My child has crooked teeth! What do I do?
One of the main causes that parents bring their children in to see us is dental crowding. Crowding occurs when the space available in the mouth is smaller than the size of the tooth coming through. The tooth then comes through in a less than ideal position.
If untreated, teeth are unlikely to move into a good position in the mouth and crowding results. Crowding can not only be an aesthetic issue; crowded teeth are harder to keep clean and can lead to a higher risk of decay in teeth and gum disease. The way the teeth sit in the mouth is affected and the bite can be altered.
What are the causes of dental crowding?
Some of the main causes of dental crowding are genetics and dental habits.
We all look like our parents- so if parents have crowded teeth, there is a high chance that children will also have some degree of crowding.
Thumb sucking, using a dummy, mouth breathing, aberrant swallowing patterns are all linked to poor oral structure development. If our jaws don’t grow, the space to house all our teeth is not available and crooked teeth are the result.
Is there anything that we can do to treat dental crowding?
At Smile In Style, we take a holistic approach to monitoring your child’s growth. At your child’s routine check up, we assess the general dental health of your child and also check to see that their jaw is developing properly to accommodate all their teeth. If there are problems, then generally, intervention is started around the age of 8.
Treatment would be based on your child’s individual needs to provide optimal results. Braces are not usually required and instead, the treatment is achieved with the use of oral functional appliances that aid with jaw expansion and development.
Dr. Meenakshi Rajcoomar has completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Orthodontics with Progressive Orthodontic Seminars (POS) and has done further studies in early orthodontic intervention and treats children as young as 6.