Parents who had a difficult time wearing orthodontic braces for a couple of years to create a more beautiful smile are naturally concerned with knowing the state of their children’s dental health.
Typically, enough permanent teeth have come in by age seven that this is a good time to bring a child in for a full dental examination by Dr. Song, who is a highly-trained orthodontist, a specialist in correcting all types of bite misalignments and crooked teeth at any age. But the new teeth can begin coming in at six or as late as eight, so monitor your child’s dental health and set an appointment for treatment when appropriate to be sure serious bite problems are prevented.
There are six primary misalignment (aka malocclusion) issues to check for:
Gaps between teeth – If your child’s teeth seem small for the space they are supposed to fill, this means they are not the right size for his or her jaw. Spaces between teeth could lead to neighboring teeth leaning towards each other, a natural response, just like when a gap is caused by a tooth that has fallen out or been extracted. This will lead to loose teeth that fall out or have to be extracted.
Overcrowding – On the other hand, if teeth come in where the space is inadequate, they will force other teeth to move, causing a crooked bite and tight spaces between teeth, so they are hard to clean. In some cases, as commonly occurs with wisdom teeth at the back of the mouth, if there is not adequate room for a tooth, it might be recommended to have it extracted.
Overbite – If you note that you child’s upper arch extends over the lower one, this is an overbite, which can be caused by genetics, overdevelopment of the upper jawbone, or poor brushing and flossing habits. The symptoms can be a soreness around the jaw, worn-down teeth, painful gums, or a misaligned TMJ hinge, which connects the upper to the lower jaw.
Underbite – If the lower teeth extend out over the upper ones, measure needs to be taken to correct this type of malocclusion.
Open bite – This occurs when there is an opening between the upper and lower arches even when the mouth is closed.
Crossbites – This is when some of the lower teeth , in the front or back of the jaw, overlap the upper teeth, while the tips rest against each other normally.
There can be other bite issues, but Dr. Song can diagnose any of them and recommend the appropriate treatment plan, including a variety of braces that are easier to wear than the traditional ones parents experience. Call today for an appointment for an initial dental exam if your child is between six and eight.
More orthodontic treatment information to read: