The definitive guide to understanding and addressing bite issues in children

When a child’s teeth or jaws do not align properly, orthodontic intervention becomes necessary to address the issue. These orthodontic issues are commonly known as malocclusions and can result in speech disorder, premature tooth wear, enamel erosion, and increased risk of dental and jaw joint injuries when left untreated. Keep reading to understand and identify different types of bite issues in children.


  • Crossbite occurs when upper teeth fit inside the lower teeth. This condition can result from teeth misalignment (including baby teeth) or bone misalignment. It can impact single teeth or groups of teeth. If left untreated, the crossbite can lead to jaw misalignment, asymmetrical jaw development, and erosion of the tooth’s outer enamel layer.

A crossbite occurs if baby teeth don’t fall out during childhood or if the eruption of adult teeth is delayed. In such instances, the jaw and surrounding teeth may adjust, resulting in the development of a crossbite.

Open Bite

  • Open bite teeth come in two variations, both characterized by the upper and lower teeth failing to make contact. One type occurs when the front upper teeth don’t touch or only slightly overlap the front lower teeth. The other type occurs when the back upper and lower teeth don’t meet when the mouth is at rest.

Open-bite teeth can lead to discomfort and issues such as a lisp, irregular tongue positioning, abnormal tooth wear, and difficulties with chewing and swallowing. An open bite can give rise to various undesirable habits, including tongue thrusting or thumb sucking. Early assessment and intervention are crucial for correcting an open bite effectively.

Deep Bite

  • A deep bite, also known as a closed bite or overbite, is a type of malocclusion where the upper front teeth extensively overlap the lower front teeth even when the mouth is at rest.

In this condition, the lower teeth may protrude upwards towards the roof of the mouth, while the upper teeth may bite down onto the front portion of the lower gums. Complications commonly linked with an overbite include a gummy smile, protruding lips, and increased wear of the incisors.


  • Crowding occurs when there isn’t enough space for the teeth within the mouth, often due to large teeth, insufficient jaw space, or a combination of both factors. This can lead to overlapping, rotated, or crooked teeth, making oral hygiene maintenance challenging.

Potential consequences if left uncorrected include difficulty in cleaning, which may lead to the development of cavities, particularly in the interdental spaces, and an increased risk of gum disease. Crowding not only affects aesthetics but has also been associated with periodontal issues and dental decay. Overlapping teeth make it challenging to clean the surfaces thoroughly, increasing the risk of periodontal problems and decay.

Spacing or Gapped Teeth

  • Gapped teeth typically arise when the jaw size exceeds the space required for the teeth. They may also occur if the teeth are smaller than normal or if some teeth are missing. Additionally, the absence of lateral incisors can contribute to gaps between teeth.


  • bite issues in childrenProtrusion refers to front teeth that extend outward, often termed buck teeth. This condition can occur due to various factors, such as an upper jaw positioned too far forward, a lower jaw set too far back, teeth growing in at an angle, or a combination of these factors. In some cases, individuals with protrusive front teeth also exhibit a deep bite.

All the bite issues and misalignments are entirely treatable. Our team of orthodontists at Icon Dental Center in BC has extensive experience in addressing these concerns in patients of all ages, from children to adults. Whether you require braces or Invisalign clear aligners, we tailor our treatments to your specific needs. For consultations or bookings, call us at (206) 225-2882 for Seattle and (425) 337-2400 for Everett appointments.

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