Wrong bite in a child
There are certain criteria by which the correctness of the bite in children is assessed. So, it is considered the norm when the upper row of teeth overlaps the lower one by about 1/3. Malocclusion in a child is any violation in the occlusion of the upper and lower rows of teeth, which is fixed when the jaws are fully closed.
Considering defects in the growth of teeth as a cosmetic problem is fundamentally wrong. In this article, we will talk not only about the types of pathology in children, but also about their complications, methods of treatment at different ages and methods of prevention.
The reasons for the wrong bite
Why do children develop a malocclusion? There are many reasons:
- hereditary factor (genetic features in the structure of the dentoalveolar apparatus, for example, a very narrow jaw, the absence of the rudiments of individual teeth);
- mistakes in breastfeeding or artificial feeding – improper attachment to the breast or very long feeding (up to 1.5 years or more), the use of a nipple on a bottle with a large hole, the size of the nipple does not match the age of the baby;
- some habits – from constant sucking on a pacifier or finger to the habit of propping up your head while sitting at the table;
- congenital pathologies (incorrect position of the tongue, shortened frenum of the tongue, lips) and injuries acquired during childbirth; non-compliance with the rules for the introduction of complementary foods (lack of solid food in the diet);
- pathology of the development of the musculoskeletal system (scoliosis, etc.), respiratory organs, endocrine system (diabetes, thyroid disease);
- deviation from the schedule for replacing milk teeth with permanent ones (premature and delayed loss of milk teeth equally negatively affects the bite).
If the child at the time of teething has at least one of the listed prerequisites, it is advisable to consult a doctor. He will give recommendations that will help prevent possible problems in the development of the bite.
Malocclusion in children: symptoms
There are several types of malocclusion in children:
- distal – the teeth of the upper row do not overlap the lower incisors, but seem to hang over them;
- mesial – the lower jaw is pushed forward;
- open – there is no occlusion between the teeth of the upper and lower rows (contact when the jaws are closed);
- deep – the teeth of the upper jaw overlap the lower ones by more than half;
- cross – in different parts of the dental arch, there is an uneven overlap of the lower and upper teeth of each other.
In addition, various anomalies of tooth growth are also referred to as malocclusion:
- diastema – a large gap between two adjacent teeth;
- dystopia – the growth of a tooth in the wrong direction or out of place.
The following signs may indicate an abnormal development of the bite:
- teeth in a row stand crooked, “look” in different directions, crawl over each other (crowding of teeth);
- there are noticeable gaps between the teeth;
- in one or several places of the dentition, the teeth do not contact each other when the jaws are closed;
- when the child closes his mouth, the lips do not close;
- when the jaw moves, the temporomandibular joints click;
- the child cannot open his mouth normally;
- often under mechanical stress, gums bleed, dental plaque quickly forms on the teeth;
- noticeable asymmetry of the lips, face;
- if you draw a conditional line in the middle of the face, then the central line of the dentition does not coincide with it;
- there are violations of diction (lisp);
- posture disorders.
Any of the listed symptoms is a good reason to go with your child for examination and consultation with an orthodontist.
Why is an incorrect bite dangerous?
An uneven bite is not only a problem of aesthetics, but, first of all, a problem of dysfunction of the dentoalveolar apparatus. A small visual defect can have the most serious consequences for dental health. For example, due to improper occlusion (there is no contact between the upper and lower teeth in certain areas of the dental arch), when chewing, the load between the teeth is not distributed correctly, as a result, we have the following consequences of an incorrect bite:
- the appearance of a wedge-shaped defect (destruction of the tooth on the border with the gum);
- recession (decrease in volume) of the gums, which leads to exposure of the neck and root of the tooth;
- high abrasion of enamel;
- hyperesthesia of the teeth;
- premature loss of teeth;
- disruption in the work of the temporomandibular joint, due to which it may be painful for the child to open his mouth, chew, and headaches appear.
Violation of occlusion in the lateral sections has the following complications:
- trauma (biting) of the cheeks, tongue, and chronic trauma is a precedent for changes in the mucous membrane and the development of tumors;
- difficulty chewing, causing the digestive system to suffer;
- asymmetry of the face.
What does crowding teeth affect?
1There is no way to carry out high-quality hygiene, therefore, optimal conditions are created for bacteria, the formation of plaque, tartar;
2The high activity of bacteria leads to the development of inflammatory processes (caries, gum inflammation, bleeding, gingivitis and periodontitis).
One of the most unpleasant consequences is that children are very hard psychologically experiencing their external imperfections, especially when a crooked bite becomes the cause of a violation of the harmony of the face or is the cause of speech defects.
Correction of bite at different ages
Before talking about the age and methods suitable for eliminating bite defects, you need to understand how it is formed.
The formation of a bite in children occurs in several stages:
1Up to 6 months – the sucking skill contributes to the correct growth and development of the jaws.
2From six months (from the first tooth) to 3 years – the formation of the bite of deciduous teeth.
33-6 years – laying the foundation for the appearance of permanent teeth (intensive growth of the jawbone).
46-12 years – the period of replacement of milk teeth with permanent ones. During this period, the jaw continues to grow actively.
512-16 years old – the final stage of the formation of a permanent bite.
Correction of bite in infants (up to 1 year)
At this stage, it is impossible to apply any of the existing methods of bite correction. Moreover, it is too early to talk about an accurate diagnosis of the problem. The doctor can only assume the likelihood of a violation if the parents have a similar problem. The only active method of treatment that is used for children under 3 years old is the plastic of the frenum of the lips and tongue.
Basically, only preventive measures are used:
- breastfeeding up to a maximum of 1 year;
- adherence to the schedule for the introduction of complementary foods (thicker and tougher food);
- use of orthodontic pacifiers;
- correction of habits – you need to make sure that in a dream the child does not support his cheek with his hand, does not throw his head back;
- observation in dentistry – from the appearance of the first tooth, regularly bring the baby for examination to a pediatric dentist and treat caries in a timely manner.
Correction of bite at 3-6 years old
Since the age of three, orthodontic treatment has already been using active correction methods:
- the fight against bad habits (weaning from a pacifier, etc.);
- facial gymnastics;
- the use of the vestibular shield – a plate that promotes the support and development of muscles, does not allow the child to take a pacifier, foreign objects in his mouth, or suck his finger;
- prosthetics of prematurely lost milk teeth.
7-11 years old
When the child reaches 7 years of age, the doctor will suggest using various orthodontic constructions to correct the irregularities of the dentition:
Orthodontic treatment at 12-16 years old
When the process of bite formation is completed, that is, the active growth of the jaw has ended, all permanent teeth are completely erupted, except for aligners and conventional plates, braces are used in the treatment.
What is the safest and most effective method for a child? This question can only be answered by an orthodontist after examination and comprehensive diagnostics.
Methods of bite treatment
The first and most important stage of orthodontic treatment is diagnosis.
To assess the occlusion in dentistry, the following research methods are used:
- examination, collection of anamnesis;
- functional tests;
- hardware diagnostics (orthopantomogram, computed tomography).
The purpose of the diagnosis is to compile a complete clinical picture (assessment of clinical, functional, biometric, anthropometric features of the dentoalveolar apparatus), which will allow the doctor to draw up an optimal treatment plan.
Conservative and surgical methods are used in the treatment.
Conservative methods of bite correction in children
This is a treatment using removable and non-removable orthodontic structures. In modern dentistry they use:
- vestibular shields (plates), which help to fight bad habits of the baby (wean from the nipple, sucking the thumb);
- orthodontic plates – self-regulating plastic products with metal elements for attaching to the teeth, used during the replacement of milk teeth;
- trainers – devices used to correct small defects in order to change the disposition of one tooth in a row;
- aligners or mouth guards – silicone constructions that delicately align the dentition;
- braces are non-removable structures that allow you to correct the most complex irregularities and defects in the dentition;
- extraoral devices – designs that are used for severe pathologies that do not allow treatment with braces.
The basis for choosing a suitable device for correcting occlusion and eliminating defects is the nature and severity of the pathology, the age of the patient. Conservative treatment is effective in treating most malocclusion.
Surgical orthodontic treatment
The operation is indicated only for severe anomalies in the development of the maxillofacial apparatus, such as:
- strong asymmetry of the face;
- lack of a chin;
- severe occlusion disorders;
- various deformities of the facial bones.
The recovery period after surgery can last up to six months.
Prevention of malocclusion in children
The success of orthodontic treatment depends on a whole host of factors. One of the most important is early diagnosis and timely treatment. In addition, in most cases there is a real opportunity to prevent disorders in the development of the dentoalveolar apparatus.
Dentists-orthodontists of the dental clinic Amel Dental recommend following the following preventive measures:
- during pregnancy, carefully monitor the health of the expectant mother;
- observe the technique and duration of breastfeeding;
- eliminate in a timely manner the causes of the appearance of defects (for example, plastic surgery of the shortened frenum of the tongue, lips);
- use only orthodontic pacifiers and nipples on a bottle, after 1-1.5 years, wean the child from these devices;
- monitor the condition of the ENT organs, the baby’s nasal breathing, ensure the prevention and timely treatment of otolaryngological diseases;
- monitor the state of the oral cavity, regularly visit the dentist, treat caries of milk teeth on time;
- engage in physical exercises with the child to form the correct posture, make sure that the child does not slouch;
- master with the child and regularly perform myogymnastics.
An incorrect bite in a child is a problem that, in addition to cosmetic defects, is fraught with the danger of diseases of various organs and systems in the child’s body, therefore it is very important not to miss the moment and correct mistakes in time. If you suspect your baby has a disorder, you should definitely make an appointment with an orthodontist. Even if the child’s teeth grow normally, and there are no visible abnormalities, you need to visit dentistry every 3 months in order to ensure timely dental treatment if necessary.