Tiny Teeth

Crooked Teeth in Children

Can we prevent crooked teeth in children?

The primary role of milk teeth in addition to helping a child chew food is to maintain space for the underlying permanent tooth. In case of an early extraction of a milk tooth, a space maintainer should be given.

In case the space maintainer is not given, adjacent teeth drift towards each other, closing the space for the underlying permanent tooth. This is one of the major reasons other than genetics, for crooked teeth/malocclusion in children

The other reason for crooked teeth are habits like thumb sucking, mouth breathing and improper swallowing. A Pediatric Dentist is trained to detect these habits early and to ensure proper development of the jaws and face. Habit correction appliances, simple arch expansion devices and specific simple mouth/lip exercises, according to the child’s needs, may also be suggested by the Pediatric Dentist to prevent crooked teeth.

My child hasn’t lost all milk teeth but some of the permanent teeth are already crooked. Can something be done now?

Limited/partial braces (sectional fixed therapy) are commonly practiced by the Pediatric Dentists to intercept these early malalignments and to prevent them from becoming full blown malocclusions. Neglected early malocclusions result in very severe crooked teeth later on in life, requiring full mouth braces along with extractions of permanent teeth to set them right.

Very often malalignment in children may be traced to the jaws and not teeth. In these cases, a Pediatric Dentist is trained to identify and provide simple appliances making use of the child’s growth to correct the problem early. These malocclusions neglected at this stage, will result in the child requiring complex surgery later on (Orthognathic surgery) in adult life.

My child has all permanent teeth. What are the types of braces available?

The most basic form of braces is the “Straight Wire System”. The more advanced form of straight wire system is called the “Self Ligating System”. This system is very hygienic and helps maintain good oral  hygiene.
Now, invisible removable braces are becoming more popular than the conventional fixed braces. These invisible form of braces are known as “Clear Aligners”.