My child’s teeth are coming in crooked. Are they going to need braces?

This is usually asked by the parent of a two or three year old. It’s very hard to determine at this stage if in fact your child will need braces because of several reasons. One, the dental arch is still developing and the teeth are just coming in so there is a chance for much movement to occur in that first year of teeth coming in. That being said, the way teeth come in, the position in which they come in whether they are crowded and overlapped or not does have some genetic component, so if mom and dad both had really crowded overlapping teeth and needed braces there is a chance that your child will need that also.

On the other hand, if the jaw continues to grow while the teeth are coming in, what apparently looks like crooked teeth can align and become straight on their own as the jaw develops. Now if we see overlapped baby teeth there is about a sixty percent chance that the permanent teeth will also be overlapped or crowded. If we see no crowding in baby teeth there’s still a forty percent chance there will be crowding in the permanent teeth. If we see spaces between the baby teeth then we can say with a lot of confidence that there is very little chance of the child having crowded teeth when their permanent teeth come in.