It is best to approach a trained and experienced dentist or orthodontist to diagnose child teeth problems. But a little awareness and knowledge amongst the parents and caregivers also go a long way. If you are aware of the common orthodontic problems in kids, you can spot the visible symptoms and approach the health care professional before the condition worsens.
9 Common Dental & Orthodontic Problems in Kids
So, how do you know it may be a good idea to take your children to the orthodontist? Here are 9 common childhood oral health issues which need timely intervention from parents and dentists.
- Abnormal Eruptions
Dentists call it abnormal eruption when a tooth erupts in the wrong place through the gums. This eruption can lead to impaction, where the tooth gets blocked and is not allowed to grow through the gums. A minor surgical process may be required to support that tooth in uncovering its track.
An orthodontist or a gum specialist can do this job for your kids. Take a close look at your kid’s teeth regularly to check if any such phenomena are developing in their mouth.
In some kids, there’s not enough space in the jaw to fit all teeth. It can happen because of the abnormally small jaw or unusually large teeth. But the consequences of teeth crowding are bad. The teeth overlap, twist, and block each other because of the lack of space.
This ultimately leads to teeth problems like decay and infections as crowded teeth are difficult to clean. A dentist or orthodontist can use Invisalign, braces, or expanders to treat this condition in your kids.
Bite issues are tough to face for a child. In a crossbite, their bottom teeth sit in front of the top teeth when they close their mouth. They need to shift their jaw to one side to bite. It’s not healthy as it can change their facial structure and teeth alignment in the longer run.
Crossbite is one of the most common orthodontic problems and can be treated with a palatal expander and braces.
The extra spacing between the teeth is also known as gapped teeth, and it’s not a healthy condition for teeth. The cause of the gap between the teeth can be congenitally missing teeth, also known as hypodontia. In this condition, one or more tooth fails to develop fully.
Hypodontia is pretty common in kids. You may spot it if you check their mouth for all 32 teeth. Orthodontists can easily treat this condition in childhood and early teens.
In an underbite, the lower front teeth protrude over the upper front teeth. The orthodontist may perform jaw surgery to fix the underbite of your kids if it’s severe. Otherwise, some non-invasive orthodontic treatments may also work for minor misalignment.
But the underbite treatment is mandatory, so that your kids don’t have difficulty biting and chewing the food. Early diagnosis of underbite and timely intervention can save your child from the complicated treatment procedure and surgery.
Kids with overbite face the issue of their upper front teeth biting over their lower teeth. In severe cases, the upper teeth can completely cover the lower teeth when the kids want to chew the food. This condition affects the overall health of your kids as they are not able to eat correctly. So it would be best to approach a dentist when you spot it.
Surgery may be needed along with the usage of orthodontic appliances to fix overbite in severe conditions.
Overjet is a horizontal overbite. It’s the opposite condition of an underbite. It’s known as increased overjet if the top teeth are far ahead of the bottom teeth, leaving a visible horizontal gap between the upper and bottom teeth. But the appearance would be your least worry with overjet.
It also affects daily tasks like chewing and biting. Overjet can be treated with braces, veneers, crowns, etc., depending on its condition.
- Open Bite
Prevent excessive thumb sucking in your kids as it can lead to dental issues like the open bite. If the front and lower teeth don’t meet when your kids close their mouths, they may have an open bite. It’s also one of those child teeth problems which hinder their daily tasks like chewing food properly.
An open bite can also lead to sleep apnea and speech problems, so it’s imperative to begin its treatment at the earliest.
- Protruding Front Teeth
A protruding front tooth is vulnerable to harm as its extending outwards unprotected. Of course, it’s not visibly pleasing also. It’s best to approach an orthodontist when you see a protruding tooth so that your kids can get timely and less complicated treatment. Protruding teeth can be easily shifted back with the help of orthodontic appliances.
Timely and early dental treatment is easier on your kids and lighter on your pocket! Therefore, take your kids for dental check-ups according to the time suggested by your orthodontist.
It is a general recommendation to get the first check-up done by age 7. However, you can approach an orthodontist earlier if you doubt your kid might have any common orthodontic problems.