5 Ways Malocclusion Can Form in a Child’s Mouth

5 Ways Malocclusion Can Form in a Child’s Mouth
Posted on 08/02/2023

blog-post-August2023As a child grows their baby teeth, the journey to their permanent adult teeth includes a lot of changes. You often want to be on the lookout for malocclusion. Malocclusion represents the general term for a bad bite in the mouth. A bad bite could include an overbite, an underbite, or a mouth with crowded teeth that overlap each other.

Malocclusion can form in several different ways. Why you may not be able to prevent the process all the way, awareness of some risk factors can help give your child the best odds of avoiding malocclusion or reducing their case to a more mild form that doesn't need surgical treatment.

Check out some of the ways malocclusion can form in a child's mouth and ways to keep your child's smile as healthy as possible.

1. Extended Thumb Sucking & Pacifier Use

As infants grow into toddlers, many children will have a fascination with the mouth. Children may find a lot of soothing through the use of pacifiers or their own fingers. Unfortunately, the more that children rely on these elements, the more their mouth can change shape through the years.

The constant sucking and impact of an object in the mouth can push out the teeth and cause adult teeth to come in differently as well. A major malocclusion can form, especially if the child continues the habits over the age of five. Try to end these habits as early as possible. Communication with a dentist can also help and serve as an ideal launch point to healthy smiles.

2. Early Loss of Baby Teeth

While baby teeth should naturally fall out when the time is right, a child may suffer from the early loss of baby teeth due to a number of factors. If baby teeth fall out too early, the chances of malocclusion can increase. Baby teeth act as a guide for adult teeth to form and grow in the mouth. If a baby tooth falls out too early, then the adult tooth may not grow in evenly.

A lack of proper dental care could lead to the loss of baby teeth. For example, a child could suffer a tooth infection or have rot in their baby teeth due to improper care. Your child should see a dentist on a regular schedule to keep the mouth clean and prevent the early loss of teeth.

Baby teeth can go through the same treatments as adult teeth. These treatments include root canals for infections or cavity treatments for teeth that have decayed. Instead of pulling the teeth out early, a treatment like a filling will help prevent the formation of malocclusion.

3. Genetics

If you or the other parent of the child has gone through any form of malocclusion, then your child could simply be at risk due to genetics. A child's adult teeth may naturally form into overbites or underbites. You may have had treatments in the past to correct smiles, so think back on your childhood to have a better idea of the possibilities for your own child.

Even with genetics, a dentist may provide preventable treatments to keep a mouth healthy. Annual x-rays at the dentist can help track the formation of adult teeth. A dentist can provide tips and treatments to help prevent the onset of malocclusion. A dentist can set a plan in place to help your child form a natural smile.

4. Injury

Children go through a lot of bumps and falls as they learn to crawl, walk, and make their way through life. Unfortunately, some of those falls could lead to an injury in the mouth. An oral injury could include impacted teeth, the loss of baby teeth, or direct damage to the gums. Any type of oral injury may lead to the formation of malocclusion.

If your child does suffer an oral injury, you should seek dental care as soon as possible. Many dentists will offer an emergency phone line where you can call in to describe the injury. During the phone call, the dental staff will determine the next steps to help treat your child's mouth and help prevent any long-term issues like malocclusion.

5. Crowded Baby Teeth

Ideally, a child's mouth should feature evenly spaced baby teeth with gaps between each tooth. The gaps will give plenty of space for the adult teeth to grow in and fit comfortably in the mouth. During your child's early dental visits, a dentist will check on the growth and placement of baby teeth.

A mouth with crowded baby teeth will have an increased risk of malocclusion. In the case of a crowded mouth, you may not have many options—follow a regular dental cleaning schedule and ensure the tight spaces between the teeth remain clean.

As the adult teeth grow in, a dentist will provide tips and options to keep any form of malocclusion as mild as possible.

Book an appointment with us at Dentistry For Children & Adolescents. We will help your child transition from baby teeth to adult teeth with the best care possible.


Dentistry for Children & Adolescents

  • Edina Office - 7373 France Ave. S., Suite 402, Edina, MN 55435 Phone: 952-831-4400
  • Burnsville Office - 14050 Nicollet Ave., Suite 100, Burnsville, MN 55337 Phone: 952-435-4102
  • Eden Prairie Office - 6385 Old Shady Oak Road, Suite 150, Eden Prairie , MN 55344 Phone: 952-932-0920

2024 © All Rights Reserved | Website Design By: Televox | Login