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!