4 signs your child may have a poor bite

Although tooth decay is a major problem to watch for in your child’s teeth, it isn’t the only one. As their teeth transition from baby teeth to permanent ones, you should also be on the lookout for a developing poor bite or malocclusion. Child orthodontics treatment in Allen TX is a great resource for kids who may need to correct a poor bite.

What is a malocclusion?

A malocclusion is the misalignment of upper and lower teeth when the jaw is closed. It may also involve a set of teeth that have developed in a crooked fashion. There are various types of malocclusions, some of which can be very serious and require child orthodontics treatment in Allen TX treatment to correct.

Orthodontics, on the other hand, is the practice of straightening teeth that have become misaligned due to poor bites, making them more attractive and healthier. It is a branch of dentistry that focuses on the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of teeth and bite irregularities.

Signs your child may have a poor bite

Although the signs can be subtle, you may be able to detect an emerging malocclusion, starting usually around age 6, if you know what to look for. Here are 4 signs your child may be developing a poor bite:

Excessive spacing

This is something that might be noticeable while the child still has their primary teeth. If you notice an excessive amount of space around the front teeth, the sizes of the jaws and the teeth may be disproportional.

Abnormal overlapping

The upper teeth normally just cover the bottom teeth when the jaws are closed. But a malocclusion may be forming if the lower teeth cover the upper (underbite), the upper teeth extend too far over the lower (deep bite) or there’s space between the upper and lower front teeth when they bite down (open bite).

Different overlapping patterns

Watch as well for some of the teeth overlapping normally while others don’t, a sign of a crossbite. For example, the back upper teeth may cover their counterparts in a normal fashion while the lower front teeth abnormally overlap the top front. The roles here between front and back teeth can also be reversed.

Abnormal eruptions

Permanent teeth normally follow a pattern when erupting, but certain factors could disrupt the process. For example, a jaw that’s developed too small can cause crowding as incoming teeth vie for space; as a result, some permanent teeth may erupt out of their proper position. Likewise, if a baby tooth is out of its normal position or prematurely lost, the permanent tooth may erupt out of position too.

The good news with each of these developing bite problems is that we can correct them or at least minimize their future effect if caught early. So, if you notice any of these signs or anything else out of the ordinary, see an orthodontist as soon as possible. It’s also a good idea to have your child undergo a thorough orthodontic evaluation at 7 years old.

Causes of a poor bite

In some cases, the cause may be genetic. In other situations, environmental factors especially during the stage of development when the permanent teeth are erupting can also be a cause. These factors may include:

  • Thumb-sucking
  • Prolonged use of a pacifier
  • Mouth breathing due to allergies or other conditions
  • Injuries to the face, jaw, or mouth
  • Early or late loss of baby teeth
  • Cavities that have caused abnormal teeth movement or eruption
  • Nutritional deficiencies that affect the formation of tooth enamel
  • Developmental delays
  • Unusual jaw growth patterns due to hereditary factors

Orthodontic intervention for kids

According to the American Association of Orthodontists, children should have their first orthodontic evaluation at the age of 7. Early treatment can help to reduce treatment times and prevent more serious issues from developing, such as jaw pain or difficulty chewing. If your child is exhibiting any of the signs of a poor bite, it’s important to have them evaluated and receive child orthodontics treatment in Allen and McKinney, TX, or other areas.

An orthodontist will perform a comprehensive evaluation to determine the best course of action. These may include taking x-rays, photographs, and impressions of the teeth. Based on the results of these tests, the orthodontist can provide a diagnosis and discuss the recommended treatment options with you. Take note that your child may not even need to wear braces, especially if the case is minor and evaluated early.

At Creekview & McKinney Orthodontics, below are the treatment options we provide to prevent and correct a poor bite in young patients:

Traditional braces

Traditional braces come in metal and clear ceramic varieties. The braces are made up of brackets and wires, which work to apply pressure on the teeth and gradually move them into the desired position.

Clear aligners such as Invisalign®

Thanks to modern orthodontics, patients can now correct their bite issues with clear aligner systems. Clear aligners are made up of several custom-made plastic trays that fit perfectly into the patient’s teeth, gradually moving them into position when worn over the upper and lower teeth. They are removable, so they can be taken out to eat, brush, and floss.

Palatal expanders

Palatal expanders are devices that use gentle pressure to widen the upper jaw. This treatment can help correct bite issues such as crossbite and crowding. Palatal expanders are often used in conjunction with braces and clear aligners. This helps move the teeth into the ideal position quickly and comfortably.

Space maintainers

Space maintainers are appliances that help hold the space open for incoming permanent teeth. They can be removable or fixed, and they’re usually used when a baby tooth is lost prematurely or out of position. Space maintainers are designed to make sure the permanent teeth come in straight and properly aligned.


Retainers are appliances worn after braces or clear aligners have been removed. They help keep the teeth and jaws in the new position by providing gentle pressure. It is important to wear the retainer as prescribed by your orthodontist for it to be effective.

Contact Creekview & McKinney Orthodontics today

Creekview & McKinney Orthodontics is a pediatric orthodontics clinic with branches in Allen and McKinney, TX. We provide quality treatment and monitoring for children of all ages and can help your child achieve their best smile. Our children’s orthodontics in Allen, TX, and children’s orthodontics in McKinney, TX, services prioritize comfort and affordability to help kids and parents deal with dental issues.

If you would like more information on bite problems in children, please contact us to schedule an appointment for a free consultation. Our team of experienced orthodontists will be happy to discuss your child’s condition and develop a treatment plan that meets their individual needs.