Correction Options for Overbites in Children

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An overbite is a protrusion of the upper teeth over the ones in the lower jaw by 30-50%. This is medically known as a malocclusion. The primary cause of an overbite is excess or insufficient room in the jaw for the growth of teeth. In infants, it follows tongue thrusting, consistent and prolonged use of a pacifier and thumb sucking. Most parents overlook overbites in their kids since they assume these have no impact on their children’s oral health.

Without the intervention of a kids dentist based in Utah County, an overbite results in speech and feeding impediments, and pain in the child’s jaws and gums. It will also contribute to the grinding of teeth, worn tooth enamel, and a lowered self-confidence because of its aesthetic impact. Here are the management alternatives for overbites in kids.

Braces

These are the conventional option for overbite correction in kids. The braces will restrain the movement of your child’s teeth and realign them into a proper position so that the lower and upper teeth will not overlap. There are different pediatric braces used for the correction of braces. Metal, ceramic and clear braces are among the most commonly used nowadays.

Jaw Expanders and Retainers

retainers

Nowadays, braces are not frequently used in infants because their jaws are weak. In infants, jaw expanders and retainers are the best correction alternative. Retainers work like braces by guiding the proper growth of the child’s teeth though they take a longer time to get results compared to braces. The retainers might also be used after correction of an overbite after braces to maintain the achieved position of your child’s teeth. Jaw expanders will stretch the child’s jawbone and expand his/her palatal arch. The expansion gives the child enough room for the growth of teeth. Jaw expanders will take approximately a year to address your child’s overbite.

Twin Block Appliance

This is a growth modification device. The appliance is worn by children aged between 9-12 months. It comprises lower and upper plates and a screw which is used for the adjustment of the appliance to match your child’s jaw growth. Twin block appliances are commonly used before the placement of retainers or braces.

Teeth Extraction

In some cases, the removal of some of your child’s teeth might be the ideal solution for overbites. The extraction will increase the available room for the growth of permanent teeth. Dentists will try everything in their power to retain your child’s natural teeth. As such, extraction is only used if the overbites affect your child’s neck muscles and cause unexplained pain.

Orthognathic Surgery

In some kids, orthodontic interventions might not be enough for the correction of an overbite. This is often in kids whose overbite is caused by different developmental issues. In orthognathic surgery, the child’s jaw is moved forward thus efficiently addressing the overbite.

The above correction option takes minimal time in kids. This is because the children’s jaws are still developing and hence at this time it is easy to manipulate them. If you wait till your child is a teenager, the jawbone will have matured at this time, and the treatment options are limited and expensive.