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Does Your Child Have A Lisp? How Orthodontics Can Help

Oct 18

Written by: Dr. David Chen
10/18/2018 6:28 PM  RssIcon

Have you noticed that your child has a lisp or other speech issues? This may be due to his or her teeth. In a perfect world, your child's teeth would line up perfectly but unfortunately, that is not always the case. When the teeth are misaligned one of the results is an open bite, a known reason for children to speak with a lisp.


With an open bite, both the upper and lower front teeth do not properly meet, creating a gap when the mouth is closed. This opening between the front and bottom teeth not only affects the appearance of your child’s smile but also can lead to a lisp or other speech impediments.


There are several reasons why your child may develop an open bite. It can be caused when there is a misalignment with the jawbone or when they are still losing their teeth and have both baby teeth and permanent teeth. Once the permanent teeth come in, your orthodontist can better tell if the bite will match up correctly or will need orthodontic treatment.


Sometimes the open bite can occur because of things that your child is doing, personal habits they have developed such as:


  • Thumb sucking- although this is a natural behavior in a lot of children, it can worsen an open bite, especially when permanent teeth are already in place. Children normally outgrow this behavior but it is advised to have your child avoid this to protect them from misalignment.
  • Chewing on objects like pen caps, pencils, etc.
  • Using a pacifier or bottle after their permanent teeth are in place or still have a mix of baby and permanent teeth
  • Thrusting their tongue through their teeth while speaking and swallowing.


Though some of these conditions your child may outgrow, others will need correction from an orthodontist or oral surgeon in more extreme cases where the misalignment is in the jaw itself. If you notice any of these issues with your child, contact our office at (281) 225-6784 to schedule an orthodontic exam to help determine what course of treatment your child needs.


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