Your child has finally lost all his or her baby teeth and said goodbye to the Tooth Fairy. These teeth have to last your child the rest of their life. It’s important to protect your child’s permanent teeth. But what happens if one of your child’s permanent teeth grows in crooked and protrudes from the others?
Here at Collins Dentistry & Aesthetics in Spokane Valley, we are experts when it comes to straightening and realigning teeth with braces. However, sometimes a child just isn’t ready for braces. What do you do to protect your child’s protruding, or overjet, tooth?
An Increased Risk of Tooth Damage
It should not come as a surprise that protruding teeth are at an increased risk of dental trauma. A recent study in the journal Dental Traumatology found that children under age 6 with overjet of three or more millimeters are three times more likely to experience dental trauma than children without overjet. Children age 12 and children older than 6 with an overjet of more than five millimeters are also at an increased risk of dental trauma.
Permanent teeth that grow in crooked are not a sign of trauma itself; sometimes, if a child’s jaw is still too small, teeth can grow in crooked because of crowding. Overbites and underbites can also cause overjet. Thumb sucking can cause teeth to grow in protruded as well, in addition to tongue thrusting, and prolonged pacifier and bottle use. Sometimes, teeth simply grow in crooked due to genetics.
The last thing you want is for your child to knock out a permanent tooth, so it is imperative that you help your child protect their teeth with the help of family dentists Drs. Ken and Marnie Collins/family-dentistry’}}}}.
How to Protect Protruding Teeth
If your child has overjet and is not quite ready for braces, there are a few things we can do to protect them.
First and foremost, make sure you schedule an appointment for your child biannually so we can monitor your child’s teeth and provide personalized recommendations on how to keep your child’s teeth healthy and strong. Additionally, by seeing your child regularly, we can help ensure the overjet does not turn into a deeper and more serious issue.
Custom mouthguards provide protection for protruding teeth and are recommended, especially if your child is an athlete. Mouthguards are a great way to avoid a call from the school nurse to tell you that your child lost a tooth in gym class.
If your child sucks his or her thumb, helping them break the habit early can lead to healthier and straighter permanent teeth in the long run. While some children grow out of thumb sucking as they age—especially upon entering school—it is important to gently encourage your child to break the habit with positive reinforcement or distraction.
We Help Protect Your Child’s Teeth
Our patient and caring team loves working with children. If you are concerned about your child’s protruding tooth or teeth, we can offer guidance to help you put your mind at ease and ensure your child’s teeth remain strong.