Types of Early Treatment Available
The younger a child is, the more options are available to us. Even if a “wait and see” approach is best at this time, simply having your child evaluated gives you extra knowledge and options.
There are three types of treatments available to us: dental modification, habit elimination, and skeletal modification. Learn more about each below, and if you have further questions, don’t hesitate to contact us today.
When a child loses his or her baby teeth early (or has them removed), it’s important to keep the space where they stood open until adult teeth can come in. This prevents having to have adult teeth removed later on and more intense and prolonged treatment in their teens.
Even if space in your child’s mouth has already been lost, it can be possible to regain this space. It’s better to do this before adult teeth erupt, as the teeth may need to be extracted. We try to help our patients avoid this whenever possible.
Dental Crossbite Correction
A “dental crossbite” occurs when one or more teeth are stuck behind one another. This can lead to a traumatic occlusion, which in turn can lead to loose teeth, gum defects, and other problems. We recommend correcting a dental crossbite as soon as it develops.
It’s important to curb this habit early on. Not doing so could lead to the development of an “open bite,” a condition wherein the upper and lower teeth front teeth do not meet. Your child may require surgery and other invasive procedures to correct an open bite, so it’s best to stop the habit early.
Thumb sucking in infants is normal, but by the time your child enters the preschool years, he or she should be ready to stop. Extended thumb sucking can alter your child’s skeletal development. This can lead to problems like crossbite, excessive forward movement of the upper front teeth, and abnormal eruption of permanent teeth. We can work with you and your child to find healthy ways to curb this habit before any damage is done.
Distinct from a dental crossbite, this type of crossbite occurs when the upper jaw is wider than the lower or vice versa. This can lead to abnormal tooth wear, abnormal lower jaw function, and facial asymmetry. When caught early, this is usually very easy to fix, though it’s difficult once growth stops.
If the lower jaw appears to be ahead of upper jaw, your child may have an underbite. The sooner this is found and corrected, the better. Waiting until later often means that the child will require surgery.
Excessive Overjet Correction
If your child has upper teeth that appear to stick out, or if the lower jaw appears to be too far back, he or she might have an overjet, or a large distance between the upper and lower teeth. An orthopedic appliance can usually correct the problem well before adulthood.