Crooked teeth are a fairly common problem for children, but they can lead to problems with chewing, speech and other issues. Our BC and Alberta orthodontists explain how this symptom is related to orthodontic health, and how early intervention and treatment can help.
What are Crooked Teeth?
Both baby teeth and permanent adult teeth may emerge in crooked positions, or become crooked over time. It's possible for baby teeth to shift into crooked positions if they're too small to fill the amount of gum space allocated to them.
Genetics can play a role in how our teeth develop, but prolonged habits such as sucking on a thumb or pacifier can also factor into tooth development. Other issues that can also impact how permanent teeth develop include jaw size or misaligned jaw.
While crooked teeth are an orthodontic-related issue for many children, left untreated, this symptom can not only affect appearance and quality of life, but also. lead to periodontal (gum) disease, chewing and digestion issues, excess wear, difficulties with speech and other problems.
How Can Orthodontics Help?
First, it's important to know that our orthodontists at myORTHODONTIST often diagnose orthodontic issues related to crooked teeth and that your child's problem, while unique, can most likely be addressed. We'll start with an initial assessment and take a 2-phase approach to treatment.
We recommend parents schedule an initial orthodontic assessment for their child as soon as age 5, and no later than 7. This is because young children's jaws are still developing and malleable, making this an ideal time for early orthodontic intervention. By diagnosing the problem early on, we may be able to address the root cause of the problem and guide proper jaw development, to leave room for teeth to properly emerge. Braces, Invisalign First and palatal expansion are some treatment options that may be considered as we map out your child's custom treatment plan.
With early treatment, we can help set a solid foundation for your child's future oral health and perhaps reduce the need for invasive measures such as tooth extraction or surgery as your child develops becomes a teen.