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Dental and Oral Health (Children)

Under bite in a 7-year-old

01/19/2006

Question:

My 7 year old daughter has had a noticable underbite eversince her first teeth came in. Our family dentist said to not be concerned until her permament teeth are fully in. She has lost her bottom and top baby teeth and I can see the permanent teeth are not lining up any different than her baby teeth. It is obvious to me (the untrained layman) that her lower jaw is too long and or her upper jaw is too short. It`s not a tooth problem. When is the best time for treatment and what treatment options are there available?

Answer:

Now is a good time to see an orthodontist or pediatric dentist to evaluate your child's anterior cross-bite. Depending on the diagnosis, treatment may be timed to capitalize on the growth of her jaws. It also may be advisable to wait until the growth of her lower jaw is complete before treatment, which could involve surgery to move her jaws to the correct position. Your child's specialist will discuss the treatment options with you.

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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