Common Orthodontic Problems in Children and How to Fix Them

Common orthodontic problems in kids

Did you know children typically start losing their baby teeth between the ages of five and seven? The timing is crucial because losing baby teeth too early or too late can cause complications with the permanent teeth meant to take their place. If left unaddressed, misaligned teeth can lead to a cascade of dental problems, including tooth decay, gum disease, enamel wear, and difficulties chewing. 

This article will explore these issues in depth and discuss practical strategies for preventing and treating them, ensuring your child’s oral health remains tip-top.

What are the common orthodontic problems in kids?

When it comes to orthodontic problems in kids, it’s essential to understand why they occur in the first place. Children’s mouths are constantly growing and developing; sometimes, this natural process can lead to dental misalignments. Genetics, thumb sucking, pacifier use, or even early loss of baby teeth can contribute to orthodontic issues like overcrowding, a misaligned bite, or crooked teeth.

Recognizing the importance of early orthodontic evaluation is key to ensuring your child’s dental health. Having your child evaluated by an orthodontic specialist at a young age, typically around seven years old, can allow your dentist to detect and address potential problems early on. Early intervention allows dentists and orthodontists to guide the growth of the jaw and incoming permanent teeth, preventing more severe issues from developing later in life.

Moreover, early orthodontic evaluation provides an opportunity to identify and treat problems that may not be immediately apparent. Even if your child’s teeth appear straight, underlying issues like jaw misalignment or improper tooth eruption patterns can be detected through a thorough examination. 

Why do kids need orthodontics?

Kids may need orthodontic treatment for various reasons, and understanding these reasons can shed light on the importance of orthodontics for their overall dental health. Here are some common orthodontic issues that children may face:


Overcrowding occurs when the mouth has insufficient space for the permanent teeth to erupt properly. This can lead to crooked or overlapping teeth, which can be both aesthetically displeasing and challenging to clean effectively, increasing the risk of tooth decay and gum disease.


An overbite refers to the upper front teeth when they overlap the lower front teeth when biting down. This can result in uneven wear of the teeth, jaw discomfort, and potential speech difficulties. More severe cases may lead to problems with the jaw joint (TMJ).


An underbite is characterized by the lower front teeth protruding further forward than the upper front teeth. This misalignment can affect proper chewing, speech, and jaw development. It is crucial to address underbites as they can lead to difficulty biting, increased risk of tooth damage, and improper alignment of the jaw joints.


A Crossbite occurs when the upper teeth sit inside the lower teeth when biting down. It can lead to asymmetrical jaw growth, tooth wear, and potential jaw joint problems. Correcting crossbites helps prevent future dental and functional issues.

Open bite

An open bite refers to a gap between the upper and lower front teeth when the back teeth bite together. This can cause difficulty with biting, chewing, and speech problems and may contribute to abnormal jaw development. Timely intervention is crucial to address open bites and ensure proper oral function.

Protruding teeth

When the upper front teeth excessively protrude, it can impact the aesthetics of a child’s smile and increase the risk of injury to the teeth in the case of accidents or falls. Also, protruding teeth may contribute to self-esteem issues and difficulty with oral hygiene.

Is my kid a candidate for braces?

Determining whether your child is a candidate for braces or retainers involves several factors. First and foremost, having a foundation of healthy teeth and gums is essential. Maintaining good daily oral hygiene practices is crucial as well. If gum disease is present, partner with your child’s dentist to address it before orthodontic treatment begins. This is because braces can increase the risk of gum disease due to the potential for additional plaque buildup.

When considering the type of orthodontic treatment, there are different options, such as traditional metal braces or clear aligners. Each option has its own benefits and considerations. Traditional metal braces are often recommended for children with more complex orthodontic issues, such as significant misalignments or bite problems. Clear aligners offer a more discreet and removable alternative, suitable for children with mild to moderate orthodontic needs.

Setting your child on the path to a brighter and straighter smile. 

Orthodontic treatment offers numerous benefits for kids, including improved dental alignment, enhanced oral function, and increased confidence. As parents, prioritizing your child’s orthodontic needs is essential for their long-term dental health and overall well-being. 

Whether you opt for traditional metal braces or explore the discreet option of clear aligners, both treatments can effectively address common orthodontic problems in children, such as overcrowding, misaligned bites, and crooked teeth. 

You can set your child on the path toward a brighter and straighter smile by seeking orthodontic evaluation and treatment. Don’t wait any longer: request an appointment with Compass Dental Group today to give your child the gift of a lifetime with a healthy and confident smile.