It’s very common for your children to have misaligned teeth, and the cause may not merely be genetics. Our teeth aren’t perfect: each smile is unique in its own way, and your child should not feel like they have to straighten their teeth. However, if asymmetrical teeth are causing your child to have health concerns or trouble speaking, it may be time to make an appointment with an orthodontist.
How Do Teeth Become Misaligned?
It’s often assumed that our teeth grow in crooked due to our DNA and genetics, but this is not always the case. Both our baby teeth and permanent teeth can grow in crooked, or they can become crooked due to a few reasons.
If crooked teeth run in your family, there’s a good chance your children may inherit your smile as well. This means that your child’s overbite or underbite may not have to do with poor habits or other conditions.
Otherwise known as a malocclusion, a misaligned jaw occurs when your upper teeth do not fit slightly over your lower teeth. Think of our teeth like a puzzle: with proper alignment, your little one’s upper molars should fit in the groove of their lower molars. In addition to a misaligned jaw, if your child’s jaw is too small, there may not be enough room for their teeth — causing the teeth to shift and move to try and find a space in the mouth.
Poor Myofunctional Habits
Myofunctional habits, or movements that deal with our facial muscles when chewing or swallowing, may also be the culprit behind your child’s misaligned teeth. These common behaviors can lead to jagged teeth:
- Thumb sucking
- Tongue thrusting
- Mouth breathing
- Use of a pacifier or bottle
If your child suffers a face or mouth injury that results in their teeth being knocked out of place, one or more teeth may move out of their original placement. Your child should always be seen by a doctor and their dentist if they experience a broken tooth or an injury to the mouth.
Neglecting Dental Care
It’s essential to have your child’s teeth checked at least twice a year by their dentist to avoid a variety of health problems. Crooked teeth can affect a kid’s quality of life by causing:
- Pain when chewing
- Improper digestion
- Speech difficulties
- Self-esteem concerns
- Periodontal disease.
When your child reaches the age of 7, it’s recommended that they see an orthodontic specialist for a check-up to determine if braces are suitable. By correcting the skeletal problems at a younger age, we can prepare the mouth for the eventual eruption of the permanent teeth.
For more information or to book an appointment, contact our offices:
MEDFORD OFFICE: 631 320 0880
COMMACK OFFICE: 631 486 6364
GARDEN CITY OFFICE: 516 280 6734