springs, can give you and your teen a better dental health assessment. Getting braces can be a daunting experience for many kids, so it’s vital that your child feels safe while having their teeth examined and fitted for braces.

If you think your child’s teeth are straight enough, they may not need to wear braces. But it’s best to get them professionally assessed while they’re young. If they need braces, it’s better to get them earlier while their teeth are still malleable.

To Fix A Speech Impediment

Misaligned teeth may cause speech problems since people need their teeth to form certain sounds. If you notice your child lisping, stuttering, or slurring their words, their permanent teeth may be the culprit. Your child might also feel conscious of how they speak because of that.

Wearing braces might temporarily contribute to the impediment. Lingual braces, for example, may affect how the speaker produces the ‘S’ sound. But if your teen wears braces early, their teeth should align eventually and fix their speech issue before reaching adulthood.

If a speech impediment negatively impacts your child’s academic performance, it may be time to visit the dentist. This is assuming it isn’t a neurological concern. At the dental clinic, you and your child will receive a proper assessment of the condition and the appropriate treatment. Getting this procedure done while the child is still in high school may prevent complications before entering college.

To Mend An Over- Or Underbite

Another good reason for a child to wear braces is to correct their bite. Overbites and underbites don’t just affect your kid’s facial appearance but also the way they eat. They may feel uncomfortable while chewing food, which could cause dietary problems in the future. Other issues stemming from overbites and underbites include:

  • Teeth grinding
  • Speech problems
  • Jaw and gum pain
  • Headaches
  • Lip bleeding
  • Higher risk of cavities or gum disease

The sooner you spot your teenager’s overbite or underbite, the better. Their dentist will figure out the gravity of the condition. In most minor cases, braces aren’t needed. But severe issues might require underbite or overbite braces and, sometimes, headgear to set their jaw into place. The extra dental appliances may cause discomfort, especially when adjustments are made. You can offer your teenager some acetaminophen to help curb the pain when they feel it.

If you want your child to avoid further complications from underbites or overbites, consider letting them wear braces. It’s a small sacrifice they’ll make for their health and development. They’ll also get prettier-looking teeth in the process.

dentist with tools in the young man's mouth with orthodontics

To Avoid Breathing Problems

Misaligned teeth could force your teenager to breathe through their mouth. Sometimes, the issue isn’t caused by nasal problems. Consider taking your child to the dental clinic if this is the case.

The dentist may suggest braces for your child to wear to help align their teeth. Proper teeth alignment should give your teenager’s tongue enough room to relax. In turn, your child will be able to breathe correctly through their nose.

If the issue isn’t dealt with sooner, your teenager could continue doing it while they sleep, which may later develop into snoring or sleep apnea. The latter might even cause daytime fatigue or hypertension as your child gets older.

To Set Proper Teeth Space

When permanent teeth replace your child’s milk teeth, they may pop out too close or too far from each other. This condition is the cause of tooth gaps or overcrowding teeth in adolescence. It may dampen your teenager’s self-esteem and cause a few other issues.

Overcrowded teeth usually cause gingivitis, plaque, cavities, and bad breath. Food particles can get trapped between teeth, making it difficult to floss or brush clean. This condition may also happen with too much tooth space. Kids with tooth gaps are also more likely to grind their teeth, causing gum pain and gum disease.

You wouldn’t want your child to become afflicted with more problems. Fortunately, a kid wearing braces in their early teen years could help avoid such conditions. It’s your responsibility to keep your family’s teeth healthy, especially while your children are still young.

Conclusion

Braces are the best tools to improve a teenager’s oral health, posture, and hygiene. Not everyone needs them if they’re lucky to have a perfect set. Kids also aren’t required to wear them either. But if your child is like most children, wearing braces could help them avoid other complications while also correcting the appearance of their teeth.

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