January 14th, 2016
WHEN YOUR FOUR-YEAR-OLD says “Cheese!” at her birthday party, take time to notice if her bite is right.
Most children see a pediatric dentist by age two. By age four, your child may be referred to an orthodontist for severe tooth and bite problems.
There are four childhood conditions treated by an orthodontist as early as age four.
1. Crowded Baby Teeth
Baby teeth should have spacing between them. Overlapped baby teeth are a sign of severe crowding. The permanent front teeth are larger than the baby teeth they replace and need adequate space.
2. Crossbite of Baby Teeth
Crossbite occurs when upper teeth fit inside the lower teeth. If your four year old is experiencing difficulty chewing or bites her cheeks, she may have a crossbite. A crossbite can cause grinding and wearing down of baby teeth. Long term, a crossbite will create an abnormal growth pattern.
3. Lower Jaw Shift with Baby Teeth
Baby teeth out of position can create interference tooth hitting and produce a lower jaw shift. Tooth interference with jaw shifting will wear down teeth and create an abnormal growth pattern.
4. Narrow Upper Jaw with Baby Teeth
A narrow upper jaw indicates narrow nasal passages. This can create open-mouth breathing and sleep problems. Lack of sleep can significantly contribute to difficulty learning at school.
Correction of these early bite problems is of great health benefit to your four year old child. Early treatment by an orthodontist will minimize the need for more extensive orthodontic treatment at a later age.
To Find An Orthodontist Near You...
To find an orthodontist near you, visit the American Association of Orthodontists at mylifemysmile.org. To find a pediatric dentist nearby, you can visit the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) at mychildrensteeth.org.
This patient was treated by Orthodontist Dr. Ann Marie Gorczyca of Gorczyca Orthodontics, in Antioch, California. For a free consultation call (925) 757-9000.
Make sure your child’s bite is healthy when saying “Cheese!” and that she enjoys eating her birthday cake at age four, or any age.