How Protruding Teeth Affect Children’s Health

boy brushing teeth

Malocclusions or misalignments of teeth come in different forms. Perhaps one of the most common is tooth protrusion or “buck teeth.” It usually happens when the front upper teeth are more forward than those at the bottom.

Buck teeth can be a potential source of bullying and low self-esteem, but they can also affect children’s health. That’s why parents must seek pediatric dentists in Murray as the teeth are growing or protruding teeth begin to develop.

What’s the Big Deal?

How can protruding teeth affect a child’s overall health? You can refer to an Australian study. Researchers from the University of Adelaide worked with more than 45,000 children below 19 years old. They then learned that those who develop buck teeth were more likely to suffer from traumatic dental injuries.

They found out that children six years old and below with protruding teeth over 3mm increased their risk of trauma threefold. Meanwhile, older kids with extended teeth measuring 5mm doubled their odds of dental injury.

Traumatic dental injury is something one cannot take lightly. For dental experts, it is even an emergency. Such a condition can result in the buildup of abscess or infection. It can impact the child’s speech, manner of eating, and even the formation of their face and jaw. It can also be a source of relentless pain.

A 2018 study in the International Journal of Oral Science (IJOS) also established a link between malocclusion and dental caries. It cited how the latter might eventually result in misalignment of the teeth. But it can also happen oppositely—that is, misalignments can worsen caries or tooth decay.

Preventing Malocclusions

child during a dental appointment

Usually, when a child develops malocclusions, they go to an orthodontist. They are dentists who specialize in correcting teeth alignment through appliances such as braces and retainers. More often than not, however, this can be costly for the parents.

The Australian researchers and other dental experts agree they are other useful options to fix and even prevent malocclusions. For one, parents need to work closely with a pediatric dentist at the right time and regularly.

A child can already have their first visit as soon as some teeth begin to show up. That can be around the kid’s sixth month. Dentists also recommend an appointment when the kid transitions from bottle-feeding or breastfeeding to meals. Before they reach two years old, they must already have their first dental visit.

Dentists can also help parents correct kid habits that lead to or worsen teeth protrusion such as thumb sucking or prolonged use of pacifiers. They can teach moms and dads ways to soothe babies without a high dependence on these appliances.

Should malocclusions begin to form, dentists can already start to measure the degree of protrusion and recommend steps to delay or stop the progress. One of these is through fitting simple braces, which are more affordable and less limiting for the child.

Dental health is just as essential for children as it is for adults. It improves their speech, digestion, and facial formation. These are enough reasons for parents to schedule dental appointments regularly as well.