There are several factors that can contribute to a bad bite from the time the primary teeth start to appear: genetics, excessive use of the dummy (or thumb sucking), the tongue... in these cases, early diagnosis is essential and starting treatment before the age of 6 is ideal.
At this age, the ideal is to resort to a simple, painless and quick treatment that helps us to prevent and treat from the very beginning, without waiting for permanent dentition and without resorting to more complex appliances. Of course, when I tell parents this, their first reaction is surprise, as most of them think that I am referring to an ideal reality that does not even exist.
Nowadays, however, we can turn to the neuro-occlusal rehabilitation with composite tracks, a novel treatment that corrects these problems using the child's own masticatory forces. However, although there are composite tracks for different malocclusions, such as overbites, classes II and III, the most widely used are undoubtedly those of crossbiteThey have amply proven their effectiveness. For open bite we must resort to other treatments, about which you can find information at other articles of our blog.
What are composite tracks used for?
First of all, we must clarify a little what exactly is a crossbite, which we are going to discuss with the composite tracks. A crossbite is one in which the upper teeth, which should be on the outside of the lower teeth, are on the inside, i.e. the exact opposite. This type of bite alteration is usually characterised by the presence of a deep, narrow palate.
The consequences include the fact that, because of problems with biting, the teeth do not exert forces adequately, causing damage to the tooth itself, the soft tissues and the structures involved.
Here are some of them examples crossbite of real patients in the clinic:
As you can guess by looking at the pictures, in these cases, there is a unilateral chewingThe child uses only one side of the mouth to eat when eating. By prolonging this situation in which one side of the mouth is used more than the other, the child develops facial asymmetriesThe problem is not only a problem for the skeletal and muscular system, but also for other skeletal and muscular problems, especially at this age when growth is continuous.
This pathology is easily treated in children under 6 years of age, as it is normally due to the fact that the bone measurement is correct but a tooth is slightly crooked, deviating the trajectory, which causes premature contact and prevents the patient from biting properly, forcing them to move their jaw in order to chew, thus aggravating the problem.
If the deviation is slight, we can file or grind down the tooth causing the deviation and thus solve it. On other occasions we resort to the aforementioned composite tracks.
How do composite tracks work?
The composite tracks do not require the use of any type of appliance or similar, they are simply based on the placement of composite (the same material with which fillings are made, and on which you can learn here) in the form of a ramp, usually placed above the canine and/or molar in case of posterior bite, or on an incisor in case of anterior crossbite.
The aim is to uncross the bite and centre it, as the shape of this ramp will gradually redirect the bite until it is centred, so that the midline (the line between the upper and lower incisors) is aligned.
Its operation is simple and at a clinical level we need a first fitting appointment, and other review appointments in which we will increase the inclination until we achieve the objective, taking photos at all these appointments to see the evolution.
Thus, we will uncross their bite, which will prevent them from chewing on only one side, starting to use both sides normally and recovering an ideal occlusion quickly and easily, without involving the use of more complex appliances and redirecting the equal and symmetrical growth of the jaws, which will prevent facial asymmetries and other problems derived from this malocclusion.
Are composite tracks the ideal treatment in all cases?
No, there are some exceptions where we will not be able to place tracks. For example, if the difference between the maxilla and the mandible is very accentuated because the maxilla is narrow, it will cause an anterior and posterior crossbite at the same time, which cannot be solved with tracks and will require dental orthopaedics when the first molars erupt at the age of 6.
Nor will we be able to place clues if the child's behaviour is not favourable, which is a solution that requires the child's cooperation to a greater or lesser degree.
This is why it is important to diagnose this type of pathology early, seeing a paediatric dentist from a very young age, to be able to diagnose the needs of the youngest members of the family and improve their mouth and the quality of life of paediatric patients.
If you think we can do something for your son or daughter, with this or any other solution, don't hesitate to come and see us.