Why do Bite Issues Need to be Addressed Early?

Posted on 03/05/2015 by Dr. Lovrovich
Address bite issues early for best orthodontic success

The jaw and facial structures continue developing until late adolescence, around the 20th year of life. Because of this fact, the majority of orthodontic treatments; braces, for example; begin during the teenage years, however there is evidence to suggest that intervention occurring much earlier than adolescence may be useful in treating some types of malocclusions. A cross-bite is one example of the malocclusions in question.

What is a Cross-Bite?

When the front teeth of the upper arch cross behind the front teeth of the lower arch instead of in front of them, an individual’s teeth are said to be in a “cross-bite” position. Cross-bites can be harmful to any of the six teeth on the upper and lower arches respectively, and is a type of malocclusion that sometimes develops early in childhood rather than adolescence.

Because cross-bites can form at young ages, it is possible to begin treating this malocclusion as early as age 7; and, in fact, it is beneficial to begin treatment sooner rather than later. If treatment is started early, it is possible that only preliminary treatment – a retainer designed specifically for this kind of problem, for example – might be necessary instead of the secondary treatment of braces or a similar orthodontic device. This is because the mouth structures, so pliable in childhood, become increasingly formed throughout adolescence, and malocclusion correction becomes more difficult as the mouth becomes more fully formed and rigid.

If your child has a cross-bite, consider contacting us to discuss what treatment is right for them and when to begin.

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