Dear Dr. Barakat,
My child has a very severe overbite. She is only 10-years-old, and my dentist said she still has too many baby teeth to lose to get braces. She gets made fun of at school and really wants braces now. Does she really have to wait until she loses all her baby teeth? The dentist said she has 9 more to lose.
Dear Concerned Parent,
Malocclusion, also known as a “bad bite,” is very common in children, and it’s no surprise that your daughter wants to get it fixed as soon as she can. Overbite is when the upper jaw is larger than the lower jaw, and it won’t resolve without intervention from a qualified orthodontist. In addition to improving her bite, your daughter’s straight teeth will have her smiling more confidently during her formative years.
Orthodontists recommend that children have their first visit when permanent teeth start coming in, usually around age 7. However, consulting with an orthodontist does not mean that treatment will begin immediately. Your orthodontist will discuss with you and your daughter what the best treatment may be and the best time to start that treatment. That treatment may include waiting until more permanent teeth have erupted, removing any baby teeth that inhibit permanent tooth growth, or using a multi-phase orthodontia plan that will allow the orthodontist to adjust the treatment your daughter’s teeth develop fully.
Most abnormal bite issues, such as overbite, are evident in children as young as 6- to 7-years-old, and correction is usually done between the ages of 8- to 14-years-old. This is the optimal time to adjust a bite issue, as the bones are still growing and can be more easily manipulated by your orthodontist. Your child could be wearing braces from 1 year to 3 years, depending on the bite’s severity and your orthodontist’s recommendations.
Braces can even out the bite of your daughter’s teeth and will keep her from having issues with her teeth in the future. An uncorrected overbite (or underbite) can lead to tooth decay, gum disease tooth loss, and abnormal wear on the enamel from her bite being off. It’s important to fix her bite so that she can avoid these dental issues in the future. Fixing the issue now will save you both time and money as she gets older and the overbite becomes more pronounced. It will also give her more confidence as she continues to grow and mature.
Dr. Rana Barakat, a board-certified specialist in Orthodontics, has been proudly serving Northern Virginia for more than 20-years! She has built her practice on a personal touch and excellent treatment.
As a parent, she understands wanting the best for your children by giving them beautiful, confident smiles. She makes it a priority to ensure optimal results, but also believes that each patient’s experience during treatment is just as important as the clinical result. As the 2015-16 President of the Virginia Association of Orthodontists, Dr. Barakat’s dedication and expertise reflect why her peers continue to nominate her as a Top Dentist.
Barakat Orthodontics is located at 45745 Nokes Blvd., Ste. 175, Sterling, VA 20166. Connect by visiting them online, or get social with them on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Barakat Orthodontics can also be reached at (703) 433-9330.