How to Help a Child With an Overbite

An overbite is a common orthodontic issue when the upper teeth protrude too far over the lower teeth. It can be caused by genetics, bad habits like thumb-sucking, or even incorrect swallowing. Although it is not always a cause for concern, an overbite can be uncomfortable and embarrassing for kids. According to the American Association of Orthodontists, if left untreated, the teeth may be more prone to injury and more difficult to clean. This can lead to cavities and gum disease.

If your child has an overbite, there are several things you can do to help. Here are some tips:

1. Schedule an appointment with a pediatric dentist.

The most important thing you can do is to take your child to see an orthodontist. They will be able to assess the severity of the overbite and recommend the best course of treatment. Sometimes, overbites can be corrected with simple treatments like wearing a retainer at night. In more severe cases, however, braces may be necessary.

If your child does need braces, don’t worry! Many different braces are available today, and orthodontists will work with you to find the best option for your child. Braces have come a long way in recent years and are now more comfortable and effective than ever before.

Their dentist may also recommend a Herbst orthodontic appliance, a type of metal brace attached to the lower front teeth that helps guide them into proper alignment. This type of appliance is often used to correct overbites in children. You can also ask your dentist about other treatments that may be appropriate for your child.

2. Limit sugary snacks and drinks.

Sugary snacks and drinks can contribute to the development of dental problems, which can cause complications for people with an overbite. Try to limit your child’s intake of sugary foods and drinks and encourage them to eat healthy snacks and drink plenty of water. You can also encourage them to brush their teeth twice daily and floss regularly.

You should also avoid feeding your child hard foods, such as raw carrots and apples, as these can damage their teeth and worsen the overbite. Some orthodontists also recommend avoiding sticky, chewy foods.

Opting for a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and dairy products is also beneficial. Foods that are good for the teeth contain calcium, vitamin C, and other essential vitamins, which can help strengthen the teeth and gums. Their overbite may improve or become less noticeable with good eating habits.

An assortment of sugary foods on a wooden table

3. Monitor bad habits.

Bad habits like thumb-sucking can cause the teeth to become misaligned. If your child has a mannerism like this, it’s important to gently remind them to stop as soon as possible. If necessary, you may want to try using a thumb guard or an orthodontic appliance to help them break the habit.

Another bad habit to watch for is pushing their tongue against their front teeth, which can cause them to protrude further. Try to keep an eye out and remind your child to stop if they start engaging in these activities. You can also try to find activities that they enjoy that don’t involve their teeth or mouth.

But if these habits persist, talk to the orthodontist about other options. They can help you decide what the best course of action is for your child. You may also want to consider counseling for your child, as bad habits may be rooted in psychological issues.

4. Talk to your child about their overbite.

Many children may feel embarrassed or uncomfortable about having an overbite, but it’s important to remind them that it is a common problem and can be treated. Talking to them about it openly can help to ease their anxiety and encourage them to work with you on finding solutions.

Encourage your child to keep their chin up, smile confidently, and be proud of themselves. Helping them feel positive about how they look can make a big difference in their self-esteem. They may even find that they can use their overbite to their advantage! They might even use it as a conversation starter with their friends.

An overbite can be a complex problem to deal with, but by taking the right steps, you can help your child achieve a beautiful and healthy smile. With the right treatment plan and a little bit of patience, your child’s overbite can be corrected or improved in no time. Remember to stay positive and supportive, and you’ll be on the right path to helping your child feel confident about their smile.

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