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Early Prevention

The 7 most common orthodontic problems

March 16th, 2016

Maybe your dentist told you that you might need braces. Or maybe all your friends are getting them and you’re wondering if you’ll need them too. Orthodontic problems such as crowding of the teeth, too much space between the teeth, jaw growth problems, protruding teeth, and bad bites can be inherited or caused by injury to the mouth, early or late loss of baby teeth, or thumb-sucking habits. Below are 7 of the most commonly treated orthodontic cases.

1. Crowding

Teeth may be aligned poorly because the dental arch is small and/or the teeth are large. The bone and gums over the roots of extremely crowded teeth may become thin and recede as a result of severe crowding. Impacted teeth (teeth that should have come in, but have not), poor biting relationships, and undesirable appearance may all result from crowding.

2. Overjet or protruding upper teeth

Thumb suckers, beware! Thumb and finger sucking habits often cause a protrusion of the upper incisor teeth. Upper front teeth that protrude beyond normal contact with the lower front teeth are prone to injury, often indicate a poor bite of the back teeth (molars), and may indicate an unevenness in jaw growth. Commonly, protruded upper teeth are associated with a lower jaw that is short in proportion to the upper jaw.

3. Deep overbite

This occurs when the lower incisor (front) teeth bite too close or into the gum tissue behind the upper teeth. This can cause significant bone damage and discomfort. A deep bite can also contribute to excessive wear of the incisor teeth.

4. Open bite

This results when the upper and lower incisor teeth do not touch when biting down. This open space between the upper and lower front teeth causes all the chewing pressure to be placed on the back teeth. This excessive biting pressure and rubbing together of the back teeth makes chewing less efficient and may contribute to significant tooth wear.

5. Spacing

If teeth are missing or small, or the dental arch is very wide, space between the teeth can occur. The most common complaint from those with excessive space is poor appearance (unless you aspire to be a gap-toothed model!).

6. Crossbite

The most common type of a crossbite is when the upper teeth bite inside the lower teeth (toward the tongue). Crossbites of both back teeth and front teeth are commonly corrected early due to biting and chewing difficulties.

7. Underbite or lower jaw protrusion

About 3-5% of the population (that’s more than 10 million people in the United States alone!) has a lower jaw that is to some degree longer than the upper jaw. This can cause the lower front teeth to protrude ahead of the upper front teeth creating a crossbite. Careful monitoring of jaw growth and tooth development is indicated for these patients.

If your child is between the ages of 7 and 8 and shows signs of needing orthodontic care, or if you have been directed by your family dentist to visit the orthodontist, please contact our practice and schedule an appointment. Our team will provide your child with an initial exam, and discuss with you the best steps to take toward caring for your child's smile.

The Magic Age 7 for Early Prevention

June 7th, 2013

child_arthodontic
Some things in life are out of your control, like discovering that Safeway ran out of your favorite chewy candies right after finally getting your braces off, or finding out that Dr. Struble can’t offer you hot pink braces with kitties on them.

Both are disappointing circumstances, but there was nothing you could’ve done to avoid them. On the other hand, there are things you can prevent from happening. Like breaking a tooth on hard candy you knew not to chew, or learning the importance of wearing your retainer, after your second set of braces!

Precautions are precautions for a reason.  At Struble Orthodontics, we know that early prevention is the key to avoiding undesirable and potentially costly situations later on down the road. That’s why we offer complimentary consultations to all of our patients, and early orthodontic treatment to our youngest patients.

The American Association of Orthodontics recommends that children see an orthodontist as early as age seven. We consider age 7 the magic number for early prevention! Most children lose all their teeth by age 13. After this point, the jawbones harden and stop growing, causing orthodontic procedures to take more time and often creating a need for tooth extraction or oral surgery. Receiving orthodontic treatment as a child can help prevent the need for orthodontics as an adult, leaving little to no need for extraction or surgery in the years to come.

How to tell if your child may need early orthodontic treatment:

  • Early to late loss of baby teeth (before or after ages 5-13)
  • Difficulty chewing and/or biting
  • Mouth breathing
  • Sucking their thumb after age 5
  • Speech impediments
  • Protruding teeth
  • Teeth that don’t come together in a normal manner or even at all
  • Shifting of the jaw when your child opens or closes their mouth (crossbites)
  • Crowded front teeth at age 7-8

Early prevention can correct the growth of the jaw and certain bite problems and make room for permanent teeth to come in properly.  This lessens the chance of extractions, thereby saving you time, money and grief in the future. If your child is between the ages of 7 and 8 and shows signs of needing early orthodontic care, please contact our practice so we can take the next steps in caring for your child’s smile. Then we’ll talk about the hot pink braces with kittens on them!

American Association of Orthodontists American Board of Orthodontics Oregon Dental Association DamonSmile Invisalign iTero
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