According to AAO, it’s estimated that 50% to 75% of people could benefit from orthodontics, and one of the most common orthodontic issues is misalignment or malocclusion. Malocclusion comes in many different forms such as crowded teeth, crossbite, overbite, underbite, or open bite. Let’s look at some common causes for misaligned teeth.
Overuse of Pacifiers
Pacifiers are often used to soothe babies because they’re comforted by the sucking motion. This is because babies are born with a strong suck reflex. However, as your child grows older, this suck reflex begins to diminish. Many older babies and toddlers may continue to use a pacifier for comfort, but this habit can negatively impact the shape of your child’s teeth as they grow. As your child’s teeth start to come in, the pacifier may negatively impact the teeth alignment at the roof of the mouth and can lead to an open bite. Fortunately, if your child does have an open bite, orthodontics can help to realign the bite for a happy, healthy smile.
Prolonged Bottle Feeding or Thumb Sucking
Prolonged bottle feeding and thumb sucking can have a similar effect on the teeth as a pacifier. Because toddlers have a malleable palate and their teeth are just coming in, the routine pressure of the bottle or thumb in their mouth can lead to alignment issues later. It’s recommended to wean your child off bottle feeding between the ages of 12 and 18 months and to address thumb sucking by age four.
Another cause of teeth misalignment is injury. If your child experiences an injury to their baby teeth, such as when they’re playing youth sports or accidentally fall, the premature loss of their teeth can make it difficult for their permanent teeth to know where to properly come in when they push through the gums. As a result, your child’s teeth may become misaligned. Your child’s orthodontist can help re-align the teeth with braces or Invisalign depending on the extent of the misalignment.
If you or your child has a dental misalignment issue and you’re interested in orthodontics, our team can help. Reach out to us at Mint Hill Orthodontics today for more information about our services or to schedule a consultation with us. We’ll be more than happy to answer any questions you may have.