The Six Most Common Orthodontic Problems - Hardy Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics

The Six Most Common Orthodontic Problems

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Up close photo of child smiling with braces

Orthodontic patients come into offices all over the world for a variety of different reasons that range from simple to complicated. Many orthodontists see patients with the same issues, though, which gives them plenty of experience to fix the most common orthodontic issues seen today. From tooth tenderness to mouth injuries, orthodontia can help alleviate the most intense pain and fix even the most drastic injuries out there. If you or your child are suffering from an orthodontic issue that won’t go away, read on to find out what options you have to remedy those problems and improve your oral health!


Reasons For Braces

For patients all over the world, orthodontic treatment has become a necessity to align crooked teeth and jaws, and help them get the straight smiles that they want. While braces are the most common option for care, there are other options that patients can choose from to fit their needs and their budget. The reasons why patients begin orthodontic treatment varies; some patients have had an injury, like a fall, that requires an orthodontic appliance to fix, while others suffer from malocclusion and simply need to realign their teeth and jaws. Children are just as vulnerable as adults, if not more so, to orthodontic problems that necessitate care to ensure proper tooth development. While the reasons for orthodontic care depends on the individual, there are six common orthodontic problems that offices treat on a routine basis:


  • Overbite – Called “buck teeth,” an overbite occurs when the upper front teeth stick out over the lower teeth.
  • Underbite – When the lower teeth are too far forward or the upper teeth are set too far back; commonly referenced as a “bulldog” appearance.
  • Crossbite – Occurs when the upper teeth do not come down in front of the lower teeth when biting normally.
  • Spacing – Gaps, or spaces, between the teeth caused by missing teeth or teeth that do not fill up the mouth normally.
  • Crowding – When there are too many teeth for the dental ridge to accommodate.
  • Misplaced midline – Occurs when the center of the upper front teeth doesn’t line up with the center of the lower teeth.


Depending on your medical history and the oral examination that the orthodontist will perform, typically with X-rays included, you or your child will be recommended a variety of orthodontic treatments that can remedy your specific issues and complaints. A treatment plan that is right for your family will be constructed to give you the best opportunity for success at the best price possible.


Options For Orthodontic Treatment

Having straighter teeth isn’t the only benefit of receiving orthodontic treatment early on in life. Braces and other orthodontic appliances help retrain muscles, affect jaw muscle mobility and move teeth, for both adults and children. Depending on what orthodontic issues you are dealing with and the severity of them, your orthodontist will recommend one of several options that is best fit for your needs. For many patients, braces are a dependable option as they correct alignment problems by putting steady pressure on the teeth. Most kids only need braces with brackets, wires and rubber bands, to fix their crooked or crowded teeth, while others might need specialized appliances, such as headgear, to provide a stronger force during treatment. Space maintainers are also helpful devices used in orthodontic treatment whenever a baby tooth has been lost prematurely and the space is left open for other teeth to intrude into. A band is attached to the tooth in the empty space, with a wire extended to the other tooth on the other side to prevent any movement.


Some patients may only need removable appliances during their treatment, but it will depend on the needs of the patient. Some removable appliances include aligners, palatal expanders and lip and cheek bumpers. Aligners are an alternative to traditional braces and exclude the use of metal wires and brackets. They’re virtually invisible, and are removed for eating, brushing and flossing. Palatal expanders are used to widen the arch of the upper jaw. Using a plastic plate fit over the roof of the mouth, the expander exerts pressure on the plate and forces the joints in the bone to open lengthwise and widen the palate. Lastly, lip and cheek bumpers prevent the lips and cheeks from brushing the teeth. Lips and cheeks can put pressure on the teeth, and these bumpers relieve some of that pressure. There are numerous other options for patients that need jaw repositioning or to help children stop thumb-sucking, but a thorough evaluation by the orthodontist will be needed first before any appliance can be used.


The First Orthodontic VisitYoung woman sitting in orthodontic chair looking at her dental x-rays

Before any diagnosis can be given or treatment can begin, an orthodontic visit will be necessary to evaluate you or your child’s current symptoms and develop a plan of action. At their first orthodontic visit, children will have their teeth, mouth and jaws examined, and parents will be asked questions about their chewing and swallowing. The orthodontist may take X-rays of the child’s mouth to see how and where teeth are developing, and they might make a mold of their teeth by pressing a tray of gooey material onto their top and bottom teeth. As a parent, you play an essential role in helping your child develop healthy, permanent teeth and good oral health. Ensuring that your child has regular checkups with their orthodontist when receiving orthodontic treatment is one of the most important steps that a parent can take to help their child get the care that they need. Through your example at home, kids can learn the proper ways to care for their teeth, and establish good habits that will last them into adulthood.


For more information on what to do if your child is suffering from an orthodontic issue, call Hardy Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics at (720) 887-6003! Our experienced staff is dedicated to helping your family address your oral health needs and get you the smile that you deserve!