Your bite (how your teeth come together when you close your mouth or touch your teeth together) affects many aspects of your life!
An irregular bite can be called by a few different names, depending on how the teeth align. An overbite is when the upper teeth stick out farther than your lower teeth. An open bite is when the top and bottom teeth do not connect when you bite down. An underbite is when the lower front teeth in your lower jaw stick out past the teeth in your upper jaw. A crossbite is when some or all teeth in your upper jaw fit inside the lower teeth. Overcrowding is when there is not enough space for your teeth, so they become pushed together. A misplaced midline bite is when the center of your upper front teeth doesn’t match with the center of your lower teeth.
Fortunately, Backus Orthodontics offers treatments that can help with jaw and teeth alignment! Before we talk about treatment options, though, let’s first talk about why your bite is so important!
Complications Caused By Poor Bite
While an improper bite alignment can alter your aesthetics and influence a child’s facial structure as they grow, it’s not the only concern associated with it!
Chewing – If you have difficulty chewing due to a bad bite, it can be uncomfortable and potentially dangerous. You see, your teeth are responsible for breaking down food before you can digest it. Smaller pieces are easier to swallow and absorb nutrients. The act of chewing stimulates the production of saliva, which helps lubricate the mouth and helps food stick together for a safer swallowing experience. If you find chewing uncomfortable, you are more likely to swallow food before it’s ready and suffer from indigestion, heartburn, and other problems.
Breathing – Poor alignment can cause breathing problems by narrowing the air passageways. Narrow passageways could force you to breathe through your mouth and lead to dry mouth, an uncomfortable condition that increases the risk of oral health concerns. Other breathing problems are sleep apnea and snoring, which can disrupt sleep and leave you exhausted in the morning.
TMJ Disorders – Abnormal stress and pressure on the jaw from an inefficient bite can produce pain in the temporomandibular (TMJ) joints. These disorders can cause chronic headaches and neck pain. TMJ disorders can be temporary or permanent.
Communication – People with improper bites could have trouble communicating due to pain from jaw movement or speech impediments, such as a lisp.
Wear & Tear – Overcrowded teeth or misaligned jaws can create abnormal wear and tear on the teeth. You might grind your teeth, or they could rub against each other when you talk or eat. This friction wears down the enamel and leaves teeth vulnerable to tooth decay and other oral health concerns such as cavities or gum disease. It could even lead to tooth chipping!
This is not an all-inclusive list, so don’t be afraid to mention something to Dr. Backus even if it is not listed here.
Treatments for Poor Bite
Bite problems can severely affect the quality of life, but luckily Backus Orthodontics offers multiple non-invasive treatments that can help fix your bite and improve your lifestyle.
When you think of orthodontic treatment, you likely think of teens wearing metal braces. It’s no surprise that metal braces are what you associate orthodontic care with. This treatment option has earned a reputation as being reliable, durable, and able to fix orthodontic concerns of any severity. Metal braces also allow for accessories like orthodontic elastic bands that help align the jaw or spacers to fix overcrowding. They are great for patients of any age.
Clear braces are almost identical to metal braces; the difference is that instead of metal brackets, clear braces use a ceramic blend of materials for their brackets. When the ceramic brackets are paired with matching ligatures, they give the illusion of being clear! Due to their materials, clear braces are not as durable as metal braces, making treatment take a little longer because they can’t handle as much pressure at once. This treatment option is recommended for adults and older teens.
Invisalign is the leading brand of in-office clear aligners. The company provides patients with custom-made, transparent trays. The personalization gives patients a snug and comfortable fit which is great because they need to be worn for 22 hours a day. This option is ideal for patients of all ages with milder concerns.
Did you know that orthodontic treatment can start as young as seven? It’s true! Backus Orthodontics offers treatment for young patients in two phases. Phase one is when they are younger and still have their baby teeth. Phase two occurs a few years later when they have grown in most or all of their adult teeth. Two-Phase Treatment could involve metal braces or clear aligners, depending on your child’s needs.
Visit Backus Orthodontics For More Information!
Needing a bite alignment can sound intimidating, but with the right team, it won’t be!
Backus Orthodontics has everything necessary to make orthodontic care as quick and easy as possible. We take pride in giving our patients stunning results with as little disruption to their lifestyle.
We can’t wait to meet you and your family or to watch your smile transform, so come see us soon!