Do Misaligned Baby Teeth Always Signal a Need for Orthodontic Intervention?

Parents sometimes ask: “If my child’s first teeth appear to be crooked or misaligned, does that mean we need to start budgeting for braces when a child gets older?”

At McGuire Orthodontics and Facial Orthopedics, we believe it’s not a question about whether those first teeth are crooked as much as it is about early evaluation to determine if other concerns exist that can lead to serious health issues later in life.

Early Detection Is Vital

Although most parents are pleased when their child’s first tooth breaks through the gum, some don’t fully realize that the first year to 18 months of a child’s life is also crucial to facial development and that development is typically almost complete by the age of six.

When we identify potential problems that can affect future facial growth and development early, there are more options for successful intervention. We recommend scheduling an appointment to check for possible jaw and bite alignment abnormalities at least by age two.

What Are Some of the Issues?

Jaw misalignment or uneven growth of upper and lower jaws and common “bad habits” of tongue thrusting, thumb sucking, or mouth breathing can all be detrimental to proper facial development. They are at least as worrisome as one or two crooked baby teeth.

Parents can sometimes decrease or eliminate the need for teenage dental braces by taking measures to assure proper facial growth, using noninvasive exercises, muscle training intervention, or perhaps nighttime head braces.

How to Proceed

Some abnormalities that lead to oral health issues, as well as certain breathing and sleep problems, are difficult to detect, and it is important that you have a specialist screen your young child for these things and for the potential need for braces.

Our specialists screen for misaligned teeth and other problems that can lead to dental issues and deteriorating oral hygiene.

Call us to discuss your concerns and to schedule your child’s examination with a full-service pediatric orthodontist.

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