A malocclusion, also known as a “bad bite” is a deviation in relations of teeth from a normal occlusion. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children get an orthodontic evaluation with an orthodontist by age 7.
Common problems like these exhibited below may benefit from early interceptive orthodontic treatment. If you notice any of these common problems in your child, check with your orthodontist.
Cross Bite of Front or Back Teeth
The upper teeth sit inside the lower teeth, which may cause tooth stratification and misaligned jaw growth.
The upper front teeth extend out over the lower front teeth, sometimes causing the lower front teeth to bite into the roof of the mouth.
The lower front teeth extend over the upper front teeth, less common than the overbite.
Proper chewing is impacted by this type of bite, in which the upper and lower teeth do not overlap. Open bite may be caused by things like thumb sucking, tongue thrusting, and possible airway obstruction.
Crowding occurs when teeth have insufficient room to erupt. Mild to moderate dental crowding may be corrected by expansion, and many times tooth removal can be avoided. Severe crowding may necessitate removing of teeth to properly align the dentition.
The opposite of crowding is spacing, an excess of space for teeth which results in gaps between the teeth. This problem occurs when the teeth are smaller than the available space.
Some oral habits that may cause issues with proper dental development include: thumb or finger sucking; use of a pacifier after the age of 3; chewing on blankets or other objects; excessive tongue thrusting as well as an infantile swallow pattern (tongue thrusting during swallowing).