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The Causes Of Protruding Teeth And How To Fix It


KENILWORTH AND Skokie, ILLINOIS – Protruding teeth can create many problems for you or your child. Correcting them as soon as possible can alleviate difficulties down the road.

Teeth that stick out are more prone to injury and trauma, especially during contact sports. Also, the teeth may wear unevenly, due to their positioning.

In severe cases, the lower lip may hang behind the upper front teeth, making it difficult to close the mouth completely and pushing the teeth farther out.

“Children with protruding teeth may suffer from self-esteem issues,” says Dr. Michael Stosich, an Invisalign provider in Skokie and Kenilworth. “Early orthodontic treatment is necessary in these cases.”

Dentofacial orthopedics expert Dr. Stosich explains a few causes of protruding teeth.


Early on, many children develop habits that can be hazardous to the primary and permanent dentition. Pacifiers may push out your child’s front baby teeth. Pacifier habits should be stopped by the time your child is 18 months old. The longer you wait, the harder it is to break the habit.

Thumbsucking is typically worse than pacifiers. Thumbs are a harder surface and put more pressure on the front teeth. The use of a pacifier can be controlled easier than thumbsucking. This can be a stressful time for you and your child; however, habits can be broken if you work at it.

Thumbsucking can be stopped with the use of bitter medicine. The taste decreases the satisfaction of the habit. If that doesn’t work, an orthodontist can cement a fixed habit crib into the mouth. This appliance makes it impossible for your child to suck their thumb.

Pacifier habits can be stopped by slowly weaning your child. Begin by limiting it to the crib only. Provide another object of security, such as a blanket or stuffed animal. Eventually, you can offer your child the option of throwing it away or giving it to the “pacifier fairy.”

Praising your child when he or she isn’t partaking in these habits can also be a great method. Children love to hear when they are doing well. Harsh disciplining may stress your child and cause him/her to suck the thumb or pacifier more.


Another cause of protruding teeth is genetics. Sometimes the upper jaw can be enlarged and out of proportion to the rest of the facial structure. Also, the lower jaw may be too small in comparison to the upper jaw.

Tooth size discrepancy can also play a part with protruding teeth. Your child may have teeth that are too large for his/her mouth. Braces and filing of the teeth can alleviate this problem.

Finally, crowding can be an issue with protruding teeth. When the teeth don’t have the proper space to erupt into, they could begin jetting out. Early intervention can ensure that your child won’t have a difficult treatment later because space can be created for patients still growing.

Adults with protruding teeth typically will need extractions of four bicuspids, since the bones have stopped growing. Once the extractions are made, each incisor is moved back until the protruding teeth are aligned properly.

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  • Michael S. Stosich, DMD, MS, MS

    Dr. Michael Stosich is a board-certified orthodontist and the director of orthodontics at the University of Chicago Medicine. He is known for his extensive experience in leading clinical enterprises, publishing, and lecturing both in the U.S. and internationally. Dr. Stosich has expertise in starting, growing, and maintaining successful orthodontic practices, including those in pediatric dentistry, general dentistry, and multi-specialty clinics. He serves on the editorial board of several publications and has been involved in innovating patient care and education, focusing on the future of dental and orthodontic healthcare.

Stosich Consulting