Can Early Orthodontic Treatment Correct Underbites in Children?

Bite issues can be challenging to live with, but don’t worry! Mahlmann & Borders Orthodontics has got you and your family covered! We are proud to provide early orthodontic treatment for our young patients dealing with underbites and the uncomfortable side effects that come with them. Our team is here today to share more about what an underbite is, your child’s early care options, and the benefits of correcting bite issues early in life.

A Guide to Underbites

Underbites are categorized as a type of malocclusion or misalignment of the teeth. This bite issue is when your child’s lower front teeth protrude past their upper front ones, causing jaw pain and uneven pressure across the mouth. This can happen when their lower jaw grows faster than the other. 

Bite issues such as this can occur due to negative habits such as prolonged pacifier use and thumb-sucking past toddlerhood. However, one of the most common causes is simply due to genetics. Should a parent or a close family member have an underbite when they were young, the chances of your child having one also increase. 

What Happens When It’s Left Untreated?

If an underbite is left untreated, your child may experience negative physical and mental side effects such as jaw pain, TMJ issues, altered face space, hesitance to show their smile, and speech difficulties. 

Only in rare cases does a child’s malocclusion fix itself, so we encourage patients to be seen early on to help make an informed decision on the next steps. Dr. Mahlmann and Dr. Borders strive to ensure everyone who comes to us is happy with their smile and work to create a comfortable environment to make it happen.

The Best Time to Start Care

Many patients tend to develop underbite issues at an early age. Hence, we recommend bringing your child in for a free consultation as soon as you notice signs such as misalignment or mentions of discomfort while chewing. Children’s jaws are still malleable before their late teens, so we work to use non-invasive care options whenever possible to correct bites and realign their teeth.

If you develop an underbite later in life, let us reassure you it is never too late to seek out care! Our team is eager to help patients of all ages and provide the resources they need to accomplish the beautiful smile they deserve. 

Can Early Orthodontic Treatment Correct Underbites in Children?

Early Orthodontic Care Options 

There are now many non-invasive ways to treat underbites, thanks to advancements in early care options.

Partial Braces

Focusing on select teeth, partial braces are an excellent option when readjustment is needed in specific areas. An underbite can be taken care of by using this appliance to space out crowded teeth and other methods to ensure the jaw is wide enough to properly support permanent teeth still growing in.

Palatal Expanders

Palatal expanders are used to widen the upper jaw and allow more space for your child’s upper teeth to grow as permanent ones emerge. It is made up of two metal plates that are fitted to their back teeth with a keyhole in the middle. We will provide you with a key to move the plates further away from each other slowly and allow their mouth to adjust to the sensation over a long period.

Reverse-Pull Face Masks

The reverse-pull face mask, often referred to as the face mask, is often combined with a palatal expander to correct an underbite. Small hooks are attached to the upper back teeth, connecting to the expander. The former is supported with an extension that reaches your forehead to create space for your child’s teeth to grow. This appliance is typically prescribed to be worn for 16 hours a day, so there is no need for them to worry about wearing it to school or when going out with friends.

The Benefits of Underbite Correction

Easy Chewing and Digestion

Perfectly aligned teeth allow for an easy, comfortable chewing experience, so your child doesn’t have to worry about potential cracks or chips from biting down on the wrong food too hard. This way, they can break down their meals into bite-sized pieces so their intestine and stomach don’t need to work harder than necessary. After realigning teeth, we hope you encourage your child to try new foods they may have previously avoided because of this!

Everyday Care Becomes Simple 

Correcting an underbite allows your child’s teeth to shift into their proper position and eliminates the possibility of struggling to clean hard-to-reach spots in their mouth. This makes brushing and flossing daily more straightforward and prevents their chances of issues such as tooth decay and excess plaque from forming. Working to preserve your child’s teeth at an early age allows their future permanent teeth the opportunity to last a lifetime as an adult.

Can Early Orthodontic Treatment Correct Underbites in Children?

Work Toward a Straighter Smile Today!

If you believe your child is suffering from an underbite, our team is here to help you out! Mahlmann & Borders Orthodontics is here to provide your next steps toward correcting any dental issues and provide your family with a safe and comfortable experience along the way. Our team offers free consultations to Richmond and nearby communities. Schedule yours today, and meet the incredible group of professionals behind your family’s care.