Orthodontic problems sometimes present in young children. As such, parents should try to bring their children for an orthodontic checkup from the age of 7. Parents can also keep an eye and try to spot orthodontic issues as the child grows. However, these issues may not be that easy to spot and can only be detected by an experienced and trained orthodontist.
Eruption refers to a tooth developing under the gums and moving into the mouth where the tooth is visible. Abnormal eruption is a corruption of the process, whereby the tooth moves through the gum into the wrong place. Abnormal eruption usually occurs during the timing when primary teeth fall out and permanent teeth come in. If a tooth can't fully grow, surgical procedures may be required to correct the tooth.
Crowding happens when there is not enough space for the teeth to fit in the mouth. This occurs because either the teeth are too big or the mouth is too small. Early intervention may be required to arrest crowding issues at the start before the problem worsens later on.
Crossbites are an unnatural bite pattern whereby the top teeth bite behind the bottom teeth instead of in front of the bottom teeth. Crossbites are usually due to the misalignment between the upper jaws and lower jaws. In children, a palatal expander could be prescribed to widen the upper jaw and resolve a common orthodontic problem in children.
Excessive space is the opposite of crowding and happens when the mouth is too big for the teeth or the teeth are too small for the mouth. The available jaw size is a crucial factor that determines whether child will have excessive space orthodontic issues.
Underbites are the outcome of the lower front teeth extending past the upper front teeth. Underbites happen when the growth of the upper jaw and the lower jaw are uneven, either the upper jaw experiences an undergrowth or the lower jaw experiences an undergrowth. Depending on the severity of the underbite, jaw surgery may be indicated. However, if the underbite is diagnosed early, there is a greater chance of the problem being resolved with simple early intervention rather than more involved jaw surgery.
Overbites occur when the child has a deep bite whereby the upper teeth bite down over the lower teeth. If the bite is excessively deep, the upper teeth can completely cover the lower teeth. This orthodontic problem can cause excessive dental wear and tear of the teeth and may pose discomfort to the child as the lower teeth bite into the upper cavity of the mouth.
Unlike overbites which are more vertical in nature, overjets are horizontal in nature and happen when the top teeth are more forward compared to the bottom teeth which creates a gap between the upper and lower teeth. Overjets are the opposite of underbites.
Open bite is another type of vertical problem and is the opposite of overbites. This happens when there is a gap in the front teeth although the back teeth are touching. Open bites may be caused by a thumb sucking habit which prevents the front teeth from closing fully.
It is important to monitor and check on a child's orthodontic health. If you feel that your child has any issues or problems, it is best to schedule an appointment with the orthodontist as quickly as possible in order to arrest the problems early and prevent them from getting bigger.