Malocclusions and orthodontics
Malocclusion is the dental term for teeth that dont fit together properly. Literally, malocclusion means "bad bite. Orthodontics is the branch of dentistry that corrects malocclusions to bring your childs teeth into proper alignment.
Causes and types of malocclusions
Some children are lucky and naturally have straight teeth. Others aren't so lucky. The size of a childs teeth and how they fit into the jaw are inherited traits, and malocclusion can often affect several generations. Besides genetics, a bad bite can also be caused by
accidents or disease. a missing tooth, allowing the teeth around the open space to shift.
This is especially likely in children when some of their adult teeth come in late.
Habits, such as thumb sucking, which can put pressure on teeth.
There are many types of malocclusions. Your childs upper or lower jaw may be too far out or too far in. There may not be enough space in his or her mouth for the adult teeth to develop properly, leading to crowding. On the other hand, there might be too much space between the teeth, allowing them to shift. Your childs teeth may also be in crossbite, which means that one or more of the upper teeth bite inside the lower teeth instead of on top of them.
We recommend starting most orthodontic treatment between 10 and 14 years of age, when the mouth is still developing and teeth are more easily straightened. Early treatment can prevent more extensive and costly treatment later, when your child becomes an adult.
Importance of treatment
A malocclusion that isn't corrected can affect your childs confidence, profile, and appearance. Poorly aligned teeth can also contribute to tooth decay, bone destruction, loss of teeth, and jaw-joint problems. These may, in turn, cause headaches, difficulty in opening and closing the mouth, clicking and popping sounds, and sore and painful jaw muscles.
Correcting your childs bite through orthodontic treatment can improve her dental health, and it has the added bonus of boosting self-confidence and creating a terrific-looking smile.