Has your child started losing their primary teeth? If so, you may be getting a preliminary - and possibly scary - picture of what their smile is going to look like, right? As this picture gets more precise, you may start to feel concerned about their smile and whether they're going to need orthodontic treatment, such as braces. But, like many things, early intervention is best when it comes to orthodontics. It's also not just limited to straightening out teeth. Here are a few things to look for if you think your child needs braces.

Bite problems. Are you noticing an underbite or overbite developing? If so, it's time to call Legends Dental. These types of bites can mean big problems in the long run, such as temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD), sleep apnea and tooth clenching or grinding. Bite issues can also cause cracks and fractures in teeth, increase the chance of tooth decay and up your risk of gum disease, too.

Tooth protrusion. Are any of your child's teeth sticking out or crowding? This is also a sign that your kiddo may benefit from orthodontic intervention. In some cases, protruding teeth can cause problems with the bite, and in turn, put stress on the jaw and teeth.

Thumbsucking. While there's a lot of debate out there regarding thumbsucking and its impact on the teeth, this childhood habit is known to cause teeth to be pushed in on the bottom or out on the top. This may lead to bite problems down the road. If you're concerned, talk to a Legends Dental dentist.

The benefits of braces aren't just limited to children or teens, but starting early (think before age 9) is ideal. Braces are also great for adults - and not just for straightening teeth. One of the most significant benefits of orthodontics for adults is changes in appearance. For some people, orthodontic treatment can mean visible changes to the face. This is because braces can help to address issues in the midface region that cause overbites, underbites or crossbites.

Additional benefits include airway improvements. It may sound strange, but when the jaws are malformed or positioned improperly, it can affect breathing - and lead to conditions such as sleep apnea.

Do you think you or your child may benefit from orthodontic treatment? If so, we'd love to talk to you! Give Legends Dental a call today at 254-799-9540 to schedule a consultation. It's never too young to plan!