Dental implants can make a smile look fabulous – I know I have them. However, if you are just thinking about getting them, you may have a lot of questions. You may be wondering how smoking affects implants, whether or not wine will stain them, if they can be whitened or other concerns. I also know from experience that it can be intimidating to ask some of these questions to your dentist. In my dental implant blog, I am going to answer the questions that can be hard to ask. I hope you find the info you need in this blog and that it guides you to the right decision about dental implants. Thanks for reading!
When a toddler smiles, you are greeted by lots of gaps and gums, which only serves to make their smile all the more delightful. This is because there are only 20 teeth in a child's first set of teeth. That's enough for them to learn to eat and speak as their jawbones develop to create more room for their 28 (32 with wisdom teeth) secondary teeth.
It is quite common for toddlers' teeth to erupt in unusual places, or to appear as though they might never make it to where they should be, but sometimes, there is an underlying cause. For example, if a toddler has an open bite, which means that the front teeth don't meet, it may be because they suck their thumb. Or, it could be nothing. You need to find out which it is.
Thumb Sucking Causes Open Bites
Toddlers that suck their thumb put constant pressure on their anterior (front) teeth. This is especially true if the thumb sucking habit occurs frequently throughout the day. Just as braces move teeth through the application of constant pressure, the thumb between the teeth causes teeth to protrude and even affects jawbone growth.
Another side effect of thumb sucking is that the palate is pushed upwards by the tip of the thumb over time. A high palate means less room for the sinuses and thus can cause breathing difficulties later in life.
Tongue Thrusting Leads to an Open Bite
It is normal for babies to thrust their tongue between their lips when they swallow. This is referred to as tongue thrusting or reverse swallowing. Most babies cease this habit at about 6 months old. However, some babies continue to do it as toddlers.
Because the tongue thrust that happens with every swallow pushes against the upper incisors and pulls against the lower incisors, this habit also causes an open bite.
Whatever the Case, a Dentist Can Help
Your child's open bite may not be caused by either of the above mentioned issues. It may not even be particularly severe. However, only a dentist can tell for sure, dentally, what is happening in your child's mouth. It is important that you do see a dentist because severe open bites cause problems with speech development. Bad oral habits also negatively affect facial structure and so need to be addressed at a young age.
If your toddler has an open bite, have a dentist examine your child's mouth. A qualified dentist can prevent the possibility of your child needing to spend years in braces later in life, and help to turn your toddler's goo goo ga gas into easily understandable words.