An underbite on your child may lead you to wonder when you should take them to an orthodontist to be corrected. According to Hersch Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics, the sooner it is fixed the better. We walk through everything you need to know about this, often complicated orthodontic problem .
What is an underbite?
An underbite is when the lower jaw protrudes beyond the upper jaw. An underbite causes the lower jaw to be more protruding so it can affect your child’s appearance and function.
What causes an underbite?
The most common cause of an underbite is genetics. Unfortunately for many, the shape of the jawline can be passed down from prior generations. If someone’s parent developed an underbite as a child, then they have a greater chance that they will also have an underbite.
What happens if an underbite is left untreated?
Physical appearance is not the only side-effect of an underbite. Possible complications from an untreated underbite include jaw pain, increased wear and tear on your child’s tooth enamel, and speech difficulty.
How is an underbite corrected?
Treatment for an underbite is most effective on children who are still growing. To correct your child’s orthodontic problems, we recommend that you start early. We can correct an underbite as early as 6-8 years old. For some children, a simple appliance is all that is required. If the patient is older, braces are the most common way to correct an underbite. The goal of this early treatment is to correct growth of the jaw and bite problem. The good thing about having early treatment is to help make room for permanent teeth to come in properly.
During a consultation at Hersch Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics we can assess if any bite issues are present. Make an appointment so we can plan and discuss early treatment as necessary.