Causes and Treatments: Underbite In Children

Heredity plays a big role. If one of your parents has an underbite, you may be more inclined to pass this on to your child. In addition to genetics, underbites can also be caused by prolonged thumb sucking, prolonged pacifier and bottle usage, repetitive thrusting of the tongue against the teeth, and even injury to the jaw. The fact that 90% of children that are school-aged have some form of tooth misalignment should let you know that this is a widespread issue, so don’t blame yourself!

What Is An Underbite and Why Is It A Problem?

An underbite occurs when the bottom jaw and teeth protrude in front of the top teeth, which is the opposite of a typical smile. Other than the physical appearance, an underbite could experience difficulty with chewing, proper speech, snoring, sleep apnea, and increased tooth decay.

What Can Be Done To Fix An Underbite?

If you notice as your child is growing that they have an underbite, discuss your concerns with your child’s dentist to discuss the available options. Some treatments may not be necessary depending on the severity while others may need to wait until your child is older. Some treatments to discuss are:

  • Braces
  • Appliances (retainers, expanders, headgear)
  • Surgery (used as a last resort in most instances)

We understand that this can be a bit concerning to you as a parent, so it is important to keep in communication with your child’s dentist. They may even refer your child to an orthodontist to evaluate their overbite if they believe treatment such as braces may be required. Working together, they can keep an eye on the development of your child’s jaw, mouth, and teeth. It is important to note that, according to Boston Children’s Hospital, only 10-15% of children who have an underbite will actually require treatment.

When you are ready, give us a call at 512-337-2325 to schedule your child’s consultation. We will be happy to answer any questions you have and give you a suggested treatment plan if any.

Posted on February 28, 2022 in Cedar Park Orthodontist, Orthodontist near Austin

Share the Story

About the Author

Back to Top
Back to Top