How to Fix Your Kid’s Crooked Teeth
Are your child’s permanent teeth coming in crooked?
It’s perfectly natural for you to be a little concerned about the way your child’s permanent teeth are growing, particularly if they’re coming in crooked. You know the importance of a healthy, beautiful smile, and you’d love your child to enjoy all its benefits. What parent wouldn’t? So if you notice your child has crooked teeth and would like to know why it happened and what you can do to fix it, stick around for just a little bit longer.
What are crooked teeth, and what causes them?
When teeth grow at an angle or a slant and don’t line up together, dental professionals refer to your child’s smile as having malocclusions, crooked teeth. It’s perfectly natural for baby teeth to not grow straight, but once the permanent teeth emerge and the milk teeth are gone, your little one’s tongue can usually gradually push them into proper alignment.
For some kids, however, this may not happen. One reason for this could be genetics. If a baby inherits large teeth from one parent and a small jaw from the other, it will understandably lead to crooked teeth when the larger permanent teeth grow in.
Similarly, pacifiers and thumb-sucking can also contribute to crooked teeth. The motion of sucking can “push” the permanent teeth forward, causing what’s known as an open bite, where the upper front teeth protrude forward when the mouth is fully closed. In addition, although rare, extra permanent teeth can also lead to malocclusions.
Does it matter if your child’s permanent teeth come in crooked?
Not only does having crooked teeth make your little one wary of smiling from ear to ear, they also have the potential to lead to a number of dental health issues. Your child may find it harder to clean between crooked teeth, increasing their risk of tooth decay and cavities. Malocclusions may also interfere with your child’s ability to chew, which could lead to digestive problems such as bloating, indigestion, and acid reflux.
Misaligned teeth can change the placement of the tongue, affecting your child’s ability to properly articulate sounds and, therefore, interfering with speech development. When teeth don’t line up correctly, it may lead to increased enamel wear and tear. Unexplained morning headaches and jaw pain may be a symptom of such wear, as well as cracked or chipped teeth.
What are the options for straightening teeth at Pediatric Dental Specialists?
The best way to treat crooked teeth is to consult your pediatric dentist as soon as you suspect there might be a problem. Getting orthodontic evaluations at around age seven can help prevent more serious problems that require lengthier treatments.
Your dentist for pediatrics can recommend an appropriate treatment (if one is required) to solve the issue quickly and prevent long-term dental problems. Here are a number of treatment options for crooked teeth that dentists at Pediatric Dental Specialist offer:
This oral appliance does exactly what its name implies: it maintains the space left behind by a missing baby tooth. Your child may need one if they lose a milk tooth before its permanent replacement is ready to erupt. Space maintainers prevent other teeth from growing into the empty space instead of where they should be, which would result in misalignment.
Palatal expanders widen your child’s jaw or palate, making room for all their adult teeth to grow in normally. The oral appliance takes advantage of your young one’s natural growth process to gradually widen the upper jaw to treat or even prevent jaw misalignment. Although the process may sound a bit scary, it’s quite easy to do and comes with minimal discomfort.
Traditional braces are no longer the awkward, uncomfortable metal braces you may remember from your childhood. If your dentist identifies an issue in your child’s oral health that could benefit from braces, you can be sure they’ll enjoy a much better orthodontic device built for their comfort.
If aesthetics are a concern, Invisalign may be a good treatment option for your child. The clear, smooth material of Invisalign aligners makes them not only invisible but also a little bit more comfortable than braces. Ideally, dentists recommend using this method to correct misalignment in more simple and straightforward cases.
Straight teeth, more confidence!
When you correct your child’s smile, you prevent a number of dental issues from cropping up and help protect their confidence when it comes to interacting, socializing, and taking care of their smile. Simply contact us online to schedule an appointment and take the first step to correct any misalignments in your child’s smile. Let’s give your child the best possible chance to grow healthy, straight, and strong teeth.