Hi there! I’m Christina, a mom of two littles, a licensed mental health therapist, and a soon-to-be children’s book author! Thanks for checking out my site. Look around! I’m sure there’s something here for you! This guest article by Sharon Williams with Koch Orthodontics will give you all you need to know about overbite in children, and what to do about it!
My family has large teeth, and with their size, comes crowded mouths, jaw pain, and hefty overbites. I am fully convinced both my children will need braces someday, and now that my five year old has her first loose tooth, I’m aware that dental treatments are in our not-so-distant future. So, when Sharon reached out to me to write this article for my blog, I thought it would be great. I know you all care so much about doing the best for your children, and the mental and emotional stress of parenting applies to our children’s physical wellbeing, including dental health!
Overbite in Children – More than a Cosmetic Concern
You are on it when it comes to taking care of your kid’s dental health, making sure that they brush twice a day and stay away from sugary foods. You do your best to floss their little teeth, and you pay attention to which teeth are getting loose.
But do you also pay attention to overbite in your kids?
Overbite is a common dental disorder affecting the majority of kids globally. It is often thought of as a minor cosmetic flaw. But a child with overbite faces many serious concerns ahead in life.
Health Hazards of Overbite
If you avoid treatment for overbite in your child, they are at risk of facing the following health hazards:
- Enamel Erosion
Enamel is the outer layer of our teeth that keeps them protected. And damaged enamel leads to dental fracture, carries, and sensitivity. Kids with overbite use some teeth more than others. Premature enamel erosion happens in these overused teeth. And you might also find brown spots on these eroded teeth. You only worsen the issue if you make your kids brush their teeth hard in the hope of getting rid of the spots.
- Damaged Gums & Teeth
In an overbite, your kid’s upper front teeth stick out beyond your lower front teeth. Sometimes this malocclusion is minimal. But other kids are with a more severe overbite. In such situations, the lower front teeth hit the gums of the upper front teeth. The reverse can also happen. The constant poking results in gum recession, infection, diseases, and sometimes tooth loss.
- Temporomandibular Disorder
The TMJ (temporomandibular joint) is closely connected with your jaw and face muscles. Overbite in kids causes tension between lower teeth and upper teeth. This tension puts strain on TMJ leading to TMJ disorder. It is a severely painful condition. Look out for TMJ disorder if your child complaints of chronic headache and jaw pain.
- Sleep Apnea
Sometimes, you might not see any direct health issues because of overbite in your kids. But you should still opt for correcting the overbite in your children due to related health risks like sleep apnea. In the overbite condition, the tongue of your child falls back during sleep. This disrupts the airway often at night, causing a disturbance in sleep. Not getting a sound sleep adversely affects your kid’s overall health.
- And other concerns including headaches from jaw tension, challenges with eating, cosmetic differences, and speech impediments.
In addition to the physical consequences of overbite in children, there are also a mental and emotional side effects of overbite most clearly seen in a child’s self-esteem. Children want to feel similar to their peers, and they don’t want to have anything glaring that contributes to being picked on such as a lisp or visibly obvious overbite.
Treatment for Overbite in Children
Although dental braces are the most common treatment for an overbite, there are other alternatives too. The best thing you can do is speak to your child’s dentist to see if a pediatric orthodontic referral is recommended.
They will look at the root cause of the overbite, and will make suggestions based on your child, their specific teeth and bite, and any other factors at play. The orthodontists might recommend extracting one or more teeth if the overbite is a result of overcrowded teeth.
They might also implement a behavior plan, such as helping your child stop thumb sucking.
Similar to braces, another popular option for correcting an overbite in children is Invisalign. These are a set of clear aligner trays that treat overbite in approximately 2 years. These aligners are super comfortable. And because they are clear, children can straighten their teeth and fix their overbite under the radar.
It is easier to correct an overbite in children and young teenagers than in adults. But overbite due to skeletal abnormality is treated in later years by modifying the position of the jaw.
Thank you for reading! We at Koch Orthodontics want to increase awareness of the need for correction of overbite in children. Regular dental care is key for supporting your child’s dental health and reducing problems down the line.
Sharon William provides digital marketing for Koch Orthodontics in Loganville, GA, and writes about dental topics to educate and help her readers. She truly believes that a genuine smile can win a million hearts and talks to her readers about improving their smiles and overall dental health, as well as enhancing their overall lifestyle. In her free time, she likes to organize small meet-ups in her neighborhood where she brings people together to discuss various topics that she writes about.