Conditions + Treatments

Malocclusion in Children

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Overview

Malocclusion refers to any degree of irregular contact of the teeth of your child's upper jaw with the teeth of the lower jaw. This includes overbites, underbites and crossbites, as well as crowding of your child's teeth.

While about 90 percent of school-aged children have some degree of malocclusion, only about 10 to 15 percent of these have severe malocclusion that requires treatment. Most children seek treatment of malocclusion for cosmetic — rather than medical — reasons.

Is orthognathic (jaw) surgery right for your child?

A well-proportioned bite occurs when all of your child's upper and lower teeth are correctly aligned and he can bite together evenly. Jaw surgery corrects malocclusion that results from the underlying bone disharmony. Your child's front upper teeth should overlap slightly with his front lower teeth when he bites. If your child's jaw is not properly aligned, he may have difficulty chewing or pronouncing specific sounds clearly.

The Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Program at Boston Children's Hospital works in conjunction with our orthodontists in the treatment of children requiring orthognathic surgery.

We are grateful to have been ranked #1 on U.S. News & World Report's list of the best children's hospitals in the nation for the third year in a row, an honor we could not have achieved without the patients and families who inspire us to do our very best for them. Thanks to you, Boston Children's is a place where we can write the greatest children's stories ever told.”
- Sandra L. Fenwick, President and CEO

Boston Children's Hospital 300 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA 02115 617-355-6000 | 800-355-7944

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