Occlusion of toddler tooth?

(March 12, 2010)

Occlusion which is defined as the relationship of the upper teeth to the lower teeth can be roughly grouped into three different classifications. A patient with the "normal" occlusion is when the upper teeth overlap slightly over the lower teeth and thus has the Class I occlusion. However when the upper teeth are greatly overlapping over the lower teeth, then it is the Class II occlusion. Finally when the lower teeth are overlapping the upper teeth, then it is the Class III occlusion. Within these three classifications are further variations wherein teeth can be positioned such that they are tipped forward or tipped backwards. At times only one or maybe two teeth can be badly positioned leading to a crossbite. Other times, several teeth that are resting on both sides of the teeth arch are badly positioned thus causing a bilateral crossbite.

If the toddler has a case of bilateral crossbite, then to achieve the proper occlusion, the child needs expansion of his palate with the special orthodontic appliance. Also a removable retainer needs to be worn for maybe a year for retention once the expansion appliance has been removed. Visiting an orthodontist is advised who will make certain recommendations or suggestions based on his findings.

The timing and the type of treatment that is given depends upon diagnosis of the occlusion problem. A unilateral crossbite is that kind of a dental discrepancy which only requires tooth movement. A bilateral crossbite is considered to be an indication of the skeletal problem that requires repositioning only of the skeletal tissues. In the case of a nonfunctional crossbite, treatment is deferred until the child reaches about nine to ten years of age. This can thus allow for an uninterrupted orthodontic line of treatment as the permanent teeth that have not yet come through possibly may or may not actually assume any proper alignment. Hence, early treatment may possibly be repeated or even realigned. In the case of the functional crossbite, the earlier treatment mentioned is suggested.

Oral hygiene is vital to take care of toddler’s teeth. Daily brushing and flossing of the child’s teeth help prevent any dental cavities from forming and any periodontal diseases. For children below the age of 8 years it is vital for the parents to be involved in the oral hygiene of the child. The toddler’s diet should not contain too many sweetened beverages. In between meals consuming sugar snacks should also be discontinued.

Submitted by P T on March 12, 2010 at 01:05

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