The formation of a child's malocclusion is a worrying topic for many parents. Armine Martirosyan, orthodontist-surgeon-implantologist of the Center for Implantation and Dentistry "INTAN" (St. Petersburg) answered topical questions exclusively for Inc-news.ru.
At what age is it possible to speak about forming of incorrect bite in a child?
Child malocclusion should be taken care of from the age of 3, and the child should be monitored until the baby teeth have completely replaced with permanent teeth.
If the baby teeth are growing unevenly, it is necessary to see an orthodontist. The best time for the initial visit is at 3-4 years of age, depending on the child's psychological and emotional state.
If the baby teeth are growing unevenly - are braces or other systems put on them? Or are crooked baby teeth not a reason for parents to worry?
Removable, fixed, and even partial braces are used to correct malocclusions. They help to correct the position of the teeth, the size of the jaws and the relationship of the jaws to each other.
Uneven teeth, especially crowded teeth, in a milk bite should alert parents. You should take your child to the orthodontist for a check-up to determine if the upper and lower jaws are narrowed, since the lower jaw adapts to the size of the upper jaw. Usually, the narrowing of the upper jaw is caused by adenoids, which, unfortunately, are not fully detected in time by ENT specialists.
In the presence of adenoids, the upper jaw is not formed to the normal size, and therefore the lower jaw lags behind in development. And with the lack of space, the baby teeth are uneven.
The child usually breathes with his mouth, often suffers from allergic diseases, pronounces sounds badly, and there are problems with diction. Often parents visit a speech therapist to no avail, because the problem lies in the dentition.
Positive dynamics can be seen only after orthodontic treatment: the expansion of the upper jaw and creating enough space for the articulation and language movement. The child, must learn to keep the tongue in the upper part of the mouth, in contact with the upper palate, as in an adult. When the tongue is pressed, the upper jaw is formed correctly. If the upper jaw is narrowed, the tongue descends into the middle or lower part of the mouth and presses against the teeth. The bite either opens up or the tongue lies down and pushes the teeth forward, and the child has a mesial bite (a protruding lower jaw). This will cause the child to breathe through their mouth and often leads to upper respiratory problems.
How often should your child be seen by the dentist for bite issues, and when should the very first visit to the orthodontist be scheduled?
The first visit to the orthodontist should be scheduled at the age of 3-4 years old, when children are already sufficiently contactable and can communicate with the doctor. At this age, you can determine the presence of bite pathology: narrowing of the upper and lower jaw, crowding of teeth, etc. Normally a 3-5 year old child should have physiological fissures (gaps between the teeth).
A child should be seen by an orthodontist every 6 months until the milk teeth change completely into permanent teeth, because if any abnormalities are identified, the orthodontist can correct these in time and the child will avoid the need for more complex orthodontic treatment at an older age.
Is there anything you can do at home to correct or correct the bite?
At home, the correct bite or its correction can only be promoted indirectly, on the preventive side. Eliminate bad habits such as finger sucking, sucking toys, prolonged sucking on a pacifier; biting the upper and lower lip. It is also important for parents to work together with an orthodontist and a psychologist, because the presence of the above habits after 1.5-2 years may signal a certain psychological need in the child.
For preventive purposes, parents can do myogymnastics at home (gymnastics of the tongue, perioral and cheek muscles, nasal breathing). There are special techniques and rules for this method, which the orthodontist can tell you about. There is a lot of information on the Internet, but it is important that the orthodontist, a specialist with an advanced degree in medicine, is able to tell you about it. Otherwise you could harm your child.
Different companies advertise baby mouth guards to work with orthodontic problems. But it's good to remember that all of them are not designed for an individual approach. And instead of helping, they harm the child's bite. Therefore, only after consultation with an orthodontist can specific measures be taken.