Problems in children


There are a number of issues affecting children that can be addressed by orthodontic treatment.



Dental crowding is one of the most common orthodontic problems. It exists when the total size of the teeth is larger than the total size of the jaw-bone that holds them. Minor crowding can be corrected solely with braces. Moderate and severe crowding situations may require additional treatment prior to braces, such as palatal expansion.


Posterior crossbite

A posterior crossbite occurs when the top back teeth bite inside the bottom back teeth. When it affects one side of the mouth the lower jaw may have to move to one side to allow the back teeth to meet together, and this can cause a skeletal disharmony affecting both long term aesthetics and function.


Open bite

Open bite can either be caused by an oral habit which effects the dentition only, or by a skeletal problem and can be more complicated to correct.



Dental protrusion exists when the top front teeth are too far forward or flared. It is common in children who previously had a thumb-sucking habit or due to natural genetics and skeletal disharmony. In addition, significant dental protrusion can cause speech and chewing problems. People with dental protrusion are also at a greater risk for dental-related trauma.


Ectopic eruption

Before permanent teeth erupt into the oral cavity and are visible, they move through the jaw bone along the “path of eruption”. When the eruption path is incorrect, such as when there is inadequate space in the jaws for the teeth, the tooth will erupt in the mouth in an incorrect position or may not erupt at all. When this occurs, this undesirable eruption is called “ectopic eruption”.


Complete Class III

When the face is viewed in profile, the balance of the upper and lower jaws can be classified, when the lower jaw is more prominent than the upper jaw it is termed Complete Class III, in reverse this is class II, when the jaws are in balance it is class I. This traditionally, has been objectively observed in a lateral cephalogram.



A diastema is a dental term referring to a space or gap between two teeth. It is most commonly applied to the space found between the two maxillary central incisor teeth (upper front teeth). Diastemas can be caused by a number of factors, including genetics, a tooth size discrepancy or a low fleshy soft tissue attachment between teeth.


Thumb sucking

Prolonged thumb sucking beyond the ages of 8-10 years old can lead to the adult dentition becoming non-functional. If thumb sucking habits are caught early and ceased, treatment required, if any, is very simple.


Impacted canine

Impacted Canines are similar to ectopic teeth in that the path of eruption of the canine tooth has gone off track. They then get stuck without eruption within the jaw bone. If left, they can cause damage to adjacent teeth and treatment is indicated to expose and align them into their correct anatomical position.