Chandler Orthodontist, Dr. O El-Hillal, reveals in this week’s Friday Focus, how to tell if your child has a bite problem and whether they need to see an orthodontist.
Hello, my name is Dr. O. Today, we are going to talk about a simple exam you can do at home to determine whether your child has a misaligned bite problem and the importance of early intervention.
E&S Orthodontics (following guidelines from the American Association of Orthodontists) has always recommended that children should have an orthodontic consult by age 7. The timing is ideal because the teeth are still developing and the jaw is still growing.
We are especially interested in the relationship between the front teeth and back teeth, and the upper and lower jaws.
Does the child have an obvious overbite, where the top teeth abnormally overlap the bottom teeth – or the top teeth simply stick out further than the bottom teeth?
Is there an underbite where the bottom teeth stick out in front of the top teeth?
Or, is there the potential for a crossbite, where one or several upper teeth are on the inside of the lower teeth?
These are some of the assessments we make to determine whether your child’s teeth and jaws are developing correctly and, if not, whether an early intervention treatment plan is recommended.
Here is one test you can try at home to check on your child’s development progress. Have them take their fingers and pull out their cheeks, then bite down in a normal way. You can see if there’s enough space for their adult teeth to emerge and whether the teeth are actually fitting together.
These are basic, simple ways to look at your child’s mouth and determine whether there’s a potential for a bite problem later on.
Note: E&S/Bullmoose Orthodontics offers Complimentary Early Intervention Consultations every six months starting at age 7, so we can monitor your child’s development and make the best recommendations.
We have an excellent record working with children and pre-teens. Some conditions, like over-crowding or upper and bottom teeth that do not line up, can be obvious contenders for early intervention. But there are many conditions a parent cannot see that can only be measured by a professional orthodontic exam. If recommended, Early Intervention Phase 1 treatment plans usually start at age 9 and take advantage of the fact a child’s jaw is still growing. Functional appliances can fix or improve these problems and though more treatment is usually needed later on, it may be shorter in time and less involved.
To set up a free Early Intervention Consultation for your child, we invite you to call (601) 652-2527.