It’s only natural for a parent to be concerned about their child’s smile. Growing up isn’t always easy! When kids grow up with noticeably crooked or gapped teeth, there’s always the chance for a little bit of teasing. Sure, we might often think back to when we were kids and say, “Nah! It builds character!” But if noticeable imperfections appear to be showing up now, it might be a good idea to determine if they need the attention of your pediatric dentist now.
The Transitioning Period
Many parents of young er children often come to us with questions about a common feature of being young: the ugly duckling period. You know what it looks like (it might even describe your child perfectly), upper front teeth that are flared out, with a gap in-between that’s all-to-often used as a straw holder or french fry delivery port.
The important thing to know about this “look” is that it’s perfectly normal. During the transitioning period after baby teeth fall out, it is common for the new adult teeth to look a little “wayward”. As more teeth erupt (like the canines) and your child’s jaw develops, the front teeth will straighten out and the gaps in your child’s teeth will close.
Another common “issue” parents inquire about is when newly emerged permanent teeth do not seem aligned properly with the “baby” teeth. Many times, they wonder if the baby teeth can be removed to allow for more room for the incoming adult teeth. This is generally an unnecessary procedure, because permanent teeth are bigger than baby teeth and your child’s jaw is still growing. While new teeth might not have enough space and may even look awfully crowded right now, give it a little time before worrying. Until your child’s first premolar has emerged, and their jaw development has slowed, and moved past the rapid growth spurts of early childhood.
“When should I consider braces for my child?”
If you’re wondering if your child might need braces. First, consult your dentist. As you’ve read above, many irregularities in your child’s smile can be attributed to and corrected by the fact that they’re still growing.
In most cases, it is hard to determine whether a child will need braces until their permanent teeth have completely replaced their baby teeth.