We all want our children to grow up healthy and well-adjusted. To foster this, we usually encourage fruits, veggies, playdates, and regular dentist and doctor visits. But we should also be thinking about orthodontic care! Children’s Dental Center wants nothing but the best for your loved ones, and that’s why we suggest all parents and guardians consider if your child’s bite pattern needs fixing with early treatment. 

How Do You Know If Your Child Needs Care?

The easiest and most accurate way to determine if your child needs help improving their bite is to bring them to us at Children’s Dental Center so Dr. Rowland, Dr. Selecman, Dr. Daniel, Dr. Green, or Dr. Church can examine their teeth and jaw alignments. 

An ideal bite has the upper front teeth slightly overlapping the bottom teeth when the jaws are together, but complications can come from prolonged thumb sucking or pacifier use, a dental injury or trauma, or just natural growth. The following are examples of common improper bite patterns that can cause your child issues:

  • Underbite – the lower jaw sticks out more than the upper, causing the lower teeth to overlap the top
  • Overbite – the upper teeth overlap the bottom teeth more than considered the normal or standard amount
  • Open Bite – the teeth do not connect when the jaws are touched together 
  • Crossbite – the teeth might interlock like a zipper, or one jaw might stick out to the left or right, causing teeth not to line up correctly
  • Spacing Issues – teeth in the same row are crowded together or abnormally spaced apart

Your child should see an orthodontist for an evaluation by age seven, even if our dentists do not refer you. Though most children do not need care at such a young age, early assessments are crucial to determine if your child is one of the ones that do. 

Do Poor Bite Patterns Only Cause Cosmetic Issues?

Nope! Bite complications can lead to many oral and physical health issues.

Oral Health

Many people with unusual bites struggle with adequately performing their oral hygiene. Crowding or spacing issues can produce hard-to-clean areas, allowing plaque and bacteria to accumulate and harm the enamel. When enamel, the outermost layer of the tooth that provides protection, is damaged, the teeth and gum become vulnerable to decay, disease, infection, and more. This can cause bad breath, cavities, gum disease, and even tooth loss without treatment! 

Children with difficulty performing their oral hygiene routine are at an increased risk of oral health issues. Over time, they might feel discouraged and unmotivated, leading them not to develop healthy and beneficial oral hygiene habits. Poor oral hygiene habits in childhood present the possibility of poor oral health following them for much of their lives, costing you and your child plenty of time, money, and discomfort.

Physical Health

Misalignment can also make it difficult for your child to bite into food and chew. The tension in the jaw joint can cause pain and quickly develop into TMJ, an incurable condition that causes pain and other issues in the jaw. Children who feel discomfort when they use their jaw are more likely to swallow prematurely — meaning they are attempting to swallow too large chunks of food with inadequate saliva. Your child could easily choke! Children who feel unsafe or uncomfortable when eating might be harder to encourage healthy eating habits. If they cannot or won’t eat, they become at higher risk for malnutrition.

Large chunks of food your child swallows can also lead to indigestion when the food gets stuck in their digestive tract. Heartburn, bad breath, and bacteria growth are just three examples of uncomfortable side effects caused by indigestion.

Mealtime is such an essential aspect of your daily life and is how we connect with others and explore other cultures. We don’t want something so significant to be scary or unenjoyable. Getting your child’s bite fixed at an early age can prevent these concerns from developing in the first place or minimize the severity or duration of the problems.

Children’s Dental Center suggests all parents and guardians consider if their child’s bite pattern needs fixing with early treatment.

Improve Your Child’s Quality Of Life With Children’s Dental Center!

Did you know fixing bite patterns in children is much easier than in adults? While there is no perfect age to get treatment, children are ideal candidates because their bones haven’t solidified yet. Because their bones are still developing, improving patterns in children is usually faster, cheaper, and less painful than it would be for an adult, saving you and your child a lot of stress and discomfort in the long run.
Scheduling an appointment for a bite consultation with Children’s Dental Center is super easy, and we promise you’ll be glad you did! Our team is passionate about ensuring your child has a healthy mouth and helping them learn best practices to keep it so you know your child is in good hands. We hope to see you soon!