Orthodontic

What Causes of a Child’s Crooked Teeth?

A common perception is that genetics is the primary factor in why a child develops crooked teeth. However, recent research indicates the cause may be an abnormal lip, jaw, or tongue position during rest, swallowing or speech. prolonged oral habits like thumb or finger sucking can be the root of the orthodontic problems.

Dentists refer to these as “myofunctional habits” and they can affect the natural development of the teeth and jaws. The Myobrace System was developed to treat these underlying causes in order to aid natural tooth growth and help prevent the need for orthodontics.

Incorrect Myofunctional Habits and Teeth Development

A very common habit for a child to develop is thumb sucking. Yet this is a prime example of an incorrect myofunctional habit as it can impede jaw development. 

Anything which prevents the tongue and lips from performing normally can result in tooth alignment issues and underdeveloped jaws. Further examples of incorrect myofunctional habits include:

Mouth breathing

If a child primarily breathes through their mouth, it not only means the mouth is often open, but the tongue is not in its natural position of rest. The outcome is a restriction of the correct forward growth of the surrounding muscles, with the jaws being narrower as well as developing in a downward manner. This ultimately means less space in the mouth and the potential for misaligned teeth.

Incorrect Tongue Position

When you are not chewing or talking, the tongue rests naturally in the mouth. This is key as the tongue helps form the shape of the developing jaw. 

This resting position is in the roof of the mouth, but if it is often positioned in the lower part of the mouth instead, for example as with mouth breathers, then there will not be enough space for the upper teeth to come through correctly. The lower jaw will also be forced back and downwards, affecting the shape of the face.

Reverse Swallowing

The correct forward growth of the jaw is also affected by reverse swallowing. This is when a child swallows the wrong way, with the tongue moving forward and the lips back. On average, a child swallows twice each minute, therefore when reverse swallowing, the face will not develop properly, as the muscles are being forced in the direction opposite to natural growth.

Poor Lips and Cheek Control

The lips and cheeks help with positioning the teeth and poor control of either, or poor muscle tone, makes it harder to close the lips when swallowing. This can result in teeth alignment problems.

The Myobrace System

The Myobrace system was developed to treat these underlying conditions to prevent need for braces later on in the teen years. The system involves a  removable device which is worn overnight and for up to two hours each day. 

Best suited for ages 3 to 15, our highly experienced practice specialises in this treatment. We will explain how Myobrace is a preventive pre-orthodontic treatment which aids natural teeth and bone development. 

By addressing the underlying habits which cause crooked teeth we aim to prevent your child from requiring orthodontics like braces or tooth extractions.

The Risks to Your Oral Health from Crooked Teeth

Compared to our ancestors, our jaws have become smaller as we have evolved. This reduction in jaw size means there is now less room for our teeth to come through properly. Therefore, having crooked teeth or slightly misaligned teeth is quite a common occurrence.

And while for the majority there will not be any direct pain or discomfort from this, crooked teeth can still result in oral health issues.

One of the main issues arising from crooked teeth is the increasing difficulty in brushing the teeth thoroughly. The more significant the misalignment of teeth, the harder they become to clean adequately when brushing and flossing. 

It becomes harder to reach all surfaces of the teeth and gums which allows plaque to build in areas missed. The result is an increased risk from gum disease, irritated gums and cavities due to tooth decay.

A practical problem from crooked teeth is difficulty chewing. Being able to properly chew your food is important for your digestion. However, it can be more difficult when teeth are crooked — which makes you more prone to swallowing food which that not been sufficiently broken down. 

Another practical issue — you may struggle to pronounce words correctly. If you often mispronounce words, this can understandably knock your self-confidence.

Jaw disorders are also more common with crooked teeth. The temporomandibular joints sit at the base of the skull and connect the lower and upper jaws. These joints allow you to move your jaw in order to speak and chew comfortably. 

Those who have misaligned teeth are at more risk of suffering with disorders of this jaw joint. These disorders can result in jaw pain, headaches, muscle issues and could also potentially restrict how far you can open your mouth. 

Crooked teeth may also accelerate teeth shifting beyond their natural rate. Our teeth do shift over time but this can be hastened beyond the normal rate because of misaligned teeth.

You can do something about crooked teeth and their consequences. In consultation with your dentist, you will be advised of the treatments available to best correct your misaligned teeth. 

Regardless of how old you are, modern dentistry offers a range of treatment options. From metal and ceramic braces to clear aligners, your dentist can realign your teeth — helping you to prevent any discomfort and dental health issues arising from having crooked teeth. 

With straight teeth, you’ll also have a nicer smile! If crooked teeth are bothering you, talk with Danny the Dentist about orthodontic treatment. No-one ever regrets having a nice smile.

Is It Time For Orthodontics?

There are many types of braces available to children. From traditional metal braces to Invisalign invisible braces, you can be sure to find something that will work for your little one. You probably have a lot of questions concerning braces, which is why we’ve compiled good information you need to know before beginning this journey.

Why do children need braces?

Children need braces for a number of reasons, including overcrowded, crooked, overlapping teeth, or a ‘bad bite’ (also known as malocclusion). A malocclusion occurs when there’s a difference in the sizes of the top and bottom jaws. This variation in size results in an overbite or an underbite.

If your child is losing his baby teeth too early or too late, there might be a problem with his (or her) jaw that needs correcting. You should also be wary of teeth that are coming through in the wrong position and teeth that are not making any contact. Other signs to watch out for include lips that can’t close properly and a difficulty eating. All these are alarm bells telling you it’s time your child got to see their dentist.

When is the best age for your child to get braces?

Many orthodontists recommend that children make their first official visit at the age of seven. By this stage, their adult teeth have begun appearing and any alignment issues can be easily corrected. However, remember that treatment won’t begin for another few months or years, depending on your child’s special condition. Children often begin orthodontia between the ages of 8 and 14 and the average treatment time will vary amongst children.

What are the benefits of orthodontics?

Orthodontics helps move teeth into the correct position as they emerge. It also helps in guiding the growth of the jaw bone, therefore, preventing jaw misalignment later in life. Orthodontics also helps in making space for erupting teeth and improves the facial aesthetics of your child. Your child will also have a reduced risk of injury to prominent teeth.

Final thoughts

It’s very common for children to get braces to straighten their teeth, but as a parent, there are many steps you must take before approving the treatment. 

Start by talking with your child’s dentist for advice. In the end, the braces will pay off when your little one has a beautiful smile with straight teeth. 

A dentist for every stage of life: how to stay healthy and happy

If there’s one thing that remains constant through all stages of life, it’s the need for a dentist. Weybridge clinic Danny de Villiers Dentist offers a full range of general, preventative, and restorative dental procedures. We welcome new patients of all ages for consultations and check-ups.
orthodontics-treatmentYour dental needs will change throughout life, and Danny de Villiers Dentist in Weybridge will provide effective treatment whatever your age, and whatever your oral health problem.
Children
Children should start to see the dentist from an early age – as soon as their first teeth start to appear. At our Weybridge dental practice we are highly experienced in working with young patients, ensuring that they feel safe and well-cared for at all times, and reducing the risk of dental phobia later in life.
Many children in the UK still suffer from unnecessary tooth decay. Your dentist will check for early signs of decay, will apply fluoride varnish and fissure sealant to strengthen and protect your child’s teeth, and will help them to understand how too many sugary treats are bad news for their dental health.
Orthodontic treatment is often best started during childhood; your Weybridge dentist will check for early signs of orthodontic issues.
Teenagers
Many teenagers wear braces, and at our Weybridge clinic we are strong advocates of non-extraction orthodontics, which is less stressful for your teen. Regular visits to the dentist also help your teenager to understand the impact of fizzy drinks and sugary treats on their oral health.
Adults
You need good dental care throughout adulthood to help your teeth stay healthy and strong. Some groups have specific oral health needs – pregnant women or those with reduced immune systems, for example.
It’s important to attend check-ups as often as your dentist recommends. An increasing number of UK adults are also taking an interest in cosmetic dentistry. Our Weybridge dentist offers a full range of aesthetic dental services.
Older people
If you look after your teeth, there is no reason for you to lose them as you get older. If you have experienced tooth loss, you still need to attend regular dental appointments to ensure your gums are healthy and your dentures secure.

Braces for all ages: non-surgical orthodontic treatments

Braces are commonly used for children and teenagers, but orthodontic treatment can be beneficial to patients of all ages. Danny de Villiers dental practice in Weybridge offers braces for patients of all ages, and is keen to promote non-extraction orthodontics – which are more comfortable and less stressful for patients.
orthodontics-treatmentWe take a holistic approach to dental treatment at our Weybridge clinic. This means considering the person as a whole, rather than just thinking about the teeth. Your dentist will first diagnose the problems causing uneven or misaligned teeth, and will then provide appropriate treatment.
What braces are used for
The most common time for orthodontic treatment is during childhood or the teenage years. At Danny de Villiers Dentist in Weybridge we encourage parents to bring their children in from a young age, so that orthodontic correction can begin early, thus will be less complex and require less invasive procedures to treat.
Braces can be used to help problems caused by thumb sucking or prolonged use of a dummy. Among the issues they can help with are:

  • Mouth breathing
  • Crooked or poorly-spaced teeth
  • Deep bite or overbite
  • Crowded teeth
  • Protruding front teeth
  • Tongue thrusting

Our Weybridge dental centre offers a range of braces to treat all of these problems in children and teenagers.
Cosmetic braces for adults
An increasing number of adults are also seeking treatment with braces later in life. At our Weybridge dental clinic we offer treatment with the popular Six Month Smiles cosmetic brace system. These appliances are suitable for mild to moderate correction of issues affecting the front teeth – i.e. those that show when you smile.
It is these “social six” teeth that the majority of adults who come to our Weybridge clinic are concerned about. Six Month Smiles have several benefits when compared with traditional appliances. These include: being made from clear and tooth-coloured components, so blending in with your natural tooth colour; acting in an average time of half a year – some mild cases complete within three months; using lower forces, making treatment much more comfortable.
We welcome new patients of all ages who are interested in treatment with braces in Weybridge.