Understanding Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics

October 29, 2019, ABC Childrens Dentistry

Understanding Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics
Understanding Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics
Sometimes children require more than what pediatric dentistry can offer them. When large dental issues arise, it’s time to see an orthodontist.

A child’s teeth must be checked as early as possible. According to the American Association of Orthodontics, your child's first orthodontic appointment will be at the age of 7, or when their permanent teeth start descending from their gums. One slight mishap could cause permanent damage!
According to ABC Pediatric Dentistry Specialists, Children's Dentistry San Diego, an orthodontist can often fix oral problems before they develop further. Here are the serious warning signs that determine if your child must go to the orthodontist right away. 


#1 Persistent Thumb-Sucking


Thumb-sucking is a natural reflex of a baby that disappears when a child is between the ages of 2 and 4. But if it persists much later, the pressure of the thumb on the front teeth and the upper jaw can cause the teeth to move apart and the jaws to change shape. This can lead to an open bite and may impair speech.


#2 Crooked Teeth


Correcting crooked teeth is the most common reason for a child needing orthodontic services. Crooked teeth can lead to an improper bite, which wears the tooth enamel. This can result in tooth decay and gum disease.


#3 Teeth Crowding


Teeth crowding is caused by the misalignment of teeth. Using a pacifier after the age of 3 or constant use of a bottle in early childhood can cause issues with teeth alignment. Teeth crowding, if left untreated, can lead to an increased chance of gum disease. Your child’s ability to chew food properly and perform proper oral hygiene diminishes to a great degree. Eventually, crowded teeth can cause premature wear and tooth loss from teeth rubbing against one another, and long-term jaw joint damage.


#4 Prolonged Mouth-Breathing


If your child breathes with their mouth open often, it can affect the appearance of their face and the growth of their teeth. It can make their face longer which results in a narrow jaw and less space for adult teeth.


#5 Crossbites


Crossbite is where the jaw strays from its centered position and moves to either side. If left untreated, crossbites will result in worn and chipped teeth, joint pain, and a permanent imbalance in the child’s jaw structure.


#6 Crooked Teeth


Correcting crooked teeth is the most common reason for a child needing orthodontic services. Crooked teeth can lead to an improper bite, which wears the tooth enamel. This can result in tooth decay and gum disease.


#7 Protruding Teeth


Correcting crooked teeth is the most common reason for a child needing orthodontic services. Crooked teeth can lead to an improper bite, which wears the tooth enamel. This can result in tooth decay and gum disease.


#8 Shifting Jaw or Jaw Sounds


If you notice your child having difficulties doing activities such as eating and biting, get them to an orthodontist right away. A shifting jaw or a jaw making sounds is a product of the misalignment of the jaw. If severe, the condition can interfere with eating, speaking, breathing, and sleeping. It can also become permanent if untreated.


#9 Early or Late Loss of Baby Teeth


If you notice your child losing their baby teeth too early or too late, they may need braces. Losing baby teeth too early can cause teeth to move into gaps and empty spaces while the adult teeth are still growing. Losing baby teeth too late can also cause teeth alignment issues.


#10 Grinding or Clenching of Teeth


Teeth grinding and clenching is caused by an abnormal bite or crooked teeth. Grinding can erode the teeth and cause the gums to recede, leaving your child prone to gum disease. The pressure from clenching your teeth can lead to small cracks in your child’s teeth. Clenching can also loosen teeth from your child’s gums, leaving the enamel exposed for gum disease.


Conclusion


To prevent your child’s teeth from being damaged permanently, you must seek out a local orthodontist as soon as possible if your child has any of these alarming warning signs. The earlier you take your child to the orthodontist, the sooner his or her teeth problems will be fixed before any long-term harm comes to the child and their oral health.


Tell Us What You Think!


Does your child have any of these issues? Have you consulted with an orthodontist? Comment below and tell us your experience. 

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