Orthodontics | ASH Dental Irvine

Children Orthodontics

Children Orthodontics & Thumb Sucking


Children Orthodontic Treatment

Thinking about your child and whether children orthodontic treatment might be needed at some point? You’ve come to the right place. Orthodontic treatment can be a very important part of your child’s Oral Health Care.
Many babies will suck on their thumb which could cause the need for Orthodontics in the future.  It is normal for babies to either suck their thumb or use a pacifier for them to self-sooth. It is best to not encourage this habit whenever possible, but it tends to form naturally.

The challenge is that once children start to suck their thumb, the habit can be hard to break. While the average child may stop by around the age of four, many go much longer.
Our child-friendly doctors provide patients and families with a comfortable, consistent experience from comprehensive dentistry to full orthodontic care!


What is Orthodontics?

In orthodontics, we treat children and adults and help them to have a beautiful smile.  We also provide advice and guidance on things that can be done proactively to make braces unnecessary or to decrease how long a patient will need to wear them.  One tip we commonly give to parents is to have their child stop sucking their thumb as soon as possible.
So, it is focuses on the development, prevention, and correction of irregularities of the teeth, bite, and jaws. Our Doctors in Ash Dental Irvine will also advise you a specialized training in facial abnormalities and disorders of the jaw.

As the American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children have their first orthodontic exam no later than the age of Seven. Having an experienced orthodontist alongside the pediatric dentists allows for greater collaboration between our two specialties, which ultimately is very beneficial to your child’s oral health.

Our pediatric dentists may notice preliminary orthodontic problems, but only an orthodontist can give a comprehensive evaluation to determine the proper course of action. Teeth, and sometimes entire facial structures, can be permanently changed and enhanced by orthodontic treatment. Our orthodontic specialists have extensive and specialized training that enables them to provide patients with professional, personalized treatment plans.


Where did my child’s orthodontic problems come from?

Most orthodontic problems are inherited. Some are “acquired,” developing over time by sucking the thumb or fingers, mouth breathing, dental disease, abnormal swallowing, poor dental hygiene, or early or late loss of baby teeth, accidents and poor nutrition.
Sometimes an inherited orthodontic problem is complicated by an acquired problem. Whatever the cause, our orthodontists here in Ash Dental Irvine are usually able to treat most conditions successfully.


What if my child is older than Seven – is it too late for a check-up?

If your child is older than Seven, it is not too late for a check-up. Should treatment be needed, keep in mind that many patients begin treatment between the ages of 9 and 16, depending on their physiological development and treatment needs. Orthodontists are usually able to treat most conditions successfully.

Orthodontics | ASH Dental Irvine

Is It Important to Get a Treatment?

Any orthodontic problem may be classified as a malocclusion, or “bad bite”.
So, it’s very important to create a healthy “bite”, which is part tooth alignment. When jaws and teeth line up correctly, they can function as nature intended. This promotes oral health and general physical health. That orthodontic treatment also brings about an attractive smile is a bonus.

The following problems may be helped or minimized with proper orthodontic treatment:

  • Misaligned, crooked, or crowded teeth.
  • Missing teeth.
  • Extra teeth.
  • An overbite.
  • An underbite.
  • An open bite.
  • Misaligned or incorrect jaw position.
  • A disorder of the jaw joint.

While pediatric dentists focus on the health of the teeth and gums, orthodontists focus on the growth and development of the teeth and jaw. The services provided by an orthodontist ensure proper spacing and alignment to allow for not only an attractive smile, but a healthier smile. Properly aligned teeth make brushing and flossing easier, reduce the risk of decay, and are less likely to be fractured or damaged during falls or other injuries. More extreme cases, such as facial and jaw malalignment, can also be corrected with orthodontic treatment and can improve airway flow, reduce pain, and dramatically increase self-esteem in growing children.


What Are the Benefits of Early Treatment?

Early treatment is advantageous because a young child’s teeth have not finished erupting, which allows orthodontists to guide the growth of facial and jawbones to address any problems at the earliest stage possible.

The goal of early treatment is to prevent a developing problem, eliminate the cause, and guide the growth of the facial and jawbones to prepare enough space for permanent teeth. A patient may require a second course of treatment after all permanent teeth have come in to move those teeth into their best positions.

An orthodontist may recommend treating a child who still has their baby teeth if they discover the following issues:

  • Underbites – when the lower front teeth are ahead of the upper front teeth
  • Crossbites – when the jaw shifts to one side
  • Crowded front teeth
  • Teeth that are spaced too far apart
  • Extra or missing teeth
  • Teeth that meet abnormally, or do not meet at all
  • Thumb, finger, or pacifier sucking, that affects the teeth or jaw growth

While some of these issues are inherited, others may result from accidents, dental disease, or abnormal swallowing. Early orthodontic treatment can take many forms, and each plan will consider the patient’s oral growth and development. The orthodontist could prescribe a fixed or removable appliance to change the position of the jaw, move teeth, or hold teeth in place to see desirable changes. Sometimes appliances are not necessary, and rather, the removal of baby teeth may help the permanent teeth erupt better.

Orthodontics | ASH Dental Irvine

The Risks of Thumb Sucking

As a provider of children’s orthodontics, we commonly treat kids that have sucked their thumb for years and as a result have issues that need to be corrected.  For example, an overbite can develop where the top teeth protrude past the lower ones.  A crossbite may also occur where teeth shift to the side or may go inside of the lower ones.  An open bite is also common, and in this case, there is a small or large gap between the upper and lower teeth when a child bite down.  All these conditions can make it more difficult to eat and speak in addition to impacting a child’s appearance.

If your child needs braces, we will provide superior care that can straighten their teeth and align their jaw.  If you can get them to stop sucking their thumb early, you may be able to decrease the amount of time they will spend wearing braces in the future.  In order to learn more call today.


The Question is, Is There a Treatment For Our Children?

There are several ways to address the issue with your child, and these tips should be used considering how old and mature they are.  The first step to take is simply to let your child know that they should not suck their thumb anymore and give them reminders to stop when you notice them doing it.  You can also distract them with other things to keep them occupied.  This habit can occur when children are bored or zoning out watching television.  Give them a cup of water instead or an activity to do.  For example, they can color during their favorite cartoon instead of simply sitting on the couch.

If your child is older than four and still sucking their thumb, you may want to apply something that makes the thumb taste bad like liquid soap.  Some children have success by sitting on their hands to prevent them from being tempted.  Rewards can also be helpful so try giving them a special sticker when they go a day without their thumb.


We can’t wait to see you! Whenever you’re ready to get your child’s smile on track, We welcome patients from throughout California and the 92618 are to schedule an Appointment with Dr. Sami and our office.
We are committed to providing high-quality dental care that is painless and comfortable.
To Schedule an Appointment Call at 949-453-9800 Or Contact Us …

Request an Appointment with ASH dental Irvine for all of your dental needs.