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Does Your Child Have Space Between Their Teeth? Here’s What to Do

Here’s a quick story.

You have a baby boy (well he isn’t really a baby anymore!), let’s call him Jonathan.

Jonathan just did a great job at his baseball game, but instead of being really happy about it, he hops in the back of your SUV with a troubled look on his face.

Being the concerned mom or dad that you are, you say something along the lines of “sweetie, what’s wrong?” All you get is a little silence, and you know something is up.

By the time you get home, Jonathan is nearly in tears.

You think to yourself:

It’s Saturday morning (so no school)
He just had an awesome baseball game (he loves baseball)
Later this afternoon he’s going to a friend’s birthday party (so he should be excited!)


What gives?

Why is Jonathan, a healthy, happy little boy, all of a sudden acting like something is deeply, deeply troubling him.

After working a little of your mom magic, you finally get the answer:

“Stephen and Robbie made fun of me because of the gaps in my teeth.”

Your heart sinks…no one likes to hear that their little boy is being made fun of by some of his teammates. I mean sure, you’ve noticed there was a little extra space between some of his teeth, but it’s not a big deal right? It will probably work itself out.

But what if it doesn’t?


What if the teasing gets worse?

Extra Space Between Teeth is an Issue that Needs to be Corrected

The story above isn’t that far off from a very real scenario. When children have extra spacing between their teeth it can not only make them a target for bullying, it also isn’t healthy for proper growth and development.

When children’s teeth are spaced slightly apart, they are easier to brush, and flossing takes care of the slight (normal) gaps that exist between teeth. If there is too much space between teeth, it can make dental hygiene more difficult, as brushing your teeth and flossing is an oral care regimen that best works on teeth will little spacing between them.

So too much space between teeth is actually a twofold problem:

  • It can hamper the development of your child’s teeth and smile.
  • It’s a cosmetic issue that can cause them grief and unnecessary teasing as they get older.

Even if your child’s dentist has told you that they don’t need braces or that the problem may work itself out, it’s still a good idea to book an appointment with an orthodontist in your area.

At Dental Town, we have 4 locations in the North Atlanta area including Alpharetta, Canton, Cumming, and Johns Creek/Suwanee.

Dr. Michael Crosby is the orthodontist at Dental Town, and as a father of 4 children, he understands firsthand the orthodontic problems children face, and the impact it can have on their self-esteem, even at a young age.

To read more about Dr. Crosby and watch a video where he talks more about orthodontics at Dental Town, click the link below:

http://www.dentaltownsmiles.com/dr-michael-crosby/


What are Some of the Problems Kids Can Develop if Their Teeth are Spaced too Far Apart?

While getting made fun of, or having a smile that doesn’t raise your child’s self-esteem is an issue, a big issue from a clinical perspective is the proper development of the teeth in relation to the jaw.

You see when your child’s teeth are spread that far apart, they can shift farther apart as your child’s jaw grows. Obviously, this shift can cause further spacing problems when they are older, which is why the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) recommends a child have their first orthodontic visit no later than age 7.

If your child is older than 7 and hasn’t seen an orthodontist yet? Don’t beat yourself up. It doesn’t mean you’re a bad parent, not at all! It just means you need to make scheduling their first orthodontic appointment a priority.

When the teeth are spread too far apart, it could also increase the likelihood that your child will develop gum disease, as the teeth help protect the gum line. It could also result in a variety of other issues such as teeth grinding or temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ) later in life.

We’re not telling you this to scare you, we just want you to know that if your child has too much space between their teeth, it’s definitely a problem that needs to be taken care of, likely with orthodontic treatment.


Are Braces the Answer?

For many children, braces will be the perfect solution to fix the spacing between their teeth. While many people believe that braces only fix the opposite problem (teeth that are too close together or overcrowded), that simply isn’t the case.

Dr. Crosby and the talented team at Dental Town will create braces for your child and position them so that they correct the problem that needs to be corrected. Braces are typically worn between 18 months and 3 years (although each patient is different), and then followed by a retainer to ensure your child’s teeth stay correctly positioned as they continue to grow and develop.


What Kind of Braces are Available?

We wrote an article that addresses this question as well as others which you can read below:

http://www.dentaltownsmiles.com/what-are-the-best-braces-for-elementary-school-kids/

You can also read more about our Two-Phase orthodontic treatment process below:

http://www.dentaltownsmiles.com/braces-for-children/

At Dental Town, we go to great lengths to match each patient with the treatment that is right for them. We are never going to recommend braces for your child unless we are confident that it is the best course of action.

We’ll also go over the different types of braces available, as well as other appliances that may be worn during or after braces treatment. Remember that childhood is the best time for your son or daughter to visit the orthodontist, as their teeth can be manipulated while the teeth and jaw are still growing and developing.


It May be Time for Your Child to See an Orthodontist

We get it, life is busy. You don’t want to go to any unnecessary medical appointments, but a visit to an orthodontist in your area (if you’re anywhere in the North Atlanta area, we hope you choose us!) can save your child a lot of trouble with their teeth, gums, and overall health and provide happiness down the road.

Also if you’re on the fence as to whether or not your child needs braces, don’t let the cost of braces deter you. We take all major credit cards, and also partner with CareCredit, where you could qualify for 0% interest up to 24 months.


Here’s a little more about your financing and payment options at Dental Town:

http://www.dentaltownsmiles.com/financial-insurance/


So what are you waiting for?

If your child needs braces or some form of correction for the extra spacing or gaps in their teeth, we’re here to help. With 4 locations in North Atlanta (Alpharetta, Canton, Cumming, and Johns Creek) we can help your child improve their smile and self-confidence in our kid friendly office. So give us a call today!