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Dental and Oral Health (Children)

5 yr old`s under bite

08/23/2007

Question:

My daughter is 5 yrs old and have a severe case of under bite. We just went to a consultation with orthodontist and he suggest face mask for 3 months. I would like a 2nd opinion. Is my daughter too young? Should she wait until her permanent teeth come? But more likely I think it`s her jaw problem. Need some advice if I should let her do the face mask at this age or to wait another couple of years, Since she`s still growing.

Answer:

An orthodontist is the right place to be when discussing potential disturbances of growth and development. A face mask is definitely an accepted mode of treatment for excessive lower jaw growth. Other things to consider include the child's ability to cooperate and comply with appliance therapy. Much of the literature that exists states the appliances such as the facemask actually have better prognosis for compliance in young children - but you and your orthodontist really need to discuss what "compliance" means and how reasonable it will be for your child.

There is an ongoing debate within the pediatric dentistry and orthodontic community regarding the efficacy and benefit of two phase "early " and "late" treatment of growth disturbances. You should ensure that your orthodontists philosophy makes sense and you understand the full implications of treatment.

Hope this helps.

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Response by:

Sarath  Thikkurissy, DDS, MS Sarath Thikkurissy, DDS, MS
Associate Professor of Pediatric Dentistry
College of Dentistry
The Ohio State University