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Now that my child is old enough to brush on his own what should I look out for?
It is important that parents practice good oral health so children will, hopefully, recognize the value of it early on. Encourage good nutritional habits as well as good hygiene in general. Regular dental visits with a dental hygienist can be a valuable motivator for your child to practice good oral health. Having them use disclosing solution or tablets (see disclosing solution in product section) will help them see the plaque better so they will do a better job.
Malocclusion is faulty bite. Most of the time it happens because the size and shape of the teeth don’t match that of the jaws. It can also happen because the upper and lower jaws don’t match each other and the other bones of the face. A look at your child’s profile (side view of the head and face) may help you to see whether there is a problem with the growth of their jaw and facial bones.
The genetics of the parents determine jaw growth and tooth size of their children. Tooth decay of the baby teeth and premature loss of baby teeth from tooth decay, and crowding are major causes of malocclusion. Also premature loss of baby teeth due to lack of jaw space from erupting adult teeth also causes malocclusion.
My six year old’s teeth are crowded. Should I be concerned?
Yes, although crowding is common, we need to consider your child’s future oral health. A child with crowded teeth and jaw problems will not necessarily have more problems, as they become an adult. However, adults with crowded teeth have more problems (tooth decay, gingivitis, periodontal disease, TMJ) than adults with good jaw and tooth alignment.
Because adult teeth are larger than baby teeth, jaw size and growth may not provide enough space. If you still see crowding by 8-9 years when all of the four upper and four lower adult teeth are in, the crowding will probably not improve. For most children and adults crowding is the most common malocclusion. Sometimes a baby tooth is lost early because of lack of jaw space for new adult teeth. If you see crowding, you should have an orthodontist or pediatric dentist examine your child.
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