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Crooked Teeth in Kids? Here’s What You Can Do

Braces for kids are very common these days. You would be surprised by the huge numbers of parents taking their kids to dentist because of crooked teeth. Approximately, three out of four children develop twisted, crowded or overlapping teeth. Apart from braces, there are other orthodontic treatments available and they are prescribed depending on the severity of the condition.

This article helps you understand the reason for crooked teeth and the ways in which you can address this issue including one of the most effective solutions – the two-phase orthodontic treatment.

Common Causes

  • Thumb sucking is a very common habit in a majority of children. In case of children who continue this habit beyond 5 years of age, the incisors and premolars are pushed out of their original places which often results in poor teeth alignment. It can even cause a malformation in the roof of the mouth and misalignment in upper and lower jaws.
  • If parents have crooked teeth, their children are more likely to have crooked teeth because this condition is often hereditary. Even poorly aligned jaws which hinder dental development runs in the family most of the times.
  • If children breathe through their mouth, it may affect the dental alignment. The resting position of the tongue and the posture of the lips are the triggers which push the premolars and incisors out of place.
  • Tongue thrusting and lip sucking both exert pressure on the incisors and premolars which push them out. The alignment thus caused can result in a bad bite and may interfere with speech development also.
  • Injury, lack of space and tooth decay can lead to premature loss of teeth. This causes the surrounding teeth to shift into the empty space if the permanent teeth in those empty spaces are not ready to erupt. So if there isn’t enough room when they do emerge, they tend to grow crooked.
  • Tooth decay in children often occurs because of the nursing bottle syndrome. If ignored for long, tooth decay can cause further damage, resulting in crowded or crooked teeth because the permanent teeth cannot be guided into their correct position.
  • If the child has suffered from a face injury which has affected the mouth and jaw, it can result in twisted, crowded or overlapping teeth. Also, incorrectly fitted dental restorations such as crowns and cavity filling can lead to crooked teeth.

Treatment Options

  1. One of the simplest solutions is to correct bad habits at the earliest stage possible. For instance, pacifiers are great for children, but if by age two, they aren’t weaned off the pacifier, crooked teeth are more likely to develop.
  2. As soon as your child first grows his or her baby teeth, schedule a dental visit. Your dentist can help ensure that the child’s teeth remain clean and healthy, and monitor the inbound adult teeth so that any underlying problems can be detected early.
  3. If your dentist recommends an orthodontist, make sure you definitely go. The earlier an orthodontist starts the required treatment, the easier and cheaper it is to fix the problem. The reason is simple; minor orthodontic issues are easier to rectify than major ones at a later age.
  4. In some cases, the two-phase orthodontic treatment may be prescribed by the orthodontist. The first phase begins when the child still has most of the baby teeth. Braces for kids may or may not be used and orthodontic appliances are often prescribed for easier and quicker results. The second phase of the treatment is carried out once all the permanent teeth are erupted. Braces are definitely used to correct crooked teeth and bad bites. This phase usually lasts from 18-36 months.

Crooked teeth can lead to some serious oral and overall health problems in future, if ignored for long. In case your child has crooked teeth and you are looking for an experienced orthodontist in Fresno, CA, call us at Thurman Orthodontics today and schedule an appointment.

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