There are a range of reasons why your child might need braces, and a pediatric orthodontist will recommend treatment. As KidsHealth explains, crooked, overlapping, overcrowded teeth or a "bad bite," also known as malocclusion, can all be reasons treatment is advisable. Specifically, malocclusion is "when there's a difference in the sizes of the top and bottom jaws," the source explains.

KidsHealth also delves into the differences between overbites and underbites. "When the upper jaw is bigger than the lower jaw, it's called an overbite. When the lower jaw is bigger, it's called an underbite."

Tooth and jaw problems can be caused by tooth decay, as well as a variety of other issues. These include losing baby teeth too early, accidents and poor habits such as thumb sucking. Often dental issues are inherited, meaning if you had braces, there's a good chance your child will also need treatment.

These factors can all help predict whether your child might need braces, but it requires an actual appointment with a pediatric orthodontist to know for certain. Often, your child's dentist is the first one to notice current or potential issues. You can schedule an appointment with an orthodontist at this time or do so earlier. Remember that identifying issues in advance does not mean that your child will get braces immediately. Instead, it just means that you and your orthodontist can work together early in establishing a plan and start date for treatment.

We recommend that you set up an appointment for your child by his or her seventh birthday. To schedule an appointment, please contact our office by phone Toll Free: (866) 222-3166 or complete the appointment request form on our website.