The magic time when kids normally start losing their primary (baby) teeth, and are excited about seeing their first permanent teeth come in is around age 7 in the McAllen, TX area. When loss of teeth goes according to plan, the front teeth will be lost first, starting with the two lower front teeth and then the upper.
Unfortunately, mother nature doesn’t always work according to plan and your child can develop a bad bite (malocclusion) for many different reasons. Don’t panic. A complimentary examination by orthodontic specialist Dr. John Gerling will put your mind at ease. According to the American Association of Orthodontics, all children should be seen by an orthodontist by the age of 7 to determine if baby teeth are being lost correctly and the permanent teeth are coming in as planned. If there is an issue, sometimes, early orthodontic treatment is indicated sooner rather than later to deter more extensive orthodontic treatment down the road.
Spacing Issues After Losing Baby Teeth
Normal, healthy teeth should not have noticeable gaps between the four front teeth erupt. Teeth should be lined up straight next to each other. If there is noticeable space between the permanent teeth (particularly two front teeth), this could be a sign of impacted teeth or a jaw discrepancy. On the other hand, if there seems to be overlapping of teeth on the upper or lower arches, this could be an indication of not enough space or crowding of teeth. Jaw size and position plays a big part in permanent tooth eruption and should be monitored by an orthodontic specialist trained specially in tooth and jaw growth patterns.
Different Types of Malocclusions or Bad Bites
- Underbite – the front bottom teeth will typically bite in front of the upper teeth. This can be due to a crossbite of abnormal jaw growth which can be hereditary.
- Open bite – this is when the upper and lower front teeth do not come together when the mouth is closed. The result is a gap or opening between the rows of teeth when a person closes the jaw. An open bite not only affects the appearance of a person’s smile. It can also cause difficulty with speaking, leading to a lisp or another type of speech impediment. Open bites are often seen with kids who have finger habits or have breathing problems such as allergies or enlarged tonsils and adenoids.
- Deep bite – this happens when your upper teeth overlap your lower teeth and your lower front may actually dig into the upper soft palatal tissue causing discomfort. This is often found with a severe overjet.
- Crossbite – this occurs when the upper teeth or inside the lower teeth. This can happen in the front, side, or back portion of the bite. Crossbites can cause the jaws to grow abnormally into the wrong position and damage the enamel and gum tissue of the teeth affected.
Proper diagnosis at an early age and monitoring as your child continues to develop through the different pre-adolescent, adolescent, and pubertal growth spurts is very important when monitoring you child’s tooth and jaw development. Seeking the services of a qualified trained orthodontic specialist at Gerling Orthodontics ensures the best long term orthodontic result.
If you have a child who is 7 or older, contact our office today for a complimentary orthodontic screening. There is no better time than now to stay on top of your child’s dental development for a lifetime of great dental health.