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Treatment of Toddler Overbites & Speech Problems Caused By Thumb Sucking, Pacifiers & Heredity

Smile Reef

Underbites can manifest themselves in young ones relatively soon. It may even go unnoticed for awhile. But an underbite, or also referred to as a Class III malocclusion or prognathism, is a condition in which the lower teeth and jaw protrude in front of the upper teeth. Generally, the upper teeth are situated to cover the bottom teeth ever so slightly, but when there is an underbite, an uncomfortable reversal occurs. If you noticed your child has an underbite, you may have a few questions on why it happened, what’s going on in your child’s mouth to cause the underbite, and how to treat it. We at Smile Reef would like to expound on the underbite for inquiring minds.

What is an Underbite & What Causes it

The University of Maryland Medical Center suggests that heredity is a major factor in the formation of an underbite. If a parent, or one of the four grandparents have an underbite, there is a fairly good chance your child could inherit this feature. Additionally, the underbite can be a product of children sucking their thumb, constant thrusting of the tongue against the teeth, and extended use of a pacifier or bottle. Treatment is highly recommended, as underbites can inhibit chewing as well as cause strain in the teeth and jaw muscles.

What is the Treatment for Underbites in Children

To supply appropriate treatment for an underbite, the involvement of employing the services of an orthodontist is often required. Following a thorough examination of the patient in question, the orthodontist may prescribe one of the following remedies listed below for treatment.
- Upper Jaw Expander: This is one of the most common treatments of overbites in younger children. An upper jaw expander is a wire device fixed to the roof of the mouth.
- Reverse Pull Face Mask: This is the other most common treatment recommendation for overbites in young children. It works by wrapping around the head and attaching to metal bands on the upper back teeth. It pulls the upper jaw into the correct position.
- Braces: The most common way to correct an underbite in older children is through the use of braces. You can find the most optimal look and braces for superior comfort, and still correct the underbite.
- Surgery: On rare occasions, an underbite can be so severe that surgery is required to fix it. Surgery is usually only the last resort, when other methods just were not effective.
In the majority of underbite cases, treatment is usually relatively simple. If your child has an underbite, consult your dentist to discuss treatment options and to get a referral for an orthodontist.

Correcting Underbites in Children

At Smile Reef, we can perform our in depth examination on your child’s underbite. With our diligence, training, expertise, and experience, we can determine diagnosis and recommend the most appropriate treatment options for your budget, child’s comfort, and final results. We utilize modern technology during the examining process to determine the severity of the situation, and with the aid of techniques and methods, we can present to you the most optimal treatment to correct your child’s underbite. Call us today to schedule your appointment, and we will get started right away!

underbite blog

Do Pacifiers Cause Crooked Teeth Alignment & Mouth Deformation?

Smile Reef

More than one parent has asked if a pacifier is bad for their infant’s teeth development. To some extent, the answer is yes. Pacifiers cause problems for the development of the mouth and teeth. Before we go on a long process of explaining why pacifiers are bad for your child’s mouth and teeth, we’ll also tell you there are some benefits for the use of a pacifier. For one, pacifiers are comforting for baby. Studies show that pacifiers reduce the chances for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. So before you condemn the pacifier, know that it does have its place.

Pacifier Baby Teeth Condition

Sucking on pacifiers or fingers can lead to problems during development. If long term use of a pacifier is promoted, this will lead to the condition known as pacifier teeth. As your baby and toddler mature physically, their jaw will develop around any object that’s in the child’s mouth continually. This includes pacifiers, thumb, or fingers. Long term sucking can change the roof of the mouth. It will become narrower and will not give the teeth the proper room to drop. In turn, it will cause them to overlap and come in crooked. The top and bottom jaw sometimes become misaligned, making it difficult to chew. This doesn’t just affect your child’s eating, but also their speech making it difficult to articulate their words. The other teeth defect that pacifiers commonly cause is to make the front teeth slant out and the bottom teeth tilt inward. This can be difficult to correct. The process is expensive and will require a lot of time.

Pacifier Baby Age Appropriate Range

Keep in mind pacifiers are not a bad thing. It is all right to allow your child to suck on a pacifier until they are one year old. Some will say even two years is okay. Even though some babies will drop teeth as early as three months old, long term damage still happens as the child continues to suck on a pacifier past the age of two.

Pacifier Weaning; Breaking the Habit in Toddlers

Breaking the habit of pacifier sucking can be a hard and aggravating time for both parents and child. This is one of the top reasons children suck on a pacifier far too long. The hassle of breaking a habit that helps keep your child quiet and calm, is not at the top of most parents’ list. Another mistake parents make is replacing one bad habit with another bad habit. Parent will try to swap out a pacifier for a juice cup, bribing the child with something that tastes good to keep them distracted from their pacifier. Keep in mind that juice and other sweet drinks should be given in moderation. Too much will lead to tooth decay and cavities. A surprisingly good alternative is an electric tooth brush. When it vibrates it’s difficult to suck, yet the child likes the sensation and gets distracted by it. Also it will start to introduce the tooth brush and help keep their teeth clean.

Pediatric Dental Care

Pacifiers have their place in our child’s life. But at some point, parents will need to remove it. Smile Reef hopes this helps the concerned parent know when pacifiers no longer benefits your child and wishes you luck in breaking those early life habits.

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