TEETH AND JAW ALIGNMENT
If your baby sucks a pacifier, their thumb or fingers, the shape of their mouth or their tooth alignment may be affected. If your child breaks the habit before age 3 their bite will probablycorrect itself and if they stop before the permanent front teeth come in there’s a chance his bite will self-correct, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). Also, avoid breastfeeding to soothe your baby because prolonged breastfeeding can lead to misalignment of your child’s jaw.
The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) recommends an initial visit to the orthodontist by age 7. At this age your child has enough permanent teeth to diagnose a potential orthodontic problem, and some problems are easier (and cheaper!) to correct if discovered early. Prompt treatment can also produce better results since the jaw and facial bones have not finished growing. Some specific issues to discuss with your child’s orthodontist are early or late loss of baby teeth, thumb sucking, difficulty chewing, biting the cheek or roof of the mouth, grinding or clenching the teeth or breathing through the mouth.
February is NATIONAL CHILDREN’S DENTAL HEALTH MONTH! Dental health is critically important to the overall well-being of your child. Developing good oral hygiene habits early will prevent gum disease, cavities and tooth decay in the future.