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Common Orthodontic Problems

Updated: Nov 26, 2023

Is there a way to tell if your child has orthodontic problems? The best thing to do is to bring them in for a check-up from around the age of 7. You can also keep an eye out for a few common issues that could develop as your child grows. Keep in mind that some developing issues may only be apparent to a trained and experienced orthodontist.

Common Children’s Orthodontic Problems

Abnormal Eruptions

An abnormal eruption happens when a tooth starts emerging through the gum but in the wrong place. If a tooth can’t fully grow in, a small surgical procedure may be necessary to uncover it to prevent further problems down the track. This can be diagnosed and coordinated by your child's orthodontist (a gum specialist or oral surgeon may also be involved).


Crowding happens when there’s not enough space for teeth to fit normally in your little one’s jaws. It could be because the jaws are too small, or the teeth are too big. There are many possible solutions depending on the stage of your child, some may include early intervention that may reduce the need for treatment later.


A crossbite occurs when one or more of your child’s upper teeth bite inside their lower teeth. It’s usually a result of a misalignment of the upper and lower jaws. In children, widening the upper jaw with a palatal expander could help solve what is one of the most common orthodontic problems we see.

Too Much Space

Excessive space can happen when the teeth are small relative to the available jaw size, or when one or more teeth just don’t grow in or is lost to disease or trauma.


Underbites are the result of the lower front teeth extending past the upper front teeth. A common cause for an underbite is either an undergrowth of the upper jaw or overgrowth of the lower jaw.


A deep bite is a ‘vertical’ problem where your child’s upper front teeth bite way far down over their lower teeth. The bite can be so deep that the upper teeth completely cover the lower teeth. This can cause excessive dental wear, and may even cause discomfort and other dental problems as the lower teeth bite up into the roof of the mouth.

Increased Overjet

Another type of overbite is a ‘horizontal’ problems which is the opposite of the underbite described above. Orthodontists usually call this an increased ‘overjet’ where the top teeth are ahead relative to the bottom, leaving a horizontal gap between upper and lower teeth.

Open bite

Another type of ‘vertical’ problem; this time opposite to the increased overbite. This is where the front teeth remain ‘open’ at the front whilst the back teeth are touching. This can sometimes be caused by a thumb sucking habit or a tongue posture issue.

Skeletal Discrepancies

Sometimes the bite issues listed above are the result of incorrect tooth position, in another cases they are the result of jaw misalignment. Commonly, they are a combination of both. In some cases jaw surgery is indicated for full correction. The good news is that the earlier a bite issue is diagnosed, the greater the chance that full bite correction can be obtained via relatively simple, non-surgical interventions.

How to Solve Your Child’s Orthodontic Problems

If you’re concerned about your child’s orthodontic health, it’s time to schedule a free* consultation with us so we can assess if your child would benefit from early intervention or ongoing monitoring of their growth and development.

*If orthodontic X-rays are required, a fee of $180 applies. See Terms and Conditions. Treatment may not be suitable for you.


Learn more about Sydney orthodontics:



Specialist Orthodontist Input by Dr Martin Fine BDS, MSc, MSc

Dr Martin Fine

Dr Martin Fine

Specialist Orthodontist Dr Martin Fine, BDS, MSc (Orthodontics), is based in Sydney's Eastern Suburbs. With over 30 years' experience in private practice, Dr Fine has expertise working with a wide variety of orthodontic appliances, including braces and Invisalign. He has presented at orthodontic conferences globally, and has taught postgraduate orthodontic students at the University of Sydney. Dr Fine is a member of both the AAO (American Association of Orthodontists) and the ASO (Australian Society of Orthodontists), and is a former president of the Alpha-Omega Dental Society's Sydney Chapter.  In the past, Dr Fine's research has been featured in the Angle Orthodontist journal. Dr Fine is committed to providing outstanding patient care using the latest and most effective techniques. Most recently, Dr Fine has developed and introduced the innovative FineLine clear aligner system, which has been specifically developed to meet the needs of patients at Fine Orthodontics.

Written by Danielle Long

Danielle Long

Danielle Long.png

Danielle Long has been assisting in the creation of beautiful smiles at Fine Orthodontics for over 15 years. Holding graduate qualifications in English and Education (BA/BEd UNSW), Dani brings a unique blend of knowledge to her role. She has worked in many different areas of the practice, having served as both Clinical Assistant and Treatment Coordinator over the years. Continually fascinated by the art and science behind orthodontics, Dani is always keen to share her knowledge in order to enhance patient understanding and experience. Dani focuses on facilitating exceptional patient communication and delivering in-depth orthodontic treatment information. She strives to ensure that every individual embarking on their orthodontic journey with Fine Orthodontics feels informed and supported.

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