A Malocclusion—better known as a poor bite—can have far-ranging consequences that could follow a child into adulthood. Bite abnormalities make it more difficult to chew and digest food. And, misaligned teeth are also harder to keep clean, increasing the risk of dental disease.
But the good news is that we can often curb these long-term effects by discovering and treating a malocclusion early. A poor bite generally develops slowly with signs emerging as early as age 6. If you can pick up on such a sign, interventional treatment might even prevent a malocclusion altogether.
Here are 5 possible signs that might indicate your child is developing a poor bite.
Excessive spacing or crowding. A poor bite may be developing if the gaps between teeth seem unusually wide or, at the opposite spectrum, the teeth appear crooked or "bunched up" from crowding.
Underbite. In a normal bite the teeth on the upper jaw arch slightly cover the lower. If the opposite is true—the lower teeth are in front of the upper—then an underbite could be forming.
Open bite. Normally, when the jaws are shut, there is no open space between them. But if you notice a space still present between the upper and lower teeth when the jaws are shut, it may indicate an open bite.
Crossbite. This abnormal bite occurs when some of the lower teeth bite in front of the upper, while the remaining lower teeth are properly aligned behind the upper. Crossbites can occur with either the front or the back teeth.
Front teeth abnormalities. Front teeth especially can indicate a number of problems. In a deep bite, the upper front teeth extend too far over the lower teeth. Protrusion occurs when the upper teeth jut too far forward; in retrusion, the lower teeth seem to be farther back than normal.
See your dentist if you notice these signs or anything else unusual with your child's bite. Better yet, schedule a bite evaluation with an orthodontist when your child reaches age 6. Getting a head start on treating an emerging malocclusion can save them bigger problems down the road.
If you would like more information on malocclusions and their impact on your child's oral health, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Problems to Watch For in Children Ages 6 to 8.”
Want to get a whiter smile fast? Turn to professional in-office whitening.
From berries and red wine to our morning coffee, there are a ton of delicious foods and drinks that unfortunately can leave some pretty nasty stains behind on our teeth. That’s why many people turn to our Naples, FL, dentists Drs. Richard & Maria Linden for professional whitening. Here at Linden Dental, we know how important it is for people to have a white, vibrant smile that is free of stains, and professional whitening offers amazing results in no time.
How does teeth whitening work?
When you come into our office for teeth whitening it will certainly be a bit different than if you’re using those over-the-counter whitening kits yourself. Our teeth whitening system is ideal for tackling external stains caused by age, foods, and drinks, and even smoking. While toothpaste and certain at-home kits might be great for removing more minor stains, if you want to get rid of stubborn, deep-set stains, then our in-office whitening system is the way to go.
Whitening gels contain either one of two active ingredients: carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide. This ingredient can soak through the enamel to break up the molecules causing your stains. In return, the molecules in the whitening gel spread to your tooth to get an evenly whiter smile. Professional chairside whitening can produce such fast results because the peroxide is so highly concentrated that it can penetrate deeper into the tooth to remove stubborn stains and yellowing.
Whom is a good candidate for professional teeth whitening?
There are a lot of people who have achieved brilliant results with the professional teeth whitening our Naples, FL, dentists offer and you could be next. Of course, the results that you get will depend on the severity of your stains and just how white you want to get your smile. Some people could get the results they want in just one whitening session alone. Just remember that dental restorations like fillings won’t whiten with treatment. Be sure to talk to our dental team so we can create a whitening plan that is tailored to your needs.
If you are interested in turning to our Naples, FL, dentists Drs. Linden for professional teeth whitening, then call Linden Dental at (239) 593-0777 to find out if this is the right cosmetic option for your smile needs.
QB sensation Johnny Manziel has had a varied career in professional football. After playing two seasons for the NFL Cleveland Browns, he quarterbacked for a number of teams in the Canadian Football League. More recently, he joined the Zappers in the new Fan Controlled Football league (FCF). But then with only a few games under his belt, he was waylaid by an emergency dental situation.
It's unclear what the situation was, but it was serious enough to involve oral surgery. As a result, he was forced to miss the Zappers' final regular-season game. His experience is a reminder that some dental problems can't wait—you have to attend to them immediately or risk severe long-term consequences.
Manziel's recent dental problem also highlights a very important specialty of dentistry—oral surgery. Oral surgeons are uniquely trained and qualified to treat and correct a number of oral problems.
Tooth extraction. Although some teeth can be removed by a general dentist, some have complications like multiple roots or impaction that make regular extractions problematic. An oral surgeon may be needed to surgically remove these kinds of problem teeth.
Disease. Oral surgeons often intervene with diseases attacking areas involving the jaws or face. This includes serious infections that could become life-threatening if they're not promptly treated by surgical means.
Bite improvement. Some poor bites (malocclusions) arise from a mismatch in the sizes of the jaws. An oral surgeon may be able to correct this through orthognathic surgery to reposition the jaw to the skull. This may compensate for the difference in jaw sizes and reduce the bite problem.
Implants. Dental implants are one of the best ways to replace teeth, either as a standalone tooth or as support for a fixed dental bridge or a removable denture. In some cases, it may be better for an oral surgeon to place the implants into a patient's jawbone.
Reconstruction. Injuries or birth defects like a cleft lip or palate can alter the appearance and function of the face, jaws or mouth. An oral surgeon may be able to perform procedures that repair the damage and correct oral or facial deformities.
Sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea is usually caused by the tongue relaxing against the back of the throat during sleep and blocking the airway. But other anatomical structures like tonsils or adenoids can do the same thing. An oral surgeon could address this situation by surgically altering obstructing tissues.
It's likely most of your dental care won't require the services of an oral surgeon. But when you do need surgical treatment, like Johnny Manziel, these dental specialists can make a big difference in your oral health.
If you would like more information about oral surgery, please contact us or schedule a consultation.
Preventing tooth decay from developing in your child's teeth requires a strong commitment to daily oral hygiene. But if you have a child with a chronic physical or behavioral condition, you might find it difficult to keep that commitment in the light of other pressing health needs.
But tooth decay is just as important a health issue as the others with which you may contend. Because primary teeth guide incoming permanent teeth to erupt properly, losing them prematurely can lead to a poor bite and other associated problems. This could further diminish their quality of life already compromised by their chronic condition.
Helping your special needs child avoid tooth decay isn't easy—but it can be done. Here's how!
Brush and floss for them. Normally, a parent's goal is to help their children learn to care for their teeth on their own. But depending on the nature of your child's chronic disease, that may not be possible. Instead, you may need to take an active role in their daily hygiene for the foreseeable future, even brushing and flossing for them if necessary.
Model proper dental care. Even so, it's still a good idea to guide them toward performing oral hygiene tasks without assistance, according to their abilities. This could be a long road, though, one that requires your active participation. You can ease this process by continuously modeling good dental care behavior for them through brushing and flossing together.
See an understanding dentist. Although caring for a special needs child can be isolating, you don't have to go at it alone. That includes taking care of their teeth and gums: A dentist who has both training and experience in treating children with chronic health conditions can become an important partner in your efforts to fight tooth decay.
Communicate between all care providers. Likewise, having everyone involved in your child's care on the same page can make decay prevention a much easier process. Be sure then to share your concerns about your child's needs, including dental care, with attending physicians, therapists and, of course, dentists.
If you would like more information on dental care for special needs children, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Managing Tooth Decay in Children With Chronic Diseases.”
Taking care of your teeth is essential for maintaining a healthy and beautiful smile. Avoiding dental issues is the best way to do so. It is easier, less invasive, and more cost-effective to prevent dental problems than it is to treat them.
Your Naples, FL, dentists, Dr. Richard Linden, and Dr. Maria Linden of Linden Dental offer preventive care to keep your smile healthy.
At Home Care
Before visiting your dentist, you should be practicing great oral hygiene at home. Brush your teeth twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste to remove plaque. Plaque is the substance that gathers on the surface of your teeth each day. If it is not removed, it can harden into tartar. Tartar can’t be removed with a toothbrush and needs to be cleaned by a dentist. You also have to floss at least once a day to clean in between the teeth.
Preventive Care from Your Naples, FL, Dentists
To make sure your smile is in excellent health, you need to visit your dentist twice a year for a checkup and cleaning. During your checkup, your dentist will make sure that there are no problems with your teeth. If you have any cavities or other issues, they can be caught early on and treated before they progress and require expensive and more invasive treatments. The dentist will also check your gums for any early signs of gum disease. Finally, they will perform an oral cancer screening which could potentially be lifesaving.
Another part of your appointment will be professional teeth cleaning. Even if you brush and floss diligently, there will inevitably be some areas that are missed because they are hard to reach without professional tools. A professional cleaning will make sure that there is no plaque and all tartar is removed. It can even keep your teeth looking whiter for longer by removing surface stains.
Contact your Naples, FL, dentists, Dr. Richard Linden, and Dr. Maria Linden of Linden Dental, to schedule your next checkup. To reach us, call (239) 593-0777 today!
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