As a rule, it is difficult to know if your child will need orthodontic treatment until your child is 8-12 and their permanent teeth begin to come in. It is recommended to bring your child in to the orthodontist when your child is 8 to determine whether treatment will be needed. In general, the orthodontist will examine your child, and if your child needs treatment, the orthodontist will take proper action to avoid costly and painful treatment later on.
Early symptoms of orthodontic problems
As you know, it is always better to consult a professional. Still, there are some warning signs that you can look for to help determine whether your child needs orthodontic treatment. The proper occlusion is the following: the top teeth exactly line up with the bottom teeth, and there are no spaces or gaps. If your child teeth look good, your child very likely will not need orthodontic treatment. But if your child's teeth have some strange shapes, your child will need orthodontic treatment.
At first, ask your child to open their mouth, and let you look at their teeth. Look whether all of their teeth are straight, or maybe some teeth slant to the side. Look carefully for any gaps between your child’s teeth. Look for any overlapping teeth. If you see any signs mentioned above, your child will need orthodontic treatment.
Then ask your child to bite down. Look whether the center of the front top teeth lines up with the center of the front bottom teeth. Consider whether your child's top teeth protrude out the front of their mouth, or maybe your child has bucked teeth. Evaluate whether the top front teeth cover more than 25% of the bottom teeth. Check if there are any of the top teeth behind the bottom teeth. Look whether the teeth come together smoothly, or there are any gaps. If your child’s teeth have any of these symptoms, your child will need orthodontic treatment.
Now look at the alignment of your child’s jaw. Do all of the teeth come together smoothly, or does your child’s jaw shift off center when your child clenches their teeth together? If you see any misalignment or shifting of your child's jaw, your child will need orthodontic treatment.