A study from Sweden’s Örebro University has determined the prevalence, self-correction, and new development of malocclusions; the need for orthodontic treatment; and the possible influences of habits, breathing disturbances, and allergies in a group of children from primary to early permanent dentition.

The study, published online ahead of the print publication in the journal The Angle Orthodontist, followed a group of 277 children at 3, 7, and 11½ years of age. Malocclusions and orthodontic treatment need were determined by clinical examinations. Data on sucking habits, breathing disturbances, allergies, dental trauma, and orthodontic treatments were collected from a questionnaire and dental records.

Study findings revealed a significant percentage of malocclusions and orthodontic treatment need. Furthermore, a substantial number of self-corrections and establishment of new malocclusions occurred during the transition from primary to early permanent dentition.

Researchers found malocclusions in 71% of participants at 3 years of age, 56% at 7 years of age, and 71% at 11½ years of age. Self-correction was noted for anterior open bite, sagittal malocclusions, and posterior crossbite, while deep bite developed. A high number of contact point displacements and spacings contributed to the prevalence of a malocclusion rate of 71% at 11½ years. Severe or extreme orthodontic treatment need was apparent in 22%. Habits, allergies, or breathing disturbances found at 3 years of age had no associations with malocclusions at 11½ years of age.