Growing smiles: straight talking

categories: smile

If you’ve been following our latest news you will know that we are on a journey with you and your children, discovering the evolution of a smile. Previously we talked about natal teeth and the signs of teething and, order and maintenance. Next, we shall look at corrective procedures in the teen years and beyond.

By the age of twelve most children will have lost all their milk teeth and, over the course of the pre-teen years, they will have developed a full set of 28 adult teeth. While they may finally have waved a fond farewell to the tooth fairy and be entering into the next stage of their life, they could encounter some difficulties with their smile.

Once a child has all their adult teeth, a dentist is able to ascertain if any further work is needed to correct their smile. Enter the brace!

While years ago, for many, having a brace was a source of playground taunts it seems that the stigma isn’t so predominant nowadays and this geek -chic look has taken over social media and playgrounds. Some teens we spoke to said that they actually quite like their braces, especially as many are able to co-ordinate them with various colours. Did you know YouTube has videos dedicated to customising your brace? Teen-style aside, it also seems more and more adults are turning to braces and with celebrities such as Tom Cruise, and Nicholas Cage rocking the wire, it seems braces are no longer confined to the pre-teen years.


The role of a brace is to straighten the teeth and reposition them correctly in the mouth. While crooked teeth can interrupt your smile, they also make it difficult to clean your pearls and can lead to problems in the future. There are steps which you can take to reduce the risk of needing a brace and we have outlined some here:

Thumb sucking and dummies: Many children in the UK suck their thumb or use a dummy in infancy. During the early years, these habits may not have a negative effect on their teeth, however, repeated use can lead to complications. The force of thumb sucking can push bottom teeth back and top teeth forward, creating what is known as an over-bite. This is where the teeth are no longer aligned; this can mean that when big teeth come through, they will need straitening at a later date. If you’re concerned about your child’s habits, always check in with your dentist, here at Paul Lowe we can advise you further on ways to prevent lasting complications.

Hygiene: taking care of your teeth, by brushing twice a day is just as important for milk, as it is for adult teeth. Decay, cavities or sensitivity can lead to tooth-loss or removal. When a tooth is removed prematurely, the others can move to fill the gaps, this will lead to incorrect alignment when big teeth come through, implementing a good routine is key to ensuring milk teeth remain for as long as possible and thus reduces the need for future straightening efforts.