Common Problems That May Require Braces

Pediatric Dentistry for Avon, Connecticut

Many children have problems with crooked or crowded teeth or misaligned jaws. These problems are often corrected with orthodontic work, or braces. Several types of problems can arise that will affect the type of treatment needed, when it should begin, and how long it will take.

Causes of Crooked Teeth

Children can develop crooked teeth for several reasons. They may have cavities that lead to the need to extract a baby tooth before a permanent one is ready to take its place. This can allow other teeth to move into the empty spaces and create problems when permanent teeth erupt. Kids can also have accidents that damage teeth or knock them out of the correct position. Habits such as sucking on a thumb or pacifier can affect the alignment of teeth if they continue for too long. Children may have hereditary issues that cause them to have crooked teeth.

Types of Jaw Problems

Kids may also have jaw problems called malocclusions that affect the size of the top and bottom jaws. Some children have a malocclusion so severe that it affects their ability to chew or causes pain. A severe malocclusion can also cause disfigurement that can affect a child socially. Several types of malocclusions can occur.

The most common type of malocclusion, which affects up to 90 percent of kids, is overcrowding. This occurs more often in the bottom teeth than in the top. A mild case of overcrowding may not require braces, and a more serious case may resolve itself over time as the child’s jaw grows.

An open bite is a malocclusion in which the front teeth do not come together completely when a child bites down. This should not be treated until a child has lost all of the baby teeth because the top and bottom rows of teeth often grow closer together as a child gets older.

An overbite is caused by an upper jaw that is larger than the lower jaw. This is also sometimes known as “buck teeth.” It is estimated that 25 to 30 percent of children have an overbite. It can be corrected during childhood or adolescence with treatments other than braces.

An underbite is caused by a lower jaw that is larger than the upper jaw. The issue is easier to correct when a child is younger, but it can also be treated at an older age.

A crossbite occurs when a tooth on one side of the mouth is closer to the tongue or cheek than the analogous tooth on the other side. Like an underbite, this condition is easier to treat when a child is younger but can also be corrected after a child is older.

Schedule an Orthodontic Evaluation for Your Child

An orthodontic evaluation is recommended for many children by the age of 8 or 9. By that time, the teeth and jaws have developed enough that a dentist can detect potential problems. It may not be necessary to begin treatment at that time, but the child can be referred to an orthodontist and future plans and treatment options can be discussed. If your child is due for an orthodontic evaluation or you are concerned about a potential problem, make an appointment with CT Pediatric Dentistry today.

West Hartford: 860-523-4213
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Unionville: 860-673-3900

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David Epstein
CT Pediatric Dentist
David Epstein
A.B., D.D.S., M.S.D.

22 Jan 2022 11:44 PM