You should bring your child in for an orthodontic examination around the age of seven to make sure your child’s bite properly develops. Since you may not have the ability to fully examine your child’s bite, getting an evaluation from a qualified orthodontist provides the best way to ensure that no tooth-alignment problems have started.
When baby teeth fall out, and permanent teeth start to come into the mouth between the ages of six and eight, there are some signs to look for to ensure proper teeth alignment. Each tooth should uniformly fit next to one another – you should not see any big gaps. Also, look for signs of crooked teeth that crowd together. Finally, when your child’s jaw remains closed, check to ensure that the upper teeth fit just over the bottom ones.
If you notice anything that seems abnormal, your child may have a bite issue. Look for the following abnormalities:
- An underbite or deep bite – your child’s upper front teeth should fit over the bottom ones when your child closes his or her mouth. If an underbite exists, then the opposite occurs – the lower teeth have positioned themselves in front of the upper teeth. In addition, look at your child’s teeth to make sure that the upper ones do not excessively cover the bottom ones.
- Open bite – this type of bite happens when gaps develop between the upper and lower front teeth; you will notice this when your child shuts his or her jaw. Children that suck their thumb may develop an open bite because it puts too much pressure on the front teeth. Because thumb sucking pushes the front teeth forward, that motion then forces the lower front teeth to the back of the mouth.
- Crossbite – if teeth do not correctly align at the front and bottom, a crossbite may develop. They may happen anywhere. Sometimes the upper front teeth end up behind the bottom front teeth. In contrast, the opposite may occur – the front teeth come in normally while the back teeth do not.
- Misalignments and Abnormal Eruptions – when the upper teeth position themselves too far forward, it may cause something called protrusion. When the opposite occurs, retrusion takes place. In this case, the lower teeth or the jaw may position themselves too far back in the mouth. This means that an adult tooth may have come in at an incorrect spot. Alternatively, it could also mean that a tooth may have come in outside of the normal sequencing pattern. Either of these situations may cause a tooth to get stuck in the wrong position.
We encourage you to make an appointment with Ferris Orthodontics for an examination. When orthodontists have the ability to make a diagnosis as soon as possible, they have a better chance of improving the situation or reversing it.
If you have any questions about bite issues or require additional information, we encourage you to reach out to us. One of our staff members will then schedule your child’s consultation.