Can teething stop baby feeding

Feeding and teething: how to help them with the pain | Baby & toddler articles & support

Your child might have just started weaning when teething creates a stumbling block. Here we see how teething can affect eating, and how to get through it.

One symptom connected with teething is a decreased appetite for solid foods (Macknin et al, 2000; Lyttle et al, 2015; Eisenstadt et al, 2017). And guess what? You’re likely to start weaning your little one around the six-month mark – the exact same time many babies cut their first teeth (eyes roll again) (Lyttle et al, 2015).

So why do they start fussing all of a sudden? It will come as no surprise that teething causes a lot of discomfort (Eisenstadt et al, 2017).

Where’s my baby’s appetite gone?

Just like us adults can go off our foods when we’re feeling under the weather, so can our little ones. The gums swell and are tender to touch just before a tooth breaks through (Ashley, 2001). So anything in your little one’s mouth could cause more pain.

That said, not all babies lose their appetite when teething. Like with everything else, they’re all different. In fact, the science shows only around one third of teething babies lose their appetite (Macknin et al, 2000).

When will my baby’s teething affect their appetite?

Interestingly, some studies show children lose their appetite with teething only when their canines come through, not when their incisors or molars emerge (Memarpour et al, 2015). Generally, these canines – the pointy ones either side of the front four – appear when your little one is 16 to 22 months old (NHS Choices, 2016a; NHS Devon, 2018).

We know from parents we speak to that many encounter food fussiness earlier than the 16 to 22 month mark. So our practical tips can apply whatever your baby’s age over six months, when weaning starts (NHS Choices, 2018). This guide shows you what to do if your baby is struggling to juggle tooth pain and munching.

Which foods are best when they are teething?

If your baby goes on a feeding strike as they start to cut some teeth, the following should help. It is a case of trial and error here, there’s no right answer. Experiment and see what they seem most comfortable with the following types of foods.

1. Soft foods

Much like us adults might eat nothing but soup after a painful procedure at the dentists, babies might just want to stick with soft foods and purees. Anything they can slurp from a spoon with minimal contact with their gums. A fruit or vegetable puree, or a soft risotto or macaroni cheese (blitzed or slightly overcooked for minimal chewing) could be just the comfort food they need right now.

2. Cool foods

Chilled foods can take the heat out of those burning gums (Ashley, 2001). Yogurt is an easy option here. A ready-made pouch popped in the fridge. Or try some fruit or veg straight from the fridge such as cucumber sticks, a whole strawberry or avocado mushed up.

Just remember foods containing meat, or prepared in advance will need reheating for food hygiene reasons so might not be suitable (NHS Choices, 2015). And make sure you stay with them while they’re eating to watch out for choking.

3. Hard foods

To chew and bite down on have been proven to provide relief in around half of teething babies. Why? Their firmness provides counterpressure to a rising tooth (Memarpour et al, 2015).

Try carrot sticks, whole green beans or sugar snap peas, sliced pepper, breadsticks or bread crusts for babies over six months (Ashley, 2001). As above, just ensure you are on watch to avoid them choking on the chunkier items.

Avoid rusks, because nearly all brands contain some sugar. And sugar can cause tooth decay, even if your child only has a few small teeth (NHS, 2016b). You can read more about how to ease their pain with hard foods and teether toys here.

Does it matter if they are not eating as much as usual?

Try not to worry if not much is going in at any one mealtime. If they are still drinking their usual milk, they’ll be getting nutrients from that. That said, if their hunger strike seems to last more than a few days and you’re worried, see your GP or health visitor.

Try to keep them hydrated. While some babies want to suck and therefore breast or bottle-feed more during a bout of teething (Macknin et al, 2000), others go off the idea. If they are refusing milk or drinking less than usual, try to get them to sip some water, or add milk to their purees. Some parents we speak to also make breast or formula milk lollipops to get milk into their little ones, and soothe their gums at the same time. Win, win.

If they are chewing down on everything, including their bottle teat, try a teether toy instead, which might be more sturdy. If your baby is chewing down on your nipple (hideous), then read our article on feeding and biting.

When will the fussing end?

Your baby will probably have a reduced appetite for solids for the five days ahead of a tooth peeping through, the day it surfaces and for three days afterwards (Macknin et al, 2000). So in general, your baby should be more into their food again in just over a week. That is, unless another tooth is on its way (. guessed it, another eye roll).

Further information

Our support line offers practical and emotional support with feeding your baby and general enquiries for parents, members and volunteers: 0300 330 0700.

You might find attending one of NCT's Early Days groups helpful as they give you the opportunity to explore different approaches to important parenting issues with a qualified group leader and other new parents in your area.

Make friends with other parents-to-be and new parents in your local area for support and friendship by seeing what NCT activities are happening nearby.

For guidance on how to look after those teeth once they appear (and what foods and drinks they should avoid) read our article on brushing baby’s teethand why teeth hygiene is important for babies.

NCT has partnered with the British Red Cross to offer courses in baby first aid.

Breastfeeding and teething - La Leche League GB

You are here: Home / Common Concerns / Breastfeeding and teething

When it comes to teething, all babies are different: a very few are born with teeth already erupted through their gums, while others may reach their first birthday without any.   In general, most babies will have that first little flash of white in their gums by six months old, and by two years old she may well have sixteen teeth. In the six months after that, the final four big back teeth often called “two year molars” will probably emerge.

Signs of teething

Dealing with teething pain

How teething may affect breastfeeding

Signs of teething

Many parents find that teething symptoms are worst in the period before a tooth actually emerges, while it is working its way up through the baby’s gum. Some of the signs that parents report include:

  • Changes in the way a baby latches on to the breast: feeding your baby may start to be uncomfortable, or she may change the position of her mouth or head, or her latch may just feel a bit different
  • Dribbling: your baby is suddenly drooling all the time, and you may find yourself needing to change her bib or top several times a day
  • Redness and rash: your baby’s cheeks may be flushed bright red, and she may have a red rash around her mouth and chin
  • Loose stools: your baby’s poo may seem runnier than usual, it may seem to irritate her skin more than usual if she isn’t changed immediately, and she may develop nappy rash
  • Biting and chewing: you might notice that your baby is chewing her fingers or fist; all young babies put objects into their mouths as a way of exploring them, but you may feel that your baby is chewing his toys with more determination than usual
  • Night waking: any pain or discomfort can disrupt your baby’s usual sleep pattern
  • Slightly raised temperature: some parents have said that their babies run a low-level fever at the point when a new tooth actually comes through the gum, warmer than usual but not hot enough to cause serious concern.

Warning! Some of the symptoms listed above can also be signs of illness. If your baby has diarrhoea or a fever, or you are worried about his health, please seek medical advice.

Dealing with teething pain

Specially designed teething toys can give your baby some relief from the discomfort in his gums. Look out for toys with plenty of surface texture, or little bumps or projections to chew on. Some teething rings are filled with water and can be kept in the fridge or freezer until they are needed. You don’t have to use specially designed toys, though: many babies enjoy chewing a flannel that has been run under a cold tap and then wrung out, especially if it has been kept in the fridge to cool down. You can also try massaging the sore spot on your baby’s gums with your finger, if he seems to enjoy it. A baby who is cutting teeth further back in the mouth might like to have a toothbrush or similarly-shaped toy to chew on; you can buy a “first toothbrush” without bristles if you are concerned about your baby chewing them off.

If your baby is eating solids, you can give him hard foods to chew on, like fingers of apple or carrot. Be aware that once your baby has actually cut a tooth, even the tip of it can be sharp enough to break a chunk off something like a raw carrot, so supervise him carefully and use your judgement about appropriate foods to offer. You could try freezing foods, such as fingers of banana, or freeze plain unsweetened yogurt into lollies (either use small lolly moulds, or place small spoonfuls onto a tray in the freezer with a lolly stick or baby’s spoon in each one).

Don’t forget that breastfeeding can be really soothing for a baby who is unhappy or in pain. Occasionally a well-meaning person might advise a breastfeeding mother that a baby should be weaned from the breast when his first tooth comes through, but this simply isn’t necessary. The World Health Organisation recommends breastfeeding for at least the first two years of a baby’s life; mothers around the world have happily breastfed their babies through teething, and even up to the age when the permanent teeth emerge.

How teething may affect breastfeeding

Latch: Sore or swollen gums, or the presence of new teeth at the front of your baby’s mouth, may affect the way that she latches on to breastfeed. You may find it helpful to experiment with different feeding positions to find one that is comfortable for both of you. This is also a good time to keep an eye on your baby’s latch: make sure he is opening his mouth wide to latch on, ideally with his tongue visible above his lower teeth, and that he is latching deeply onto your breast .  If sore gums are interfering with feeding, try some of the tips above for addressing the pain immediately before feeding. Be careful about using anything frozen, or any purchased teething remedy that numbs your baby’s mouth, immediately before feeding, as the numbness can affect his ability to latch correctly.

Biting: Sometimes a baby who has been dealing with teething pain by biting anything he can get hold of may experiment with doing the same thing to his mother’s breast. For some ideas on how to respond to biting, see this page.  It is important to bear in mind that when a baby is correctly latched on to breastfeed, her tongue covers her lower teeth, so it should be impossible for her to bite you while actively feeding without biting her own tongue. A newly-emerged tooth is very sharp, in order to help it cut through the gum, so you may get a scratch from it during feeding. If your nipple is sore because of a bite or scratch, try using a different feeding position next time so that your baby’s teeth don’t touch the sore spot, and treat between feeds with pure lanolin or a hydrogel pad if necessary.

Frequency of feeding: You may already have discovered that breastfeeding can be a brilliant way of soothing your baby if she is unhappy, or in pain: after vaccinations or during illness, for example. If your baby is suffering with teething pain, she may ask to feed more often, possibly for quite short periods each time. If you are happy to feed her as often as she wants, then it can really help both of you to get through this tricky time. But if your baby’s teething is making it uncomfortable to feed her, you may not feel like offering the breast every time she asks for it. You can use the suggestions above to address problems with latching and biting, and you can experiment with other ways of distracting her from the pain. Mothers over the years have tried many things, and common tricks include carrying your baby, taking her for a walk outside, dancing with her, singing to her, giving her a warm bath, and anything else that you have found that works for her.

Dealing with dribble: It seems to be common for a teething baby’s dribble to irritate his skin. Make sure you keep him dry and clean, by gently washing or wiping his chin. You may want to do this immediately before offering him the breast, so that his dribble doesn’t irritate your skin too.

Written by Emma Taylor for LLLGB, 2017

Filed Under: Breastfeeding information, Common Concerns Tagged With: biting, teething

Is it possible to give a baby a pacifier?

Is it possible and necessary to give a pacifier to a child? Does it bring benefits or harm?

Oddly enough, despite the seeming simplicity of these questions, they are still debatable. Basic answers might be:

1) yes, to give: a pacifier calms, prevents a lot of problems, and it is harmless;

2) not to be given under any circumstances: a dummy softens the baby, makes him lazy and undemanding, reduces the mother's lactation, spoils the bite, and in general it is harmful;

3) may be given occasionally, on special occasions, to soothe a child who is in pain, frightened or agitated, teething, but cannot be done systematically.

Why is it that even experts still cannot develop a unified point of view on such a simple issue? And which of these three answers is closer to the truth?

Dummy and psychology of parents and doctors

Medicine is a creative humanitarian profession. Any question, even the most elementary, in such professions can be debatable, and this is natural.

This is due, among other things, to the fact that our, adults, attitude towards their children is not stereotypical, the same for absolutely all parents. This attitude depends on what kind of person the mother of this child is.

In fact, there are only two main approaches, two main psychological attitudes towards your baby:

  • I am for him,
  • He is for me.

The first setting means that the mother sees the goal of her communication with the baby, caring for him - in the child himself. In order for him to develop as well as possible, to feel good. Moreover, she actually strives for this goal as the main one, and not only says so (and absolutely all mothers say this, but often they are mistaken about themselves).

The second setting means that in fact (and not in words) for the mother, her own comfort and convenience is more important. She loves the child, but does not want to give up for him what she considers most important for herself. She prefers to interact with the baby in such a way as to receive as many positive emotions as possible, not to overwork, to worry and worry less.

It is easy to guess that the mothers of the second type become the enthusiasts of using the dummy. Moms of the first type can have a completely different attitude towards a pacifier. Moms of the second type, on the contrary, all without exception use it, and, moreover, constantly.

Doctors are also different. Some consistently adhere to the position: only the health and development of the baby is important. Therefore, parents need to be guided, educated, correct their mistakes, give recommendations, including those that they may not like.

But there are other doctors. For them, the mother of the baby is a client who pays money. Why fight with a client? In the end, I, a doctor, live on the money of my clients. Therefore, such a business doctor will never tell his mother what she does not want to hear. And willingly confirm: yes, everything you do is right.

It is clear that in such conditions, different approaches to the use of a pacifier are inevitable.

Soother and baby psychology

Why can a pacifier be effective?

The pacifier imitates the process of sucking the mother's breast. If someone thinks that for a child this is just a process of nutrition, then he is mistaken. In fact, the baby crouching on the mother's breast experiences a euphoric state of merging with the mother, and the mother for him is like God, she is everything for him. Remaining himself, already born for earthly life, he psychologically returns to some extent to the blissful state that was characteristic of him while he was in his mother's womb. He sees his mother, touches her, and at the same time merges with her again, becomes part of her.

Oddly enough, from a psychological point of view, the baby suckling the mother's breast is not so much eating as communicating with his mother. Moreover, it is something resembling an act of love!

It is clear that even a primitive imitation of this, the most beautiful, moment of his life is able to relieve tension, soothe, distract, even relieve pain.

What is the use of a pacifier based on.

And this is quite a productive idea. But we should not forget: a dummy is precisely an imitation, an ersatz, a fake. When there is no mother, when mother does not have milk, in some other special cases, the use of a pacifier is quite appropriate.

But can this ersatz, this imitation, be constantly substituted for what is being imitated?

Reasonable answer: no, you can't do that.

A child needs a living mother, her breasts, her milk. A dummy exists for special occasions. She should not replace her mother.

When you can and should use a pacifier

  • If the child experiences discomfort (colic, or something else), something hurts somewhere, but the localization of this pain is not clear to you: in this case, the pacifier distracts from the problem and calms the baby, sometimes the sucking process even completely eliminates pain.
  • If the baby cannot fall asleep, is too restless, and for some reason the mother cannot stay with him. A pacifier in this case replaces sleeping pills, and, of course, it is much better than any pills (however, sleeping pills should not be given to infants in any case).
  • If the baby has an underdevelopment of the lower jaw (usually this happens with artificial feeding): in this case, a properly selected pacifier helps to correct the bite - contrary to the prejudice that the pacifier just spoils the bite. Indeed, the regular use of the first pacifier that comes across can spoil the baby's bite, but it will not be the pacifier itself that is to blame, but the child's parents. The dummy needs to be specially selected, and it is better to first get the advice of a pediatrician on this matter.
  • In any stressful situations for the baby, when the mother herself cannot calm the child (she is busy, she is nervous herself, does not know how to do this).
  • If the baby likes to sleep on the back: in this case, the pacifier prevents the tongue from retracting and is thus an effective remedy for the so-called "sudden death syndrome".
  • To prevent certain bad habits: for example, the habit of pulling everything that is not lying well into your mouth or the habit of constantly sucking your thumb.

When not to use a pacifier

  • When the constant use of the pacifier reduces the mother's lactation, which is quite possible and even often observed with daily and long-term use of the pacifier.
  • When, again, the regular use of a pacifier clearly negatively affects the behavior and psychology of the crumbs: he becomes passive, lethargic, takes the breast poorly, does not show interest in what surrounds him, does not seek to communicate with his mother - the only thing he wants : suck your pacifier.
  • When you notice in a baby the appearance of dependence (as in drug addiction) on a pacifier: without it, the child refuses to fall asleep, gets nervous, cries, is agitated - calms down only when he is given a pacifier.
  • If you notice that the use of a pacifier has a negative effect on the bite of the baby (although in this case it often makes sense not to give up the pacifier at all, but to replace it with a more suitable one for your child).
  • If you are not able to ensure the sterility of the pacifier: for example, the baby has a habit of spitting it out and then putting it back in his mouth. In this case, there is a risk of infection precisely because of the use of the pacifier.
  • If the baby is teething and the pacifier in the mouth causes discomfort or even pain. True, in this case, it is also worth simply replacing the nipple with one made of a different material (solid silicone - with rubber).

Advantages of the pacifier

In its virtues, the pacifier is very similar to the so-called "placebo": a harmless substance that the patient considers a medicine and which therefore has a positive effect on his condition due to self-hypnosis.

A "pacifier" is empty by definition, it does not give the baby anything by itself, but it psychologically affects him: just like a placebo affects the patient.

At the same time, the pacifier is completely harmless in the vast majority of cases: only obvious negligence and inattention of parents can make the dummy a negative factor for the health of the baby.

The pacifier is very helpful in many emergencies and as such it is recommended for use by almost all paediatricians.


The disadvantages of the pacifier are related to its artificial, imitation nature. It is easier to suck on a pacifier than on a breast. Milk from the mother's breast the baby must extract with effort, while sucking on a pacifier does not require labor.

Here we have the same effect that is observed in many modern teenagers "hooked on the Internet": jumping from site to site is easier than reading serious books, communicating, striving for something.

Therefore, regular (precisely regular, and not single, only in some special cases) use of a pacifier is really capable of influencing the baby negatively in an educational sense. He starts to "lazy", and this is very bad.

The pacifier can be, as noted above, a source of infection, since daily boiling or other sanitization of the pacifier is a rather troublesome business, and a rare mother is able to ensure that the pacifier is ideally sterile for her child.

An incorrectly selected pacifier (of the wrong shape, of the wrong material) can adversely affect the baby's bite, interfere with teething, be a source of discomfort and even pain (despite the fact that the baby does not refuse the pacifier, does not spit it out).

What are pacifiers

The vast majority of nipples are made from three materials: latex, silicone or rubber.

Latex pacifiers are flexible, quite soft, but latex is a rubber, so when using such a pacifier, you may encounter an allergic reaction in your baby. You cannot boil such a pacifier: it cannot withstand high temperatures - so, in fact, it is disposable.

It is appropriate to use such pacifiers at a very early age (up to 2-3 months) or if the baby is weak.

Silicone teats are harder and can be boiled. Accordingly, you can use the dummy for a long time. Appropriate from the age of 2-3 months before teething.

Finally, rubber nipples can be boiled and are very flexible at the same time. Therefore, their use is recommended from the moment the teething of the baby begins.

The shape of the pacifier is in the form of a droplet, "cherry" and others. It is better to select a dummy, as noted above, individually, in accordance with the recommendation of the attending physician.

How to use the pacifier

  • When a baby is born, the mother's main concern is to establish regular breastfeeding. Until the moment you have adjusted it, you cannot give a pacifier to the baby. If this is done, the baby will perceive exactly the dummy as a “real breast”, and his mother’s breast - only as her ersatz.
  • Do not consider a pacifier a universal solution to all problems. This is a very easy way out, but the easy way never leads to the goal. If you are using a pacifier, then there really must be a reason for this.
  • The pacifier must not be used as a "universal sleeping pill". A healthy baby will receive a breast and, if the mother is nearby, will fall asleep without a pacifier. It is impossible to accustom the baby to fall asleep exclusively with a pacifier in his mouth.
  • Buy a pacifier from a pharmacy, not from a regular store. You need to know what material it is. It must be made from a single piece (and not separate glued elements of different colors), not have cracks and bubbles.
  • Give the pacifier only after it has been boiled (unless it has just been bought). Carefully inspect it every time, and if you find even the slightest damage, immediately throw it away.
  • Do not use the pacifier daily and regularly (every two or three days). You can use it periodically, if necessary, but you should not accustom the baby to the fact that at certain hours he will definitely receive a dummy. Do not use the pacifier for longer than an hour and a half a day (and even then not every day).
  • The pacifier works by itself: it should not be lubricated with sweet juices, etc.
  • You can only use a pacifier for up to a year, and the sooner you give it up, the better.

Experienced pediatricians about the pacifier

According to the majority of experienced and well-known pediatric doctors, a pacifier is needed to satisfy the sucking reflex, and in this sense it is optimal (even better than mothers, as many people think).

At the same time, the baby's normal sucking reflex is quite satisfied by the fact that he is periodically given a breast: he is able to do without a pacifier. But there are children with an increased level of sucking reflex, and they really need a pacifier.

The problem with using a pacifier, according to most experienced doctors, is that it is often used inappropriately when it is not really needed.

A child needs a mother and her milk. In mother's milk there is everything necessary for the baby, communication with the mother, closeness with her completely satisfies the baby psychologically.

If a mother has enough milk, she can pay a lot of attention to her baby most of the day, the baby develops normally, he is healthy - he rarely needs a dummy.

That is, experienced doctors, first of all, warn against using a pacifier too often and without special need, which interferes with the special psychological closeness of mother and child, reduces mother's lactation, and affects the baby incorrectly.

At the same time, most experienced pediatricians are not at all against the use of a pacifier in some cases and even directly recommend its use, for example, when bathing a baby (so that he does not swallow water from the bath).

The essence of the position of experienced doctors is thus the following. To use a pacifier or not is not the main problem. The main thing is full breastfeeding and constant communication between mother and child. It is these two factors that ensure the normal development and well-being of the baby, and it is on this that the main attention should be paid.

And if everything is in order with this, then:

  • a pacifier may be needed only occasionally, in rather rare cases, or may not be needed at all;
  • you can safely use a pacifier, sometimes even quite often: it will not hurt a healthy, successfully developing baby.

In this case, in some situations, experienced doctors find the use of a pacifier very appropriate.

However, if there are problems with breastfeeding, especially if the baby is artificial, if there are any serious problems in its development, if something is not right with health, then the dummy should be used with great care because of its imitative nature. In no case should a dummy replace what is most needed for the crumbs: communication with mom, interest in the world around, breast milk.

It is in this case that the use of a pacifier is considered by experienced pediatricians to be the least acceptable.


To use or not to use a pacifier is not the main and very individual question. Its solution depends on the individuality of the mother, and on the individuality and physical and psychological characteristics of the child.

Significant harm can only be caused by using a pacifier in three cases:

  • if you use it constantly, every day and for a long time, since the baby will no longer be able to do without it;
  • if the nipple replaces communication with the mother, sucking on the mother's breast;
  • if this is done extremely carelessly: the child is given a nipple that is completely unsuitable for him, or a nipple with cracks, dirty.

As you can see, there is no reason to be afraid to use a pacifier. Almost all mothers use pacifiers now.

At the same time, one should not get too carried away using the pacifier. This is a rather specific, not at all universal remedy, necessary and appropriate only in special cases.

And if the pacifier is used to a limited extent, not every day, not for many hours in a row, not every time when the mother encounters some difficulties, wants to be distracted or calm the baby, if the baby is not taught to fall asleep exclusively with a pacifier, suck it all the time, - it is quite difficult to bring some harm to the baby precisely through a pacifier.

Information about higher organizations

Ministry of Health of the Russian FederationOfficial portal of the Mayor and the Government of MoscowDepartment of labor and social protection of the population of the city of Moscow: on Mondays from 15. 00 to 18.00Department of health of the city of MoscowDepartment of RosZdravNadzor for the city of Moscow and the Moscow region: Mon - Thu: 9:00 - 17:45, Fri: 9:00 - 16:30, Sat - Sun: days off Office of Rospotrebnadzor for the city of MoscowFKU Main Bureau of Medical and Social Expertise for the city of Moscow: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday from 8.30 to 17.30 .Directorate for coordinating the activities of medical organizations DZMMosvolunter. Responsible person for cooperation with volunteer organizations: Adylov Seyran Midatovich, tel. +7 499-250-01-75

Information for the public

Assessment of the quality of servicesIndependent assessment of the quality of services provided by medical organizationsQuestionnaire for assessing the quality of services provided by medical organizations on an outpatient basisDrugsCrowdsourcing projects of the Government of MoscowAmbulance and Emergency Medical Service in the City of MoscowAssistance Center for Medical WorkersMoscow City Compulsory Medical Insurance FundInsurance companiesFederal budgetary healthcare institution " Center for Hygiene and Epidemiology in Moscow "Official resource of the Healthy Russia program. " Order of the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation dated August 10, 2017 N 514n "List of studies during preventive medical examinations of minors" List of drugs dispensed free of charge and with a 50% discount List of categories of citizens persons entitled to receive state social assistanceOn the list of documents required for issuing prescriptionsOn the list of pharmacy organizations for the disabled

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Causes of malocclusion, stages of correction and prices for treatment

Bite is the main parameter of the normal development of the human dentition. An orthognathic bite is considered normal, in which the upper teeth slightly cover the lower ones.

Malocclusion is an abnormal closure of the dentition, which occurs in connection with the maxillofacial deformity. Often this is a hereditary feature, but it can manifest itself under the influence of other adverse factors. Malocclusion can lead to a variety of consequences from chronic headaches to diseases of the gastrointestinal tract. They cause speech defects, frequent respiratory diseases, tooth decay, including caries. The orthodontist is engaged in the correction of the bite, it can be carried out at any age.

Causes of malocclusion

Abnormal bite is usually caused by a genetic predisposition in combination with another risk factor. In most cases, the anomaly is formed in childhood. The reasons include the following:

  • birth trauma or a severe course of pregnancy, which causes a violation of the musculoskeletal system or neurological pathologies leading to abnormal growth of the jaws;

  • improper care, feeding the baby: in a newborn baby, the upper jaw is larger than the lower. Natural breastfeeding forces him to tighten his muscles when sucking, which stimulates the rapid growth of the lower jaw. As a result, they are aligned. If the child is not active enough during sucking, there will be no alignment or it will not happen in full, this can lead to the formation of an abnormal bite;

  • disorders of the musculoskeletal system, incorrect posture. In preschool and primary school age, the incorrect position of the body leads to the fact that the head goes forward - this leads to jaw deformity and malocclusion;

  • violations of the formation of soft tissues. Anomalies of bite can lead to short frenulums of the lips, tongue;

  • lack of minerals, vitamins. Nutrient deficiency can cause a delay in the development of the musculoskeletal system, bone tissue;

  • frequent respiratory diseases or pathologies leading to impaired nasal breathing. The soft tissues of the oral cavity are involved in the development of the jaws. If the child is forced to breathe through the mouth most of the time, including at night, the mouth is constantly ajar, the jaws develop with an anomaly;

  • bad habits or violation of the tone of the chewing muscles. If a child sucks on a pacifier for a long time, chews on pencils, or has a habit of biting his lip, the jaws will not form correctly. The same thing can happen with an increased or decreased tone of the masticatory muscles due to neurological causes;

  • loss of teeth. This cause can cause malocclusion at any age, both in children and adults. The only exception is the timely loss of milk teeth. With their early loss, the resulting empty space in the row tends to be occupied by other teeth. They are displaced, as a result of which an anomaly of bite is formed. In adults, the process occurs in a similar way;

  • improper eruption of wisdom teeth. This reason applies to adult patients. Violations of the eruption of the "eights" can lead to displacement of the remaining teeth and a change in the bite.

Stages of malocclusion correction

The first step in the correction of a bite defect is diagnostics. It is necessary to contact an orthodontist, who will conduct an initial examination of the oral cavity and refer you for a comprehensive diagnosis. Based on the results of the examinations, the type of malocclusion, the degree of complexity are determined, and the method of correction is selected.

Which diagnostic methods may be required:

Such studies make it possible to assess the degree of the defect, to see changes in the dentition, to assess the state of the bone tissue of the jaws, teeth, etc. The causes of malocclusion in this case also become clear.

Then complex preparation for bite correction is necessary. The first step is therapeutic preparation or sanitation of the oral cavity. Before installing dental structures or taking the necessary measures, it is important to achieve ideal oral health: get rid of caries, tartar, inflammatory gum disease. Be sure to do a professional cleaning of the teeth to remove both tartar and soft deposits (plaque).

Surgical preparation may include removal of teeth or soft tissues, plastic surgery of the frenulum of the lips or tongue, according to indications. A dental surgeon will remove teeth that cannot be treated. In some cases, the extraction of healthy teeth is required, which will prevent the rest from taking the right place. They also remove supernumerary teeth that are not required to create a beautiful smile.

The installation of braces is carried out using a special dental adhesive or composite materials. Each element is fixed on the surface of the tooth enamel, support rings are installed on them and a power arc is threaded through them. The elastic elastic materials from which such arcs are made allow pressure to be applied and the teeth gradually take the desired position due to this force. Lingual braces are installed with preliminary "practice" - first they are fixed on the diagnostic model. This is due to the complexity of the internal relief of the dentition.

Installing braces is a painless process. But in the first days after fixation, pain may occur, especially during chewing. The doctor will recommend painkillers, if they do not help, it is important to contact a specialist again, without waiting for a scheduled appointment. Replacing the arc with a less rigid one can help in this situation.

Wearing braces obliges to pay great attention to hygiene. This is due to the fact that a large amount of plaque can accumulate around the structure. It is necessary to brush your teeth after each meal, use special brushes and an irrigator if possible.

For the period of the entire orthodontic treatment, you will have to give up sticky, viscous foods, solid foods, and chewing gum. Carbonated drinks, sweets and juices should be limited due to the increased risk of tooth decay. Subject to the recommendations of the doctor, it is possible to maintain the health of the enamel and obtain the desired results.

The duration of therapy is usually two years. It all depends on the age of the patient, the severity of the malocclusion.

The final stage is the retention period. It is both restorative and final - it is important to consolidate the results obtained and prevent a repeated change in the position of the teeth. If you ignore this stage and do not take action after removing the braces, the teeth can “rush” back to the position in which they have been for a long time. Retainers help to avoid this - “wires”, which are installed on the inside of the teeth using special composites. They are fixed only on the front groups of teeth, the period of wearing them is twice as long as the patient wore braces. However, the exact time is determined by the general condition of the dental system, the age of the patient, comorbidities, etc. The doctor may also recommend wearing special caps. The removable design is also designed to maintain the correct position of the teeth. Plastic archwires, silicone retainers and other means of maintaining the effect of treatment can be selected.

Treatment prices

The cost of treatment by an orthodontist is determined by several parameters: the type of braces or other orthodontic structures, the duration of treatment, the need to use additional or auxiliary correction methods.

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