Dental Issues Parents Should Check For
If your child’s smile is worrying you, you may be wondering what you, as a parent, should notice about their dental health. Here are four dental issues parents should check for.
Dental Issues Parents Should Check For: Teeth Growth
Parents often ask, “What should I be looking for on my children to know whether there’s an issue that I need to see an orthodontist about?” We always describe the growth and development aspects of orthodontics at a younger age and tell those parents why they are most important to treat. Growth and development discrepancies may exist in the widths of the child’s upper and lower jaws. One thing we want to see is the upper jaw biting on the outside of the lower jaw like a doorframe fits a door. If we see that the doorframe is too narrow, causing the upper jaw to bite on the inside of the lower jaw, it’s important to see an orthodontist at a younger age – between six and eight. At that age, we can widen that upper jaw very easily.
Dental Issues Parents Should Check For: Overjet
Another thing we look for is a big overjet in which the upper and lower central incisors overlap. Starting early allows us the necessary time to really help the lower jaw to grow forward if we need it to do so, or to push the upper jaw back into a better position.
Dental Issues Parents Should Check For: Underbite
Another bite we want to see as early as we can is an underbite which tends to be the most genetically affected bite we see. If either of the parents have an underbite, we often see it on their kids as well. Identifying this bite early is important because we only have one way of fixing this at a young age, and that is to bring the upper jaw forward and help it grow forward. We lose that ability at 12 to 13 years old, so we want to see these kids young in order to take advantage of the ability to bring that upper jaw into the proper position.
Dental Issues Parents Should Check For: Crowding
The other thing to check for is crowding of teeth. Look at your child’s upper and lower front teeth. If there is crowding among those upper and lower front adult teeth, there will probably be more crowding as more teeth try to come in. Identifying those situations early, getting in to see an orthodontist at a young age and allowing us to do some expansion – if we need to – to create more space is a really good idea.
If you have any questions about these dental issues, please call one of our five WNY locations to receive a free screening for your child.