Early orthodontics, phase I orthodontics and/or braces can help preteens correct minor crossbites or dental crowding early. Children start getting their first permanent teeth around the age of 6. And parents start noticing smile changes. Usually, there is a natural space between the two upper front teeth as they move into the arch.
There are some crowding, spacing and bite concerns that can be addressed as soon as they are seen. For example, many kids bite with their lower front teeth in front of their upper front teeth. This is known as an anterior crossbite. In the past, a crossbite may have required surgery to treat in teen years. Nowadays, expanders and other appliances can help bring the upper front teeth forward in front of the lower front teeth to correct crossbites.
Children naturally have a space between the central incisors or upper front permanent teeth. This spacing sometimes closes by itself. And other times, simple wire orthodontics can help close the space. The opposite of tooth gaps is crowding. Crowding is a common concern in developing mouths. If crowding is noticed early in childhood, appliances can help increase the space available to resolve the crowding.
Some chewing and sucking patterns like tongue thrusting or thumbsucking can flare the upper front teeth. Thumbsucking is a habit that changes the smile appearance as a child develops. Breaking the habit of thumbsucking can be done with encouragement and behavior modification. And if needed, a habit breaker appliance can help children stop sucking their thumb.
The important part of children’s oral health is having clean and healthy teeth and gums. A dentist can help evaluate your child’s oral health and check their airway to make sure that a kid has enough space for their mouth and breathing properly. Treatment options can be discussed to correct any minor bite misalignment to prevent years of occlusal (bite) problems later.
If you are interested in having your child’s smile evaluated, contact us at 817 870 5099. We would be glad to be your family dentist. And are conveniently located within a mile of the children’s museum. A dental visit can be combined with a fun day at the children’s museum!