Signs Your Child Might Need Orthodontic Treatment

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Childhood is a critical time for establishing orthodontic health.

This is the easiest time to make adjustments to the location and alignment of teeth, and early corrections can make a lifetime of difference. Making orthodontic exams a part of your child’s annual check-up schedule is common sense – it allows potential issues to be identified early and then treated when there is the most flexibility for repositioning in the mouth.

When the child is around age 7, it is recommended to visit the No Brace Centre to evaluate if there any structural issues with teeth, possibly recommending early intervention dental procedures.

Additionally, if you notice irregularities in your child’s teeth it is time to schedule a visit to your Dentist. Here are some of the most common orthodontic conditions.

1. Bite Problems 

Malocclusion issues are misalignments that occur in your child’s bite.  Bite problems are often hereditary and they can happen in a variety of different arrays depending on how the jaws are shaped. When the jaws are correctly aligned, the grooves in the back molar teeth should fit together and the upper teeth should fit slightly and tightly over the lower teeth.

When there is a malocclusion, correction is important. Misaligned teeth can grind into each other causing harmful wear on the teeth. In severe cases, malocclusions can often interfere with jaw development and can contribute to conditions like TMJ (temporomandibular joint disorder).

Overbite

An Overbite is when the upper front teeth extend over and largely cover, or hide, the lower teeth in a vertical direction. It is sometimes called a “deep bite.” This has both functional and aesthetic repercussions if not treated.

Open Bite

An Open Bite is the reverse of an overbite where the upper and lower teeth don’t touch at all. Having an open bite can make chewing, biting and speaking difficult or painful. Open bites are common with prolonged pacifier use or thumb/finger habits.

Overjet

Overjet is the term for protrusion of the front upper teeth, or how far out the upper front teeth stick out past the lower front teeth. Excessive overjet makes teeth especially vulnerable to injury and damage if a child were to fall or get hit in the face.

Underbite

An Underbite is a malocclusion problem where the teeth of the bottom jaw extend in front of the upper teeth. Underbites are often caused by issues with jaw size.

Crossbite

A Crossbite is the term for when lower teeth do not directly align with their corresponding upper teeth. It is ideal to have top teeth overlap bottom teeth. A crossbite occurs when the bottom teeth overlap the top teeth. An underbite is a type of crossbite.

2. How to Recognise Misaligned Teeth

As your child’s teeth come in, it’s important to check and make sure they are growing straight and not being crowded or turned. Crowded teeth push each other into uneven and overlapping positions. When crowded teeth are not corrected, they can worsen with time and become increasingly harder to correct. Teeth and gums are most malleable during childhood when growth is still occurring, so correcting these issues during childhood is the most successful and least stressful way to handle a misalignment problem. Crooked teeth are also harder to clean, and can have a greater susceptibility to tooth decay and gum diseases with poor oral hygiene.

3. Problems With Baby Teeth

Baby teeth set the stage for a child’s dental development, helping the jaws form correctly and guiding adult teeth into their locations. When baby teeth are lost prematurely, before adult teeth are ready to take their place, they can create problems with tooth location. Without the guidance of a baby tooth, adult teeth have a far greater likelihood of coming in at the wrong spot. If your child has lost baby teeth early, before their adult teeth are due, make sure they see a Dentist regularly to monitor for problems with incoming adult teeth.

Thumb Sucking

While a thumb sucking habit may seem innocent enough, it can actually cause considerable orthodontic concern as the front upper teeth are gradually pulled forward from their natural position. It is recommended that thumb/finger habits stop by age 3-4, prior to the emergence of any permanent teeth.

4. Other Conditions 

If your child is experiencing any discomfort or you are simply concerned about their habits, it is advisable to visit the No Brace Centre for a FREE consultation. This may include:

Excessive Mouth Breathing
Abnormal Tooth Loss
Difficulty Chewing
Difficulty Speaking
Crooked Jaw

If you have noticed any of these issues with your child's teeth, then we recommend you come and visit us. We offer a NO OBLIGATION, free Consultation to get a better understanding of your child's dental health.

We recommend always getting a second opinion from a certified Dental Practitioner before proceeding with any treatment.
Greg Knappstein