Dr. Sujatha Padavetton – Apollo Dental Care
Habits can be responsible for a number of orthodontic and orthopedic problems and should be addressed as soon as possible. When treated immediately most of the problems caused by habits can be reversed. However, when no intervention occurs a serious malocclusion is inevitable.
A thumb or finger sucking habit can initially cause the upper front teeth to move forward and the lower front teeth to move back. Sometimes it can prevent the front teeth from erupting normally. If this is not treated as soon as possible it can lead to the narrowing of the upper jaw causing a anterior open bite and a smaller lower jaw.
Lip biting and lip sucking of the lower lip can cause the upper teeth to tip forward and the lower teeth to tip back. Over time this causes an increase in the amount of over jet. Biting or sucking the upper lip can inhibit the normal development of the upper jaw.
Tongue thrusting is another habit which can cause a lot of damage in jaw development and teeth growth and position. If this habit persists after the age of 4 to 5 years, there is an increasing likelihood that this pattern will remain. Even the child’s speech patterns can be negatively affected.
Nocturnal grinding or buxism can occur in children. This is usually a sign of an existing malocclusion. It could also be an indicator that the child is suffering from an airway problem. Children with huge adenoids and chronic allergy rhinitis tend to develop mouth breathing habits. This causes narrowing of the upper and lower jaws and open mouth with prominent upper front teeth. Early diagnosis and treatment of these habits can prevent major dental and jaw problems in children and also protecting the self esteem in children due to speech problems. Therefore, regular checkups with the dentist are highly recommended to monitor and recognize impediments to normal facial growth and correct these problems early on and if need be the dentist will work with the pediatrician and ENT specialist for the best welfare of the child.