Children’s Orthodontics is a speciality area of dentistry that deals with the treatment of dental and facial irregularities. The technical term for these problems is malocclusion, which means bad bite.
Orthodontists are concerned with the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of dental and facial abnormalities. They focus on the growth of the face and jaws, as well as tooth movement.
Early orthodontic treatment can guide jaw growth and lower the risk of permanent tooth extractions later in life. A referral to an orthodontic specialist will help to determine if early orthodontic treatment is right for your child.
Orthodontic Problems in Baby Teeth
During a child’s baby teeth phase, the most common orthodontic issues are crossbites and overbites. A crossbite occurs when the upper teeth and lower teeth don’t fit together properly. An overbite, on the other hand, is when the upper jaw is longer than the lower jaw. This can make it hard for the top and bottom teeth to fit together.
Thumb sucking, pacifier use, and tongue thrusting can all lead to crooked teeth if the habits persist beyond a certain age. A tongue thrust occurs when the tongue pushes forward against the front teeth during swallowing. While this is common in young children, most stop pushing their tongues forward around the time they turn four.
If your child continues to push their tongue forward after this point, it could mean that they have an orthodontic problem that needs to be corrected as soon as possible. Another orthodontic concern in children is premature loss of primary teeth. This can happen because of injury or tooth decay.
What You Can Do At Home
Consistent brushing and flossing help keep your child’s teeth healthy and strong, but it’s also important to remember that healthy habits start early.
As soon as you see your baby’s first tooth pop up, it’s time to start cleaning. Just use a wet washcloth to wipe down their gums at least once a day—and even more often if they’re dealing with teething pain!
When to See an Orthodontist
Orthodontic treatment for children is an important part of the growth and development process. With early orthodontic treatment, we can help prevent or intercept problems that might develop later on in a child’s development. Early intervention allows us to guide a child’s jaw growth and tooth eruption.
The goal is to correct problems with the teeth, jaw, and bite before they become more serious and may require more extensive treatment when the child is older. We recommend that by age 7, most children have had an orthodontic evaluation by an orthodontist. This initial evaluation gives us a chance to monitor your child’s growth and development, identify potential problems early on, and provide recommendations for treatment.