Early orthodontic intervention can prevent and cure the following problems:
- Underbite – Otherwise known as a ‘prognathism’. The penny has most likely dropped, but in case not, this is the opposite of an overbite. This is when a child’s lower teeth overlap their upper teeth and can vary from mild to severe, the former being when 2 rows of teeth are close to meeting and when they do not meet at all due to the large gap between them.
Underbites can cause the following problems:
- Difficulties eating.
- Challenges with speech.
- Chronic jaw pain which can also extend to the ears and head.
- Tooth decay caused by wear of tooth enamel.
- Bacterial infections, halitosis (bad breath) and mouth breathing.
- Snoring and night-time breathing challenges.
Even if your child does not complain about any of the following, if an underbite is present, a consultation should be attended to asses any complications.
Causes of an overbite can include but are not limited to thumb-sucking, tongue-thrusting and prolonged feeding through a bottle. Overbites can be hereditary and also develop in the wrong way due to the reasons mentioned above.
Orthodontic intervention can help re-align your child’s jaw. Your dentist can take an x-ray as well as impressions – this will enable he or she to comprehend the intricacies of the alignment of your child’s upper and lower jaw. Your dentist may suggest braces treatment for your child though there are other appliances that can be used to help such as orthodontic bands.
- Wide spaces in teeth.
This is also known as a ‘diastema’ and very common between a person’s 2 upper front teeth. Mismatches between the size of your child’s teeth and jaw bones can also occur, causing excess space between teeth or crowding of teeth. When teeth are too small for the jawbone there will be spaces between your child’s teeth and when the opposite occurs, their teeth will become crowded.
4. Protruding jaws
As with an underbite or an overbite, protruding jaws is when your child’s jaws are not equally balanced and the upper teeth are protruding. This is less of a health concern but can have a profound impact on self-esteem and confidence for many children and adults alike – many people seek treatment for protrusions for this reason.
It’s paramount that your child receives regular check-ups even if you as a parent, believe their teeth are in perfect health. The need for orthodontic treatment can easily go unnoticed and it is important to catch complications early.