What Are the Signs that Braces May Be Needed?


A full assessment from a certified orthodontist is necessary to determine if your child needs braces or not as well as to outline a plan of treatment. Nonetheless, there are many common indicators that braces or another common orthodontic treatment like invisalign may be warranted. Having a basic understanding of the typical conditions that require treatment can help you know what signs to watch out for if you are concerned your child may need orthodontic care.

Common Conditions That Require Orthodontic Treatment

Certain conditions are good indicators that your child may need orthodontic care to improve not only the appearance but also the function of his or her teeth. Understanding these conditions will help you determine if you have a warranted concern that may need addressed.


Overcrowding is one of the most common conditions that needs addressed in children. The problem arises when there is not enough room on the dental arches to fit all of the teeth. As the teeth grow in, they shift in all different directions to make the best use of the limited space available. While this condition causes an obvious aesthetic concern, the bigger concern are the dental problems associated with crowded teeth. Crowding causes the teeth to be disorganized, hiding some of the surfaces and making them more difficult to clean. This disorganization allows plaque to form and build up more easily, leading to accelerated tooth decay.


Just like too little space causes an issue, too much space can be problematic as well. If your child has wide gaps between his or her teeth, it could indicate that the dental arches are too large, the teeth are too small, or both. If the proper treatment is not applied, the exposed gums could become damage, and in some cases, dental collapse may occur as one tooth tries to fill in the gap and misaligns with its opposite tooth.


An overbite is another common condition that requires treatment. If the issue is mild, then it may not be too great of a concern. However, if the issue is more severe, it may cause your son or daughter extreme discomfort and even pain. In extreme cases, where the upper teeth extend far over the lower, the lower lip can become irritated or damaged from its constant onslaught by the upper teeth. Similarly, the roof of the mouth may also be damaged due to the lower teeth constantly coming into contact with it.


An underbite is much rarer than an overbite, but it still requires corrective treatment. This condition is the result of the lower dental arch extending beyond the upper arch. This condition has equal but opposite problems as an overbite. In addition, this condition as well as an overbite may causes your child issues with jaw pain, enamel erosion, and speech development.


Another issue with the alignment of the upper and lower jaw is a crossbite. This condition occurs as the lower dental arch is wider than the upper one, which causes the upper molars to be inside the lower molars as your child bites down. To compensate, it is likely that your child constantly shifts the lower jaw left or right to make one side fit. In addition to causing discomfort when biting down, crossbites also contribute to chronic jaw pain, uneven enamel wear, and facial asymmetry.

Open Bite

An open bite is another condition that requires treatment. This condition involves the teeth being unable to touch when the mouth closes. Essentially, an open bite is like having an overbite and an underbite at the same time with both the upper and lower front teeth protruding forward. An open bite makes it particularly difficult to chew food because the front teeth don’t break food into chunks as with typical chewing. As such, many children with an open bite also experience premature wearing of the molars.

Impacted Teeth

Impacted teeth are often the result of crowding, as the overcrowding of the teeth make it difficult or impossible for the tooth to grow into its proper position. Canines and molars are commonly impacted teeth. If not treated, an impacted tooth may damage the roots of adjacent teeth and cause severe pain and swelling. Your child may experience discomfort opening his or her mouth, jaw aches, and even headaches if he or she has an impacted tooth. There is the potential for an impacted tooth to become infected if not treated properly as well.

Crooked or Buck Teeth

While crooked or buck teeth may not cause as much of a functional concern as other issues, these conditions can be damaging to your child’s self-esteem. Another child’s offhand remarks about your child’s teeth could be really off-putting to his or her concept of him or herself.

A Full Evaluation

While a full evaluation from an orthodontist is the only way to fully determine if your son or daughter is in need of braces or invisalign, looking out for these common conditions will give you a head start at determining a need. Orthodontic treatment isn’t just a cosmetic concern. In many cases, issues that require treatment also present a functional issue. So, if your child is complaining about jaw pain, toothaches, or even chronic headaches, it may be time to schedule a consultation. Early treatment is one of the most effective ways to prevent more pervasive issues, so schedule your consultation with Nalchajian Orthodontics today.

Nalchajian Orthodontics
7501 N Fresno St, Suite 105, Fresno, CA 93720
Phone: (559) 432 7100

What Are the Signs that Braces May Be Needed?

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