Straight teeth might be the end goal of most patients looking for orthodontic treatment but it shouldn’t be the only goal. Even if your smile appears healthy, the alignment of your mouth and jaw could lead to other oral and health concerns. The alignment, or bite, is how your upper and lower teeth fit together and untreated issues here can lead to tooth and jaw pain, headaches, sleep apnea, and more.
Here at Krieger Orthodontics, we know straight teeth are easier to keep clean, they improve your bite and function, and they create an attractive smile that lasts a lifetime. We want your whole experience to be informative but effective so let’s take a look at some of the benefits of an aligned bite below.
A malocclusion is simply a misalignment of teeth, which can make things like eating and brushing tricky. If left untreated, this can cause immense pain and more issues like digestion and sleep issues later in life. But where did my misalignment come from? A malocclusion can be caused by genetics and birth defects, injuries, childhood habits, such as thumb sucking, and even inadequate or ineffective previous dentistry treatments. Mild misalignment is very common and often does not lead to other issues for most people. For some though, it can be a complicated process to amend. The good news is, Dr. Krieger, Dr. Rasmussen, and their experienced team in Lewisville are able to utilize many different individualized treatment plans to help align your bite just the way you need.
There are different classifications for a misaligned bite which are determined by the positioning of your upper and lower jaws and teeth and how both the upper and lower relate to each other.
This is the most common misalignment and occurs when there is overcrowding or spacing between the teeth but the overall jaw positioning does not affect the ability to bite.
This occurs when there is severe overlapping of the upper teeth and jaw and is most commonly known as an overbite.
This takes place when the lower jaw is much larger than the upper jaw causing you to see more of the lower teeth during a closed bite. This is also commonly called an underbite.
Depending on the severity of your bite issue to be resolved, there are numerous ways to address misalignment. To begin, your orthodontist will conduct an initial examination visually. He will ask some questions about your oral health and background to get a better understanding of your unique situation. They will then take panoramic x-rays and intraoral scans to get a better view of your teeth, gums, roots, and jawbone. And, they will also take mouth impressions to get a better idea of your bite. If the overcrowding is severe, extractions may be necessary for better results in your overall treatment. Considering all of this data and information, your orthodontist will then create a customized treatment plan based on your unique needs.
Treating a Misaligned Bite
We know you’ll get the best smile and most enjoyable treatment experience if you get personalized and cutting-edge care. If our team determines treatment is necessary for your misaligned bite, you will have a few options depending on the severity and class of your misalignment. Some common treatment options include the following.
Braces are the most commonly used treatment in aligning your teeth and jaws. This method uses metal brackets that are carefully applied to the outside faces of your teeth and connected by a strong but delicate wire. An orthodontist will slowly tighten this wire to make small adjustments over the course of your treatment process bringing the teeth and jaw into optimal alignment as quickly and as painlessly as possible. In some instances, additional elastic bands may be used to apply pressure for achieving better alignment. After your treatment process is over and your braces are removed, you will likely then begin wearing a retainer to ensure your new adjustments have time to become permanent below the surface and keep your new smile perfect, as well.
Upper Jaw Expander (Palate Expander)
Another option for treating particular alignment issues is the upper jaw expander or the palate expander. This method is most commonly used to treat an underbite, sometimes referred to as a crossbite, as well. During this treatment, a metal appliance is positioned in the roof of the mouth and attached to your back molar teeth. They are joined by a screw in the center which is tightened slowly over time with a special key to apply tension to your upper jaw. During the course of this treatment process, your upper jaw will widen bringing your bite into alignment.
While this is not the most common option, in some rare cases where the patient is having trouble speaking, eating, or sleeping, jaw surgery may be necessary to correct your bite alignment. To avoid the likelihood of needing jaw surgery later in life, Krieger Orthodontics recommends starting your child’s orthodontic relationship and treatment early as many alignment issues are easier to solve when your palate is softer and the bones and tissues are already moving due to normal growth.
The Benefits of an Aligned Bite
Maybe straight teeth aren’t the only goal of orthodontics and maybe that’s a good thing. Having properly aligned teeth and jaws can mean so much for your health and ensuring this alignment early can prevent excessive wear and strain on your jaws and muscles to help you avoid joint pain and disorders like TMJ later. Proper alignment makes brushing and flossing less tricky which can reduce the risk of cavities, tooth decay, and gum disease, like gingivitis. Speech problems and even esthetic facial symmetry can be remedied by treating the alignment of your teeth and jaws.
For your perfect smile AND aligned bite, Trust Krieger Orthodontics!
Your smile is personal, so shouldn’t you get yours designed just for you by an expert? We care about you like you’re our own family and we promise to give you the best quality care in a comfortable, fun setting. Dr. Krieger and Dr. Rasmussen will create a personalized treatment plan and provide unmatched care from your first appointment to your last. Since orthodontics is our primary and only specialty, Krieger Orthodontics’ expert team has the experience necessary to give you the best in treatment, costs, and efficiency as you work to align your jaw and smile!
There’s never been a better time to achieve the smile you’ve always wanted and we are ready to help you get the results your smile deserves. Contact us today to schedule your FREE consultation here at Krieger Orthodontics. No pressure or obligation to enter a treatment plan but great individualized information to help you make the decision that is right for your smile.