When orthodontic treatment is really necessary and what parents should bear in mind.
Like pearls arranged in even rows – ideally the teeth should stand and fit harmoniously into the jaw. But in the mouths of our offspring it usually doesn’t look that perfect. According to statistics, more than 50 percent of children and adolescents in Germany are affected by tooth and jaw malpositions. About half are congenital, other problems are homemade.
Reason for the braces
A frequent misalignment is the so-called narrow position. “There is too little space in the mouth for the permanent teeth, either because the jaw is too small or the teeth are too large. As a result, the second teeth grow crooked and nested,” says Dr. Gundi Mindermann, chairman of the Professional Association of German Orthodontists (Berufsverband der Deutschen Kieferorthopäden). Similar things can happen if milk teeth are lost prematurely due to caries, the neighboring teeth then push into the gaps and block the space for their successors. Many children also have a bite position problem: the upper and lower jaw do not fit exactly together – usually because the upper jaw protrudes further than the lower jaw. As a result, the upper incisors are in “overbite”, i.e. clearly in front of the lower incisors. If it is the other way round, orthodontists speak of a “prebite”. And also the “open bite” – a gap between the upper and lower front teeth caused by too long pacifiers or thumb sucking – still occurs frequently despite better information.