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Dental and Oral Health (Children)

Infant underbite

08/03/2005

Question:

My daughter is now 15 months old and I have noticed that she has an underbite. She continually has her hand to her moth and is doing a sucking motion, not relly sucking her hand. This sign has always been "I`m hungry" or "I`m tired". Is her underbite because she is sucking like this? and if so, How do I get her to stop so that it doesn`t get any worse or maybe even help reverse the damage? Thank you in advance for your assistance.

Answer:

It is possible for finger and pacifier habits to affect the alignment of the teeth of growing children. Stopping the habit is very difficult until the child is old enough to cooperate and actually wants to stop. It is not likely that any intervention will stop your child's habit at this age, and it's not appropriate to try. Your child's bite may not be related to the habit at all and she should be examined by a pediatric dentist who will address your specific concerns.

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Response by:

Dennis J McTigue, DDS Dennis J McTigue, DDS
Professor of Pediatric Dentistry
College of Dentistry
The Ohio State University