Many parents will raise their eyebrow hearing this question. Many of us indeed think that crooked teeth are beautiful to some extent though we resent other growth anomalies. Malocclusions, as it is called generally denote any teeth that are not growing in intended positions. Mild occlusions are cosmetic problems while severe malocclusions cause problems in speaking, eating and related problems.
A normal occlusion is when the upper teeth-line sits slightly beyond the lower teeth-line. Anything beyond this or under are considered malocclusion. Parents have to look out for the below mentioned broad malocclusions in their children. They have to begin looking for any such problems from the age of seven through their teens.
Crowded Teeth in Children
This is one of the common problem when there is no enough space on the jaw. Since there is no jaw space, the teeth tend to grow out of the intended line and they are displaced. But hold, crowding is pretty common during the mixed dentition period (where milk teeth and permanent teeth are found at a time).
Spacing between the teeth in Children
This is another common malocclusion which occurs as a result when more space is present on the jaw. It may also result as a result of teeth being smaller in size or jaw being bigger. More often spacing manifests between the two upper front teeth. This condition is specifically called diastema. The parents can specifically look if there is a thick band of gum tissue that separates the two upper front teeth giving the space which can be corrected. The dentist would take a call when to correct it, either immediately or after the growth ceases at thirteen years of age.
Missing Teeth (Congenital) in Children
Due to genetic factors a tooth are few teeth can be missing altogether. All teeth, except the wisdom teeth, are supposed to grow back in specified years of age. If they do not then there is congenitally missing teeth condition. The conclusion if congenital missing teeth is present will be ascertained by the dentist and replacing the missing tooth will be done later.
Overbite / Deep bite / Open Bite Problems in Children
The upper teeth-line has to overlap over the lower teeth-line. In other words around 3 mm of lower teeth-line can be overlapped by the upper front teeth. If this overlapping exceeds, it is termed as overbite. If the lower teeth-line is completely overlapped by the upper teeth-line, then it is called deep bite. Carefully analyse the teeth-line position to determine if your child has overbite or deep bite.
Sometimes there is no overlapping at all and there is a space in between both the upper and lower teeth-line. This condition is called open bite. Children with thimb sucking habit usually develop this condition. Thumb sucking children might also develop protruding teeth. This condition can cause issues in speaking, under development of lower jaw, high-arched palate and all these can lead to mouth breathing and upper respiratory track problems which can eventually lead to breathing problems.
Impacted Teeth in Children
It is not essential that only wisdom teeth needs to be impacted. Very rarely other teeth can also be impacted. The important reasons of impaction is crowding and loss of primary teeth in early stage.
Conclusion – Dr. Sravanthi, the leading dentist in Chennai Kilpauk and Porur pines that children have to be taken for regular dental visit to identify the developing malocclusion. The dentist may be in a position to determine and ascertain if you child’s teeth are growing propely in proper position. A child has to be taken to a dentist from the age of one to ascertain dental carries and also to get accustomed to dental environment. Malocclusion related problems though will be identified and addressed from the age of seven.