How a Corrected Bite Can Save Your Smile
With so much focus on straightening teeth, it can be easy to forget just how vital the alignment of your bite is when correcting your smile. Bite problems have all sorts of implications for how your smile will look, along with how comfortable your jaw will be on a daily basis. Not to mention, fixing jaw problems early on can be crucial for some patients when trying to avoid bigger issues later in life.
Potential Bite Problems
Orthodontists are prepared to deal with a wide range of potential bite problems in patients, helping to improve the comfort, function, and appearance of the jaw.
Underbite: Your upper teeth should fit a bit over your front teeth with your lower jaw positioned slightly behind your upper jaw. When the lower jaw is positioned too far forward or if the upper teeth aren’t positioned forward enough, the resulting malocclusion is an underbite.
Overbite: Everyone should have a slight overbite. But if the upper jaw sits too far forward or completely overlaps the lower front teeth, then it’s considered an overbite.
Crossbite: Similar to how the upper jaw should be positioned a little in front of the lower jaw, the upper teeth should also fit over the top and outside of the lower teeth.
Open Bite: An open bite happens when the upper and lower front teeth don’t have any overlap when biting down all the way.
Other common bite issues include deep bites, spacing, and issues related to crowding.
How Orthodontic Treatment Fixes Bite Problems
When you start treatment with braces or Invisalign, you can start adjusting your bite while you straighten your teeth. If you have an underbite or an overbite, your braces can be fitted with little hooks that will serve as the base for elastic bands. If you have Invisalign, these hooks will be attached to your teeth and a little notch will be cut out of your trays to make room for them. The bands may be positioned differently depending on whether you have an overbite or underbite.
Over the course of your treatment, the pressure from the bands will correct your jaw position to fix your bite.
By taking care of these issues, you can expect to eat and speak easier and feel better jaw comfort on a daily basis. Proper jaw alignment also balances out the pressure between your teeth, reducing the chance of tooth wear.
Taking care of some bite issues, such as crossbites, open bites, or deep bites, sometimes requires early orthodontic treatment. Whether due to genetics or early bad habits, some kids require a two-phase treatment plan, beginning with early treatment with a palatal expander, partial braces, or Invisalign First. By taking care of this type of issue early on, they may be able to avoid needing surgery or having teeth pulled as a teen or adult. The following phase of treatment with braces or Invisalign will end up being shorter as well.
To learn more about how to improve your bite, schedule your free consultation with Milnor Orthodontics today!
At Milnor Orthodontics, our experts are here to help you achieve a priceless smile. Call our office at (970) 230-3187 or visit milnororthodontics.com to learn more. We're located at 1103 S. Shields St. in Fort Collins, Colorado.