Do your child’s upper teeth come down too far in front of or behind their lower teeth? Or do the front teeth not come together at all? These are the telltale signs that there’s something wrong with the alignment of your little one’s bite – and an issue like that should never be ignored in the long run. If you keep reading, you’ll discover the dangers of a misaligned bite as well as how dentofacial orthopedics (a form of orthodontics in Rochester) could be the key to keeping your child smiling.
What if a Misaligned Bite or Jaw is Left Uncorrected?
There are many different types of bite misalignment, but all of them could have an impact on oral health when left uncorrected. Here are just a few consequences your child might suffer from as the years go by:
- The jaw could shift to one side, causing it to grow lopsided.
- The enamel protecting the teeth could be worn down at an unnaturally fast rate.
- Your child’s overall appearance could be affected, lowering their self-esteem.
- The jaw joints will likely suffer from stress, leading to oral pain.
- Swallowing problems might occur.
- Your child could develop a speech impediment.
- Teeth could protrude too far forward, leaving them prone to accidentally breaking.
Every case is unique, so your child won’t necessarily be at risk for all of the above health issues, but they will regularly experience pain and inconvenience in their everyday lives unless they receive proper treatment.
What Can Be Done About a Misaligned Bite?
Correcting a misaligned bite requires a carefully designed strategy that addresses the patient’s specific situation. Oftentimes, it’s not actually the bite that needs to be adjusted; it’s the jaw itself. This is especially the case in young children whose bones are still growing. Since the upper jaw hasn’t fused yet, there’s still time to change the course of its development to avoid abnormalities in the future. In these cases, the orthodontist is likely to recommend dentofacial orthopedics. Such a treatment plan is often crucial for preventing long-term complications.
The goal of dentofacial orthopedics is to ensure that the upper and lower jaws have a healthy relationship with each other in order to create a properly functioning bite. A variety of appliances might be used for this purpose. For example, your child might receive a palate expander to ensure that there’s enough room for the teeth in the upper jaw. They may also wear headgear for issues that can be addressed from inside the mouth. Braces might be used before or after a dentofacial orthopedic treatment so that the teeth fit together properly after the jaws have been repositioned.
Of course, there are still cases where your child will simply require traditional orthodontics. You won’t know exactly what’s necessary until their first consultation. Call your orthodontist today and put your little one on track towards life with a well-adjusted grin.
About the Author
Dr. Stan Drabik has been serving patients for over two decades now, and never once has he waivered when it comes to providing high-quality orthodontic care for patients of all ages. He is a member of the American Association of Orthodontics, and he has been trained to use a wide variety of dentofacial orthopedic devices. If you’ve noticed an issue with the way your child’s bite fits together, you can schedule a consultation at Drabik Orthodontics by visiting our website or calling (585) 872-4660.