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I get asked a lot by my patients, “My child’s teeth are not straight, what can you do about it? When is the best time to do something about it?” A lot of people have the perception that Orthodontic treatment, more commonly known as Braces, is the only option and should only be done when permanent teeth are fully present (usually around 12 years old). While this may be true in a lot of cases, it is not always correct!

I’ve recently come across a case of an 8 year old girl with a reverse bite in her front teeth.

reverse bite before expander treatment

Girl with reverse bite

This girl had “no problems” with her bite in her baby teeth. However, when the adult upper front teeth came through, they came through the “wrong side of the fence” and ended up behind the lower front teeth! This is a very typical case of what we called, Upper & Lower Jaw Unco-ordination. Just like a snugly fitting lid and jar, our upper teeth are supposed to overlap our lower teeth to give us a perfect bite. If our upper jaw is not big enough to overlap our lower jaw, the above situation WILL happen! If left untreated, this condition usually worsens over time.

So can anything be done for this little girl? Are braces the only option for her?

I am glad you asked! What if I told you there is an alternative solution that is simpler, cheaper and less painful, would you be interested in finding out? If that’s a “yes”, read on…

In this instance, I treated this little girl with an easy appliance called RPE or in simpler term, an Expander. And you know what the best thing was? This little girl just had to wear her Expander for 30 days only and her upper jaw was expanded enough to allow her upper front teeth to overlap her lower front teeth. For 1 month only, I’ve changed her upper teeth to the way they should have been! Magical isn’t it?

After Expander Treatment

After Expander treatment

Best time for treatment

Like a lot of things related to your health, early detection and treatment in most cases can prevent the condition from worsening over time. Not only can your child avoid a lot of complications later on, but think about the pain and suffering your child does not need to go through. And did I mention the cost of a full set of braces?

Just like anything in life, timing is everything! Give your child something to smile about by treating your child’s bite at the right age! The best timing to treat these cases is around 8-10 years old. At this age, a child’s jaw bone is still soft, which means that modification of the bone can be done relatively easily. However, children at this age usually are still in their mixed dentition (meaning they still have both the adult teeth and baby teeth present in their mouth at the same time), so it is hard to predict if they may require additional orthodontic treatment. While some children may not have problem with their bite in the future, some may develop other problems with their teeth alignment when more of their adult teeth come through.

Is it right for my child?

At this point, you might be thinking, “Is this treatment right for my child”? Every child’s situation is different and every child’s circumstance is unique. There is no one size fits all solution. If your child’s teeth are not as straight as they should be, I recommend you take your child to see a trustworthy dentist for a proper assessment and see what the best treatment options are. At Chats Dental, we are glad all our dentists are highly experienced and well-trained in the diagnostics and can provide adequate treatment of this type of cases.

Give us a call now on (02) 8065-1080 and book an appointment with us for an initial consultation. At Chats Dental, we will give you an honest opinion on what the best treatment options for your child are going forward. If you are reading this outside of our business hours, you can also book an appointment online at the time of your convenience 24/7 365 days a year.

Dr. Mandy Tang, BDS (USyd)