The underlying health of your child's teeth is important, so you may already understand the imperative nature of regular dental checkups. Unfortunately, your child may still develop issues with their bite even with proper dental care. Overbites are common, accounting for 70 percent of dental disorders in children. Not only do they affect the look of your child's smile, but they also affect their ability to eat and speak properly. Plus, overbites can cause pain as your child grows into an adult. Using this guide, you will understand how overbites develop and the best options to restore your child's smile back to an appealing, aligned, and comfortable state.
The 411 on Overbites
Overbites cause the top teeth to protrude out over the bottom row of teeth. This issue affects your child's look and self-esteem, but it can also limit your child's speech and ability to eat and chew properly.
Your child's overbite may occur because of an abnormality in the development of their jaw. Also, children who suck on their thumbs or use a bottle or pacifier for longer periods of time may also be at risk for developing overbites.
Some bite misalignments are minor and do not affect your child's dental health. However, repairing your child's overbite with braces may be necessary depending their age and the severity of their bite issue.
Your child's orthodontist may recommend early intervention, allowing sufficient time for the braces to move the teeth into an aligned manner. In most cases, treatment of an overbite with braces will occur between the ages of 8 and 14. The amount of time your child will need to wear the braces will depend on their specific case, but 1 to 3 years is common.
As a parent, you may prefer to repair your child's overbite quickly. Unfortunately, your child may be nervous about getting braces, but you can reduce their anxiety using the following tips:
- Communicate – Be sure your child understand the importance of correcting their overbite. Discuss how the issue is not solely cosmetic, since misaligned bites place excess pressure on surrounding teeth. This can lead to tooth decay, jaw pain, and difficulty chewing and speaking.
- Fun – You can make the braces fun for your child by allowing them the chance to personalize their look. Many orthodontists offer brackets and bands that feature your child's favorite colors and symbols.
Overbites may decrease the appeal of your child's smile, but they can cause even more problems if left untreated. Using this guide and your child's orthodontist, you will have the tools to understand and repair your child's overbite.Contact a dentist, like Simmons Craig A D D S, for more help.