Doctor's Answers (1)
Parents often become worried when they notice their young child is developing an underbite or crossbite (lower teeth positioned in front of the upper counterpart) and come to see me for consultation. The treatment for underbite will depend on the underlying cause of the malocclusion.
Malocclusions are usually an inherited condition (for example, if your parents have a long jaw or a small chin, there is a high chance that you might inherit this feature from your parents). The size of your jaw, teeth, extra or missing teeth and impacted teeth has a genetic component to these issues. Environmental causes such as medical conditions like sinusitis, asthma, rhinitis which predispose patients to breathe through the mouth will also lead to an imbalance of forces in the mouth and result in malocclusion. Other habits such as thumb sucking can also result in open bites. Early extraction of baby teeth can also result in loss of spaces due to drifting of back molars to a more forward position and lead to crowding issues.
In mild underbite cases, the appropriate treatment will depend on the cause:
It will also depend on the extent of the problem, whether it involves a single tooth or multiple teeth involvement.
Treatment modalities that are well supported by a good level of scientific evidence include:
The Myobrace® System is a no-braces approach to straighten your teeth and jaws. The treatment involves the use of a series of intraoral appliances in conjunction with myofunctional orthodontic techniques, such as exercises to help to correct poor oral habits which they claim to be the real, underlying causes of crooked teeth and uses light, intermittent forces to align the teeth.
While the Myobrace system sounds like a good alternative, please consider a few things before taking up this treatment:
I would strongly encourage you to seek the opinion on an orthodontist, who is a specialist trained in the growth and development of teeth and jaw, to have a thorough examination and advise you on the most appropriate course of treatment for your child.