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Dental and Oral Health (Children)

Infant underbite

07/17/2007

Question:

My daughter is 11 months old. She doesn`t such on her fingers or thumb nor over use a pacifire. It appears that she may have an underbite. She cut the bottom two teeth at 8 months and the top four teeth at 10 months. Is this underbite common for babies and is it reverseable?

Answer:

Thank you for this important question. The jaw relationships of a child are very premature at 11 months old. Much of the growth of the maxillae (upper jaw) occurs in the period up to and around 4 years of age. There is varying development of the oral muscles, depending on factors such as habits, and mode of feeding (breast/bottle or both). The swallowing pattern in an 11-month-old is known as "infantile" and will progress with eruption of teeth and development of the jaws into an adult pattern as they get older. This early part of infancy is also characterized by differential growth of the two jaws, and can lead to the appearance of "underbite" / "overbite" etc.

I would recommend seeing a pediatric dentist - as the current recommendation is the first dental visit by age 1 or by the eruption of the first tooth. Good luck.

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Response by:

Sarath  Thikkurissy, DDS, MS Sarath Thikkurissy, DDS, MS
Professor
Director, Residency Program, Division of Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati