Orthodontics provides benefits beyond improving your smile’s appearance. It can correct a facial imbalance, make chewing easier, and prevent tooth decay and loss. Having a straight smile can also lead to increased emotional and social well-being.
Potential Causes of a Misaligned Smile
Crowding, especially of baby teeth, indicates a lack of room for permanent teeth. Spaced teeth make it hard to bite and chew. Oral habits, such as thumb sucking, can cause the jaws and palate to change shape, especially when the habits extend beyond four years of age.
Crossbite happens when some teeth fall inside or outside the opposite teeth instead of meeting them, making chewing difficult. Underbite and overbite occur when the incisors do not align, making biting difficult and contributing to jaw pain. In protrusion, the upper incisors point toward the lip, making them susceptible to traumatic injury.
Signs of a Bad Bite
The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) recommends any child showing any of these signs of a bad bite see an orthodontist. There are several symptoms of bite misalignment that may lead your dentist to recommend pediatric orthodontic intervention.
- Early or late loss of baby teeth can lead to problems with facial development and bite issues.
- Grinding or clenching and biting the cheek are two signs of crossbite.
- Difficulty chewing or biting can be caused by several types of bite misalignment, including crossbite, protrusion, and open bite.
- The lower jaw shifting or making noise can result from uneven pressure caused by a bad bite.
- Facial imbalance appears when jawbones grow asymmetrically, the lower jaw sits further back than normal, or the front teeth protrude.
- Mouth breathing can be caused by a high, narrow palate or an open bite.
- Speech difficulty can be affected by tooth alignment, jaw size, and shape.
Timing of Treatment
The AAO recommends that every child see an orthodontist for an evaluation by age seven. Many of these problems, especially related to mouth breathing and jaw position, can begin treatment before permanent teeth come in.
Orthodontists can also guide jaw and face development, ensure there is room for permanent teeth, and lower the risk of trauma from protruding front teeth.
In addition to these advantages of early treatment, there are consequences for delaying or skipping treatment. Abnormal wear, continued difficulty chewing, jaw movement and noise, and jaw pain are some of the effects of living with a bad bite.
Tooth decay, gum disease, loss of bone, and tooth loss are some of the consequences of living with misaligned teeth. There are also emotional and social implications for those who delay or decline treatment.
Schedule Your Child for a Dental Exam with a Pediatric Dentist
To find out if your child would benefit from orthodontics, call Hinsdale Dental today at (630) 323-5200. Our pediatric dentists can determine if your child shows any signs of a bad bite, facial imbalance, or spacing issues and refer you to the proper specialist. Get your child on the path to a beautiful, healthy smile today.Return to Blog