Congratulations, you’ve just had a baby! As you gaze into those beautiful eyes and ponder all the things this child will become you also wonder what he will look like. You take into consideration all the qualities of the child’s father, and all of your own too, and begin to dream up how he will eventually look. As you examine his cute little smile, you ask yourself, “Since I had braces and so did his dad, will my child need braces too someday?”
Genetics and proper oral care affect what your baby’s teeth will look like someday.
The answer to your question is: well… maybe.
It’s true, the structure of your teeth is due to your genetic makeup. Underbites, overbites and crooked teeth are all traits that are inherited just like eye color, hair color and height. There are however other causes that can lead to problems with your babies pearly whites.
Proper Oral Care
While genetics can play a role when it comes to a child’s teeth, there are somethings you can do early on to help lessen the chances of orthodontic work. One of the biggest things is to regulate how long your child is allowed to use a pacifier or suck his thumb.
As an Orthodontist, my recommendation is that a child does not go past their second birthday with a pacifier. Prolonged use of a pacifier can cause numerous problems. One of the more severe problems can be jaw misalignment which forces the front teeth to tilt and form in the shape of the thumb or pacifier. This problem may disappear when the child loses their baby teeth, but that is not always a guarantee, especially when it comes to jaw alignment issues.
The earlier you can wean a child off of a pacifier the better. Taking proper care of a baby’s teeth is vital for long term health benefits years down the road. And having a plan to wean your baby off of a pacifier or sucking his thumb is a good idea!
Preventative care is important, and that is why we start orthodontic screenings as early as 7 years of age. At this age, most children have had their first adult molars come in and we can do a screening of the front-to-back and side-to-side relationships of the teeth. Evaluating teeth at this early of an age can greatly prevent more serious problems in the future and also provides a more effective treatment plan.
If you think your genetics will play a role in your baby’s teeth, it is good to have him evaluated as early as possible to get the preventative care he may need. Taking care of his smile now will give him the best possible smile in the future.
Dr. Higgins has been practicing orthodontics for more than 30 years in Delta BC and loves helping both teens and adults gain confidence in their smiles. If you’re ready to learn more, give us a call at 604 590 1172 or click here to go directly to our website. https://www.deltaortho.ca