Does it matter if my child has crooked baby teeth?

From the moment your child’s teeth start to erupt you need to be concerned with their oral hygiene. Even though their baby teeth (also known as milk or deciduous teeth) will fall out to be replaced by their permanent adult teeth, it’s still crucial that their dental health and hygiene are maintained to lay the groundwork for healthy teeth and gums later in life. So does it matter if their baby teeth are crooked?

The short answer is possibly yes. While it is true that baby teeth will eventually be replaced, their adult teeth tend to be larger than their predecessors. This means that if they have crooked baby teeth, they’re likely to require orthodontic treatment in the future when their adult teeth have come in.

Why are their baby teeth crooked?

There are many reasons your child’s teeth may be crooked. These can include the influence of habits such as thumb sucking, an accident or just simply genetics. If habits are the cause of unwanted tooth movements, then you should try to help your child to stop the habit as soon as possible.

What can I do if my child’s baby teeth are crooked? 

While you can and should monitor your child’s smile for any changes, it is best to consult an orthodontist to establish the extent of the treatment required. In some cases, a child may require early intervention – often referred to as Phase I treatment – where appliance is worn to correct the issue or prevent the problem from becoming more complex.

It is also important that you help your child maintain good oral hygiene and develop an effective cleaning routine to support the health of their teeth and gums.

When should I consult an orthodontist?

We recommend your child has an orthodontic assessment by 7-8 years of age. This allows your orthodontist to monitor the growth of the upper and lower jaws and the development of their deciduous (baby) and permanent dentition. Possible space saving or space maintenance, and jaw growth considerations can then take place at the optimal time.  Establishing a relationship with your orthodontist can also help you plan your budget and possible needs for health insurance appropriately.

You don’t need a referral to make an appointment with an orthodontist. It is easy to find a registered orthodontist near you using our new search tool.

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