Have Years Of Sippy Cups Given Your Child An Overbite? What Are Your Options?

The knowledge that your child's baby teeth will eventually be replaced with permanent adult teeth may have left you less vigilant about policing bottle and sippy cup usage when your elementary school student was a toddler or preschooler. However, in some cases, heavy sippy cup use can cause your child's permanent teeth to grow into a significant overbite. What are the best orthodontic treatment options for an overbite caused by sippy cup usage? Read on to learn more about treating this condition once your child has gotten his or her permanent teeth. 

What are your child's best treatment options? 

When correcting an overbite for a child age 7 or over, invisible braces may be a good idea. These braces can be removed for eating, drinking, and brushing teeth, helping lower the amount of cleaning and maintenance you and your child need to perform on his or her braces each day. The longer these braces are in each day, the more quickly they can do their job, so it's important to ensure your child wears his or her invisible braces while sleeping and during most of his or her waking hours -- however, your child won't need to undergo the potentially painful process of having metal braces affixed and periodically tightened.  

As your child's teeth continue to move to their desired positions, he or she may need to be fitted for a new set of invisible braces to accommodate the dental changes that have already taken place. Depending upon your child's level of responsibility (and tendency to remove the invisible braces), you may want to have copies of each mold made to ensure you always have an extra set in the event of loss. 

How can you prevent an overbite from recurring after orthodontic treatment?

After your child's overbite has been corrected, he or she should notice a marked improvement in the ability to quickly chew food and enunciate certain sounds. However, going from braces to nothing overnight can sometimes allow these teeth to drift back to their former positions, undoing all the orthodontist's (and your child's) hard work. In many cases, your child's orthodontist may recommend a temporary retainer to keep these teeth from moving. 

A temporary retainer fits over your child's teeth but can be removed for eating and other activities -- much like invisible braces. Although permanent retainers can be a good way to ensure that post-orthodontia teeth remain in their desired positions, these often aren't a great choice for younger orthodontic patients due to the changes in the shape of the mouth that will take place over the upcoming years.