Every parent wants what’s best for their children. We take care of upbringing and development of the child, teach them healthy habits and try to keep them safe; however, we still make mistakes that could have been avoided in helping children stay healthy teeth as long as possible. Perfect dental occlusion and straight teeth are rare. In spite of this, it is wrong to undermine the significance of timely correction of dental occlusion and teeth.
Orthodontist practitioner Viktorija Krušinskienė, MD says that any mistake may result in curved teeth in children and tells us about prevention of such errors.
What mistakes can be avoided?
Orthodontist practitioner Viktorija Krušinskienė, MD notes that irregular dental occlusion and curved teeth may be due to malformed habits or inadequate care of baby teeth. “Dental development is adversely affected by prolonged use of a baby’s dummy, thumb sucking or mouth-breathing. Also, it is crucial to take proper care of baby teeth to avoid their premature removal. These teeth preserve the location for permanent teeth. If baby teeth are lost too early, permanent teeth grow in a wrong position”, explains the physician Viktorija Krušinskienė, MD, pointing out that one of the biggest mistakes is a postponement of the visit at the orthodontist’s, in the hope that teeth ‘will straighten’ by themselves.
What consequences may occur?
“During a normal body development, approximately in the fifth year of life, gaps occur between children’s baby teeth, which are necessary for subsequent position of bigger permanent teeth. However, there has been a consequence of the evolution observed recently – the influence of soft food chewing on the size of the jaw. Jaws are decreasing because fewer solid food is consumed, while the size and number of teeth remain the same. Gaps between baby teeth do not occur anymore, and there is too little space for permanent teeth. For the new teeth to grow neatly, sometimes it is necessary to expand the dental arch at an early stage”, explains the physician Viktorija Krušinskienė, MD.
Curved teeth cause not only aesthetic discomfort, it is also a health issue. Firstly, the irregular position of the teeth impedes the condition of the oral cavity. The teeth that are not correctly positioned on the dental arch are more challenging to brush; therefore, they are increasingly decaying resulting in the gum inflammation. Besides, the irregular dental occlusion may damage the jaw joint, giving rise to the joint disease and causing pain in the jaw or headaches.
Untreated orthodontic problems adversely affect the smile and face aesthetics leading to psychological problems and low self-esteem. Viktorija Krušinskienė warns that failure to treat an anterior crossbite in time can lead to the development of facial asymmetry, where one branch of the lower jaw bone will grow longer, thus causing the misalignment of the chin. Significant facial asymmetry can subsequently be treated in a fine-tuning surgical operation.
When should one visit an orthodontist?
Early consultation with an orthodontist is advisable in the case of an anterior crossbite or in cases where the growth of the lower jaw bone strongly outweighs the growth of the upper jaw. Failure to correct these anomalies result in the development of significant skeletal changes.
A child should see an orthodontic physician when their first permanent upper or lower molars and four upper and lower incisor teeth have grown (i. e. at the age of approximately 6-7). There are no age restrictions for orthodontic treatment, but the best time to straighten the teeth is between 7 and 14 years of age, teeth and jaws are still growing. Once the jaws are fully formed, treatment may be more complicated and may take longer.
Are you not sure whether your child’s teeth and jaw are developing correctly? Do you want to make sure that you have done everything you can for your child’s health? “When in doubt, it is always worth consulting a specialist,” advises orthodontist Viktorija Krušinskienė, MD.
How are children’s orthodontic problems solved?
There are many ways to straighten the teeth and correct a dental occlusion: dental plates, braces, or clear aligners – the recent innovation in the area of teeth straightening. The type and duration of treatment depend on the clinical case, the age of the patient and the needs discussed at the first visit.
Straightened teeth and corrected dental occlusion improve not only the position of the teeth but also the facial proportions. The emotional patients’ well-being has been noticeably improved as well: they get rid of their complexes, become bolder and more communicative.