In this edition of Friday Focus, Dr. O El-Hillal from E&S Orthodontics, your Phoenix Orthodontist, discusses how to tell if your child has a bite problem and whether they should see an orthodontist.
Hi. My name is Dr. O and today we’re going to talk about how you can recognize whether your child has a misaligned bite problem.
E&S Orthodontics (following guidelines from the American Association of Orthodontists) recommends that all children have an orthodontic consultation by age 7, while the teeth are still developing and the jaw is still growing.
The main things we examine at this age are the relationships between the front and back teeth, as well as the upper and lower jaws. We are evaluating whether the child has an abnormal overbite – which means the top teeth overlap the bottom teeth outside normal guidelines or the top teeth stick out further than the bottom teeth – or an underbite where the bottom teeth actually stick out in front of the top teeth.
Another condition we look for is a crossbite – where one or several upper teeth are on the inside of the lower teeth.
We make these assessments to determine whether your child would benefit from early intervention orthodontic treatment.
As a parent, you can check your child’s bite with this easy test. Have them take their fingers and pull out their cheeks, then bite down in a normal way. You can see whether is abnormal spacing, if there is a crossbite, if there’s enough space for all of their adult teeth and/or whether the teeth are actually fitting together properly.
These are basic, simple ways to look at your child’s mouth and determine whether there’s a potential problem in his or her bite.
Note: E&S Orthodontics offers Complimentary Early Intervention Consultations every six months starting at age 7, so we can monitor your child’s development and make the best recommendations at the perfect time.
We have an excellent record working with children and pre-teens. Some conditions, like over-crowding or upper and bottom teeth that do not line up, can be obvious contenders for early intervention. But there are many conditions a parent cannot see that can only be measured by a professional orthodontic exam. If recommended, Early Intervention Phase 1 treatment plans usually start around age 9 and take advantage of the fact that a child’s jaw is still growing. Functional appliances can fix or improve these problems and though more treatment is usually needed later, it may be shorter in time and less intensive.
To set up a free Early Intervention Consultation for your child, we invite you to call (480) 386 -9722.