The best way to accomplish this is through the use of braces, preferably in childhood. It is not always clear if a child needs braces, so a visit with a children’s orthodontist can be helpful to evaluate how the teeth are coming in and if any intervention is needed.
Some signs and habits parents should look out for are outlined below.
An overbite or underbite can occur when there is a misalignment in the mouth. This situation almost always requires braces to correct, but it is best to consult with an orthodontist before making a final decision.
The timing of baby teeth loss is very important in determining the need for braces. If the baby teeth remain too long, it can be difficult for the permanent teeth to come in properly, resulting in the need to correct alignment.
Teeth That Do Not Meet
The upper and lower teeth should always meet to form a proper bite. When this does not happen, braces are usually required.
If a child has trouble biting or chewing, this can indicate a need for corrective measures. If this problem is left untreated, it can lead to issues with the digestion and absorption of nutrients.
The Top Front Teeth
The top front teeth extending past the bottom teeth by more than 25 percent, or presenting with a “buck” look, are a definite call for braces.
Children who enjoy sucking on their fingers, or having a pacifier in their mouth past the age of five, may be at a greater risk for needing braces later on.
Teeth that come in crooked, or are blocked by other teeth, may cause crowding later on, which would require realignment.
A child that is embarrassed by crooked teeth and tries to avoid smiling would greatly benefit from braces to increase confidence.
If any of the above apply, it is time to consult with an orthodontist to have as many options as possible. In some cases, the teeth will come in normally during the teenage years and not require braces. This is not always true, and it is best to have the teeth thoroughly checked to ensure the best possible outcome.