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Aug 152014

Many children have an overbite problem. It is crucial to evaluate children as young as five years of age for developing crossbites and overbites.  Left untreated, such developmental problems can lead to:  headaches, ear pain, jaw pain, facial pain, sinus congestion, and neck problems.

It is important to complete such treatment at early developmental stages, usually between the ages of 10-12 years old. For example, this cute, young girl presented to our office with complaints of headaches and earaches. Her ENT (ear, nose and throat) surgeon had performed three ear tube surgeries attempting to relieve her pain and discomfort. Unfortunately, her problem kept worsening and she was starting to lose her ability to hear.

Many Children have an Overbite Problem
In the 1st photo, notice the deep overbite.  Many children have this problem. Some will also grind their teeth, a problem which worsens the jaw to jaw condition.  The ear problems get worse and the headaches increase.  The child has “developmental” problems and is unable to lead a normal, healthy childhood.

Overbite Before Correction Comfort Dental Southfield, MI Overbite Correction after photo Comfort Dental Southfield, MI
Overbite Before Correction Overbite Corrected

Physicians attempt to treat these problems with medications and surgeries, but fail to diagnose the underlying problem…an orthodontic condition.  Weeks after we performed interceptive orthodontic measures her headaches disappeared and her earaches subsided.  Her hearing returned to normal levels within six months. All accomplished without oral surgery and needless medications.

Advantages of Early Treatment for Overbite Problems
The same treatment protocol can be followed in young children with deep overbites in order to help them grow properly. The earlier this type of treatment is begun the healthier the child will grow. It also helps to diminish the need for more expensive orthodontic treatment later in life.

Note: these children must also be thoroughly evaluated for tonsil problems. Many will have large, inflamed, and sometimes infected tonsils which contribute to the problem. Often, it is necessary to have the tonsils removed in order to have successful treatment outcome and prevent future growth problems.

Overbite Correction During Childhood

Simple Adult Orthodontic Treatment
Before Treatment After Treatment
Before – 8-Year-Old Patient After – Initial Overbite Correction Will Promote Early Jaw Growth

Many parents think that starting orthodontic treatment before their child loses their baby teeth is not required. We beg to disagree! There are 2 significant problems that must always be examined and treated in young children, before the age of 8. First, is an overbite…most commonly known as the true cause of headaches and ear pain in children and adults. An overbite normally indicates a lower jaw that is having a hard time catching up to the upper jaw.

This 8 year old patient complained of earaches. His lower teeth could not provide the proper stabilization for his lower jaw. In less than 50 minutes, we used bonding techniques to build-up the strength of his lower back teeth and reposition the jaws to a more normal relationship. This helps to initiate proper jaw growth and guides the permanent teeth into a better vertical position when the patient starts to lose their baby teeth.

Second, is a cross bite which is caused by a deficient upper jaw.