Correcting Malocclusion in Kids: A Comprehensive Guide

Young girl showing a dentist her teeth

The medical word for misaligned jaws and crooked teeth is malocclusion. It usually starts in childhood and, if left untreated, can lead to consequences including tooth wear, speech difficulty, and low self-esteem later in adulthood.

How is it identified?

Your child’s malocclusion may be noticed by your Children Dental Center Indianapolis IN, who will recommend an orthodontist. A dentist with additional training is an orthodontist. Orthodontists are skilled in identifying, avoiding, and treating dental and facial issues like malocclusion.

Before your child’s permanent teeth have completely erupted, schedule an appointment with an orthodontist. Treating malocclusion in a young kid is simpler, quicker, and less costly.

The orthodontist may recommend several procedures to diagnose your child’s malocclusion:

  • Dental impressions are used to create plaster models. These models, obtained throughout the therapy, also demonstrate improvement.
  • Images of the teeth and face to document the course of therapy.
  • Various X-ray kinds. A unique head X-ray depicts the link between the teeth and jaws and the face and skull, whereas a panoramic X-ray shows the teeth in the biting position.

What brings about malocclusion?

Usually, a mix of hereditary and environmental factors contribute to a malocclusion. It may be a genetic disorder, but it may also be linked to how we talk, what we eat, or our childhood habits, like chewing our nails and sucking our thumbs. Many people also think extended use of a bottle or dummy in infancy might contribute to it.

It has even been shown to develop in certain persons who tend to bite the end of their pen in the same position for many years. There are numerous additional environmental reasons, such as jaw traumas.

Is it possible to avoid malocclusion?

The hereditary components of malocclusion cannot be avoided, but by observing the parents, we may utilize genetics to forecast how a kid will develop. By using this information as a guide, we can determine how the child’s jaw and teeth will develop and then administer the proper therapy.

However, the environmental issue may be avoided. For instance, if the child is younger than 9 years old and their habit is causing malocclusion, discontinuing the tendency may lead to a spontaneous improvement. In general, the sooner these behaviors are broken, the less they affect the malocclusion.

How much time is required to treat a malocclusion?

The primary objective is to straighten and enhance the child’s smile. This could entail the use of oral equipment like braces or retainers as well as occasionally surgery. The removal of teeth is seldom ever used. Usually, the procedure is carried out in two stages:

  • Phase 1 orthodontic therapy: If a child’s malocclusion affects their front teeth by the time they are eight years old, phase 1 orthodontic treatment can be done to lessen the difficulty of treatment later in life. For instance, if crowding is discovered in an adult, it may be able to do surgery to provide room without removing any teeth. Phase 1 orthodontic therapy typically lasts 9 to 12 months.
  • Phase 2 orthodontic treatment is completed once all adult teeth have erupted, often between the ages of 12 and 13. The aim of phase two therapy is to ensure the teeth are positioned correctly for a healthy bite, effective function, and overall pleasant look. Usually, this takes 18 to 24 months.

What kinds of malocclusion are there?

We divide cases with misaligned teeth into three different categories since they are not all the same:

  • Class 1 malocclusion occurs when the teeth are crowded but the jaws are not deformed.
  • Class 2 malocclusion – occurs when there is a greater space between the upper and lower teeth because the lower jaw has not expanded as much as the upper jaw.
  • Class 3 malocclusion: The lower jaw has grown more than the upper jaw, giving it a prominent appearance and causing the upper teeth to line up behind the lower teeth. Commonly referred to as an underbite.

It’s vital to remember that any of the three classifications of malocclusion might have jaw asymmetry.

Can malocclusion bring on speech issues?

It can, really. In order to provide my patients with the greatest care and outcomes, I collaborate with a speech therapist. Malocclusion treatments must be highly individualized since each case is so unique; there is no cure for this illness that works for everyone. As a result, it’s crucial to tackle the issue together.

What is the treatment for childhood malocclusion?

Your youngster will most likely be sent to an orthodontist for examination and potential treatment unless your Childrens Dentist Indianapolis IN provides additional services. Orthodontists concentrate on issues like this with the teeth.

Malocclusion therapies vary based on your child’s age, symptoms, severity, and general health. Depending on the specific circumstances surrounding your child, the following may be suggested.

  • Baby teeth can be removed to allow permanent teeth to erupt correctly since mouth crowding is a typical problem in youngsters.
  • Braces are a permanent mouth device with tiny brackets attached to the teeth. A wire connects them. Teeth can be progressively straightened over time with sporadic tightening of this wire. Additionally, it adjusts the bite and positions the jaw correctly.
  • Removable mouth appliance: A retainer put within the mouth and made of plastic and wires. A retainer may be required for several years to prevent teeth from shifting; it is typically prescribed after removing braces.
  • Invisalign: Also known as invisible braces, Invisalign is a contemporary remedy. These are translucent and have a similar effect to traditional braces, but they don’t cover your teen’s grin.
  • Space maintainers: Space maintainers are inserted as a prophylactic measure when baby teeth are lost too soon, allowing room for the full emergence of permanent teeth.
  • Growth modification: In certain early situations, a kid must wear a device to realign the jaw. Children going through development spurts benefit most from this gadget.

Although these pediatric malocclusion therapies may first appear frightening, the benefits will be shown quickly and will continue to benefit the kid in the long run.

Make your child’s appointment right away

You want the best for your kids when it comes to them. TKids Dentist Indianapolis IN is aware of this and tries to provide you and your kids the kind attention they require at each session.

After a complete examination and identifying any dental alignment problems, Pediatric Dentist Indianapolis IN will provide you with enough specific information to enable you to decide what is best for your child’s particular situation.

Make an appointment at Pediatric Dentistry Indianapolis IN for your child to learn more about how our dental practice may benefit you and your loved ones.