Béance dentaire : adopter la tétine physiologique en prévention - Élhée

Dental open bite: adopt the physiological pacifier for prevention

Often seen on the front teeth, between the lower and upper jaws, dental open bite, a type of malocclusion, is very common in children. While the causes can be very varied, prolonged use of the pacifier or too frequent thumb sucking are among them. Fortunately, dental gapping can be prevented, in particular by the use of a physiological pacifier, which is more respectful of the development of the palate and teeth.


Do you know what dental open bite is?

Dental open bite, also called infraclusion, is defined by the absence of contact between certain teeth in the upper and lower arches of the jaw , creating a more or less significant visible space. This anomaly can affect different areas of the mouth. We then talk about:

    • anterior dental open bite on the incisors and canines,
    • posterior dental gap on the premolars and molars,
    • lateral dental open bite if only one side of the mouth is affected,
    • total dental open bite , when the two jaws do not fit together at all.

    Each year, these different forms of malocclusion (poor alignment of the teeth) lead many pre-adolescents accompanied by their parents to the dentist, who recommends that they make an appointment with the orthodontist, particularly in order to assess the interest of the partial or total break of a dental appliance .

    How to identify a dental gap in your child?

    To spot bad tooth and jaw placement, you just need to be a little observant. And since, as a parent, you spend a lot of time admiring your baby, everything should be fine. 🥰

    Watch your child when he eats, drinks and even when he speaks , you will easily be able to identify a gap (even small) on the front teeth , especially his incisors. It's simple, it recalls the placement of the thumb in the mouth.

    Visible to the naked eye, this dental anomaly can also be recognized by possible difficulties eating properly (particularly when cutting food with the teeth) or by certain speech problems (such as a hair on the tongue).

    A straw systematically slipped into the same place between the teeth, a child who always chews on the same side or who breathes mainly through the mouth (due to different placement of the tongue and jaws) are all other clues that a small discrepancy sets in and an appointment with a specialist is necessary.

    The importance of a pediatric dental consultation to help you

    Pediatric consultations are essential to monitor your baby's growth, weight gain and development. As they grow, the doctor will be able to observe the emergence of the first teeth and their correct placement . If he notices a space that is a little too big between certain teeth or a dental alignment that needs to be monitored, he will let you know.

    However, you can take the lead! If you notice the first signs of a dental gap, or if you suspect that the thumb will prevent the baby teeth from positioning correctly, know that a first appointment with the dentist can take place around two years for an initial assessment of your little one's future smile.

    Genetics, habits and morphology: the reasons for a dental gap

    There are many reasons why your child may be affected by one type of dental gap or another. For the most part, they find their origin in early childhood and their lifestyle habits, but not only.

    • Improper tongue placement when speaking or swallowing can cause the jaws to move away from each other and create a mismatch.

    • Certain sucking habits : used too long or too often during the oral and dental growth phase, the pacifier, bottle and thumb can cause teeth to shift.

    • Genetics can also come into play as they determine the shape, size and positioning of the teeth and jaw.

    The consequences of an untreated dental gap

    First of all, it is important to emphasize that a dental gap problem is not serious, but that it is important that it be corrected. In the short or medium term, it can indeed have repercussions on your child's health and dental hygiene . Very pronounced, it can also harm one's personal image and one's relationships with others .

    • At the level of the teeth:

      • premature wear of the enamel due to friction.,

      • occlusion problems (poor closure of the mouth) and sometimes certain articulation disorders,

      • chewing difficulties .

    • In terms of dental aesthetics:

      • a very visible gap can harm self-confidence , especially among adolescents, who will sometimes go so far as to stop smiling so as not to show their teeth.

    • On a functional level:

      • depending on the type of gap, an already present pronunciation defect can be accentuated,

      • this malocclusion can also lead to more oral breathing to the detriment of nasal breathing (while the nose acts as a filter against allergens, certain pollens or microbes, potentially harmful to health).

    • In relation to dental hygiene:

      • a dental gap can create areas that are more difficult to brush and encourage the appearance of cavities,

      • As an adult, there is an increased risk of developing periodontal pockets around misaligned teeth.

    If you read us regularly (thank you 🤍 ), your baby may not have any teeth yet or is currently using a teething ring to help them come out. You are therefore wondering where these considerations about adolescent discomfort or dental difficulties are taking you. Quite simply towards preventing dental gapping from your baby's first months .

    Thumb and pacifier, number 1 problem for babies' teeth

    As we mentioned above, thumbs and pacifiers are among the main causes of dental gapping in toddlers . By exerting regular pressure on the teeth, both affect their positioning, sometimes even before they appear. To get around the problem, pediatricians and orthodontists recommend limiting thumb grip and pacifier use from an early age.

    But removing a baby's pacifier is not easy (and even less so is the thumb). It is also by the number of nightly awakenings to put the pacifier back in place that we measure its importance.

    Choosing the right pacifier to preserve your teeth

    The pacifier is very effective in soothing and comforting babies. But, to choose the most suitable model, several criteria come into play.

    First choose the baby's pacifier according to his age . From 0 to 6 months, from 6 to 18 months and for those over 18 months; the pacifier comes in different sizes to fit all babies. If the collar must always be wide enough to avoid the risk of ingestion, the breast shield varies.

    Its introduction must also be done gently and at the right time . Wait at least 4 weeks after birth to offer it to your infant, in order to avoid any risk of confusion with the breast . Offer it first when baby is calm and associate it with a ritual like a hug. This technique will help you clearly define the times of use.

    Around 12 months and up to the age of 2 years, you can start weaning off pacifiers with complete peace of mind. First reduce its use to naps, falling asleep in the evening and bouts of fatigue, then take advantage of a transition or change in baby's life for definitive weaning. The pacifier can then be replaced by another reassuring object such as a cuddly toy.

    In this way, the pacifier remains a pleasure and a useful childcare accessory to support the emotions of little ones and soothe their need for sucking .

    The physiological pacifier, your prevention ally against dental gapping

    Also called orthodontic pacifier, the physiological pacifier is distinguished largely by its unique shape in total harmony with children's mouths , but also has other advantages.

    • A shape adapted to the oral anatomy of babies with a rounded side which respects the palate and a flattened side which rests on the tongue.

    • Less risk of dental malocclusion thanks to a design that helps prevent tooth positioning problems such as dental open bite and promotes natural sucking without excessive pressure.

    • In addition to its ability to prevent dental gapping, the physiological pacifier can also contribute to the good oral development of children . By providing natural suction and promoting proper oral and lingual posture, it can help strengthen the jaw muscles and encourage breathing through the nose.

    • Safe and hygienic materials such as medical silicone guarantee healthy use without danger to the baby's health in addition to making the pacifier easier to clean.

    • Easier to stop than the thumb , the physiological pacifier can ultimately be replaced by other means of comfort, such as a cuddly toy or a soothing ritual.

    What to do if you notice a dental gap problem in your child?

    Although the problem of dental gapping is primarily aesthetic, your grown baby may wish to correct it. Also, don't wait until the discomfort becomes too great.

    If you have the first doubts about the correct placement of your little one's teeth (or for any other dental problem) , go to the pediatrician for babies or directly to the dentist or orthodontist for older children . There, you will know if the defect is slight and easy to resolve, or if, once the permanent teeth have erupted, it will be necessary to go through orthodontics and dental appliances. Functional rehabilitation may also be considered if the anomaly encountered is due to poor positioning of the tongue.

    In adults, in the most severe cases of open bite with a significant shift in the alignment of the teeth, orthodontic treatment may consist of oral surgery aimed at modifying both the size and position of the jaws.

    One more reason if any were needed to anticipate and switch to the physiological pacifier today!


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