Small, Sneaky Problems That Can Cause Disfigurement in Children

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  • Overbite can lead to jaw misalignment and facial disfigurement, and early orthodontic therapy is recommended.
  • Recurring ear infections can lead to a deformity in the structure of the ear, known as the “cauliflower ear.”
  • Flat head syndrome, or plagiocephaly, can lead to facial asymmetry if left untreated.
  • Allergies can cause an “adenoid facies” look in children. Check for common allergies and avoid them.
  • Prolonged thumb-sucking can cause dental problems and impact the growth of a child’s palate and jaw.

Every parent wants their child to be healthy and happy, but sometimes small issues can arise that may not seem like a big deal at the time. However, ignoring these issues can lead to long-term disfigurement or other complications.

In this blog, you will learn about small but serious problems that can cause disfigurement in children. By staying alert to these issues and taking action when needed, you can help your child grow up to be happy, healthy, and confident.


An overbite occurs when the upper teeth overlap the lower ones too much, causing an uncomfortable bite. If left untreated, it can lead to jaw misalignment and facial disfigurement. Early orthodontic therapy is recommended to prevent long-term issues.

Your child can also receive a Herbst® orthodontic appliance to address the problem while still allowing them to have a wide range of jaw motion and minimize the chances of needing surgery or teeth removal. And depending on your child’s needs, this orthodontic appliance can also be customized.

Ear infections

An ear infection may not seem like a big deal, but over time, recurring ear infections can lead to a deformity in the structure of the ear. Known as a “cauliflower ear,” this disfigurement occurs when there is permanent damage to the cartilage in the ear due to repeated infections and inflammation. The best way to avoid this is to seek treatment for ear infections as soon as possible and to follow up with regular check-ups with your child’s doctor.

Flat head syndrome

Also known as plagiocephaly, this condition occurs when an infant’s skull develops a flat spot due to spending too much time lying in one position. While the flat head syndrome isn’t harmful and resolves on its own in most cases, an untreated flat spot can lead to facial asymmetry, causing disfigurement. To avoid this, place your baby on different sides when laying them down for naps or use a special positional device recommended by your child’s doctor.



Allergies can cause numerous symptoms, like sneezing, coughing, or itchy eyes. But did you know that untreated allergies can lead to an “adenoid facies” look? Adenoid facies is where children’s faces appear long and thin-lipped due to swollen adenoids (a mass of tissue at the back of the throat). Here are the four most common types of allergies in children and how you can address them:

Dust mites

Dust mite allergy symptoms include sneezing, coughing, and watery eyes. To reduce your child’s exposure to dust mites, keep the house clean and vacuum regularly. You should also invest in special allergen-proof mattress covers or pillow protectors.


If your child is allergic to pollen, you can reduce their exposure by keeping windows and doors shut, avoiding outdoor activities during high pollen times, and wearing a face mask when outdoors.

Food allergies

If your child has food allergies, it’s important to find out what foods they are allergic to and then avoid them altogether. You should also consider looking into an elimination diet with the help of your doctor.

Skin allergies

Skin allergies can cause itchy rashes or hives on the skin. To reduce your child’s exposure to irritants and allergens, use mild soaps and detergents when washing clothes and linen, avoid perfumes or other scented products, and keep pets away from your child’s bedroom.

By taking active steps to address your child’s allergies, you can help keep their adenoids healthy and reduce the risk of disfigurement.

Thumb sucking

Sucking thumb

It’s common for infants and toddlers to suck their thumbs for comfort, but prolonged thumb-sucking can cause dental problems and impact the growth of a child’s palate and jaw. This can lead to changes in facial appearance, such as the front teeth sticking out. The earlier you address thumb-sucking, the easier it is to correct.

The best way to protect your child from disfigurement is by staying alert and taking action when needed. Whether it’s an overbite, ear infection, flat head syndrome, or allergies, you can take steps to address the issue and prevent long-term complications.

Additionally, if your child has a thumb-sucking habit that isn’t going away on its own, seek help as soon as possible to avoid any future dental issues. With these tips in mind and regular check-ups with their doctor, you can give your children the healthiest start in life!

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