Misaligned teeth or a bad bite is also known as malocclusion. It’s common in children as well as adults. Misaligned or crooked teeth make brushing and flossing difficult which increases the risk of decay and cavities. Also, bad bite prevents you from chewing properly which may lead to digestion problems. Genetics, thumb sucking, tongue thrusting are some of the causes of bite problems.
Bite correction treatments today have become more safe, effective and advanced. Let’s first understand the various types of bite problems and then look at the treatments available:
Types of Bite Problems
- Underbite–When the lower jaw extends out too far beyond the upper jaw, the lower front teeth rest in front of the upper teeth. This condition is known as an underbite and is very common.
- Overbite – When the upper front teeth protrude too far out over the lower front teeth, it is known as an overbite. This is one of the most common bite problems. If you too have this condition and are looking for options about ‘how to fix overbite’, consult your dentist. Depending on the severity of your case, you may be prescribed braces or aligners.
- Cross bite – When the upper teeth bite inside the lower teeth on one or both sides of the jaw, it is known as a crossbite.
- Spacing – This may be caused due to missing teeth or habits like tongue-thrusting and thumb sucking. One of the most common causes is excessive jaw room for the size of erupting teeth. It can occur between two or more teeth. Diastema is a type of spacing issue which occurs when there is excessive space between two teeth only, especially the front two teeth.
Types of Bite Correction Treatments
- Braces–There are a various options available in braces based on convenience, aesthetics, comfort and cost. Some of these include the traditional metal braces, ceramic braces and Damon braces. The traditional braces comprise of metal brackets and wires and are one of the fastest and the cheapest option. They are slightly bulky and a bit uncomfortable. The ceramic braces are similar to the traditional ones in structure but their brackets are made of ceramic and can be customized to match the patient’s teeth color. They hence offer an aesthetic advantage. The Damon braces comprise a slide mechanism which connects the wires to the brackets. This enables the brackets to move naturally along with the teeth as they move back to their ideal position. These braces are more comfortable, convenient and give faster results.
- Aligners – These are very popular among both teens and adults who want a straight smile without the hassles of unattractive wires and brackets. Aligners are basically a set of clear trays which are custom made for bite correction. They fit seamlessly on your teeth and are almost invisible. Invisalign, Invisalign for teens and ClearCorrect are some of the options. All of these offer flexibility, comfort, convenience and aesthetic advantage.
The earlier the bite problems are treated, the better it is. That’s because, as the age advances the complexity and duration of treatment also increases. If you too have any of the above-listed bite problems, ask your dentist to understand which bite correction treatment is best suited for you.