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While most of you take your bite for granted, it is a complex process that involves precise coordination between your teeth, jaws, gums and facial muscles. One small structural defect in any of these parts can lead to “bad bite” or malocclusion. A variety of factors can contribute to these orthodontic problems. Many people inherit crooked teeth from their parents and grandparents. Others are used to sucking their thumb which leads to the deformation of teeth and jaws. Accidents and premature tooth loss due to gum disease can also contribute to malocclusion. Occasionally, your dentist may not be able to identify the actual cause.
Types of Conditions
Millions of Americans suffer from orthodontic issues caused by crooked, crowded and poorly aligned teeth. Individuals with straight teeth may also also have such problems, especially if their lower row of teeth are too far forward or too far backward when compared to the upper row. These issues can be classified into many types:
Protruding frontal teeth – As the name indicates, the front teeth of individuals with this condition stick out impacting facial features and physical appearance.
Crowding – Crowding occurs if you have a narrow jaw that doesn’t have space for all the teeth.
Asymmetrical teeth – In this condition, upper and lower teeth do not match, especially when you close your mouth.
Overbite – Overbite, also known as deep bite, happens when the upper row of teeth come over the lower row.
Open bite – Open bite refers to the gap between upper and lower rows of teeth upon clenching.
Reverse bite – Reverse bite happens when the upper row of teeth stay behind the lower row upon clenching
Underbite – Underbite occurs when your lower set of teeth are protruding forward or the upper set of teeth are too far back.
Spacing – Spacing refers to gaps between the teeth due to tooth loss or simply because the teeth do not fill-up your mouth.
Your orthodontist will perform a thorough clinical examination and also rely on x-rays images and plaster models for accurate diagnosis and treatment.
Malocclusion is not a disease and does not have a direct impact on your health and well-being. However, when left untreated, it can lead to serious complications. Many people with bad bite have an awkward smile which impacts their self-esteem and may even lead to depression. Crooked and crowded teeth are prone to tooth decay and cavities as they are difficult to clean. In extreme cases, teeth can also prevent jaws from developing properly which can, in turn, interfere with chewing and speaking. Hence, it is important to treat the condition promptly and effectively.
People often start their treatment in teenage years. The idea is to allow the adult teeth to develop fully before interfering with their positioning. Some patients develop the problems slowly and hence, start the treatment as adults. There are several options and the choice can be confuting and overwhelming for many patients. Your dentist will explain the pros and cons and help make an informed decision.
- Fixed space maintainers
- Special fixed appliances
- Lip and cheek bumpers
- Palatal expander
- Removable retainers
- Removable space mainteners
A high quality orthodontic treatment will help align the tips of the teeth, close wide gaps between the teeth, straighten crooked teeth, and rectify the bite. These changes will translate into a beautiful smile, and improved speech and chewing. They will also contribute to better oral health and hygiene.
Importance of Regular Dental Visits during Treatment
Most people should wear their braces for one to three years, depending on the condition. You may be required to wear retainers after that to maintain the teeth in their new position. These new materials apply constant, subtle force to re-position your teeth.
Once you start the treatment, it is important to maintain proper oral hygiene with regular brushing, flossing and mouth washing. Routine dental check-ups are very important and should never be neglected. During the visit, your dentist will check the health of your teeth and gums and make sure they are in great shape. Early diagnosis of infections can lead to prompt treatment and prevent unwanted infections. Thorough professional cleaning also helps remove any residual plaque in your oral cavity.
Your aligners may also break or become loose, especially when you eat hard, chewy foods. Accidents and injuries can also impact your orthodontic appliance. While the pain and discomfort are evident in most cases, some patients may not feel anything. However, in such cases, you will not see the desired results at the end of the treatment. Additionally, your teeth and gums will be more prone to infections and injuries. During your routine visit, the orthodontist will examine the braces and adjust their position. Skipping these visits may delay the treatment and may also lead to unwanted complications. On the other hand, visits during the treatment will give you peace of mind knowing the alignment is progressing well.
Recent statistics reveal that 4 million Americans wear orthodontic appliances, and about 25% of these people are adults. Apart from improving your physical appearance and boosting self-esteem, orthodontic treatments may also lower the risk of dental diseases. Nonetheless, proper hygiene and regular dental visits are crucial for the success of this procedure. Hence, never neglect your dental visits during treatment.
Let us Help
We at Tisseront Orthodontics would be happy to discuss with you how we can help you make your smile a memorable one, how we can aid in caring for your teeth’s health, and how an orthodontist may be your answer if customized braces are necessary. Make your appointment today