It may seem that fixing your child’s misaligned or crooked teeth is mainly cosmetic, but the reality is that it can provide more than just a better-looking smile. There is evidence showing that untreated malocclusion (bite issues) can cause a domino effect, where other oral health problems can develop. As you continue reading, you’ll learn about these challenges and discover how treatment from a pediatric orthodontist can ensure your child a beautiful smile, as well as healthy teeth and gums well into the future!
What Causes Crooked or Misaligned Teeth?
When teeth become crooked or twisted, one possible cause is a smaller-than-average mouth that crowds the teeth and causes them to twist within the gums. Misalignment can be brought on by either the upper or lower jaw protruding.
Both crookedness and misalignment can be genetically influenced. However, these problems can also be encouraged by premature juvenile tooth-loss or thumb sucking. For this reason, dentists typically discourage parents from giving children pacifiers or feeding bottles beyond the age of three, as it can place uneven pressure on the developing teeth.
The Problems That Crookedness and Misalignment Can Cause
As mentioned earlier, there is more than your child’s self-esteem on the line when he or she has crooked or misaligned teeth. Here are some challenges that can arise:
- It’s harder to chew with crooked or misaligned teeth.
- Having an uneven bite can lead to added painful pressure to the jaw muscles
- Malocclusion makes it more difficult to perform oral hygiene practices, which can lead to bacteria accumulation, cavities and gingivitis.
Your child’s bite can be evaluated when you visit your pediatric orthodontist for an examination. The best time to schedule the first visit is around age seven, which is when the permanent teeth first start to emerge. However, if you suspect your child has bite issues, it doesn’t hurt to request an earlier appointment.
Orthodontic Treatment Options
For younger children who still have baby teeth, a possible treatment option for malocclusion or other bite abnormalities is Phase 1 Pediatric Orthodontics, which can involve the usage of varying oral appliances to help redirect your child’s orthodontic development. Later, your little one can be evaluated for traditional braces, the most trusted method of bite correction. An affordable and reliable way to straighten teeth, the procedure uses brackets and wires to carefully adjust your child’s bite until it is perfectly aligned and fully functional.
To fortify your child’s smile and boost his or her oral health, contact your pediatric orthodontist to schedule a visit today!
About the Author
Dr. Patricia Domings is a graduate of Tufts University, where she earned a Doctor of Dental Medicine degree. She would later go on to complete her specialty training in orthodontics at the University of Colorado. Dr. Domings understands how important it is for children to have straight and healthy teeth, so she provides top-notch orthodontic care at Collins Dentistry for Children. She can be reached for more information through her website.