Orthodontic work is often associated with fixing cosmetic concerns in teens and adults, but did you know that orthodontic work can also help fix health complications caused by a bad bite?
It’s true! At Farrow & Dewbre Orthodontics, we understand that there is more than one reason why a person might seek orthodontic work. Though we gladly provide care for both cosmetic and health reasons, today, we would like to focus on the health consequences of a bad bite and how Farrow & Dewbre Orthodontics can help.
What is a bad bite?
In orthodontics, your bite is defined by how your upper and lower teeth and jaw line up when you close your mouth. Unfortunately, not everyone is born with an ideal bite. The following are examples of a bad bite.
- An overbite is when the upper teeth stick out farther than your lower teeth.
- An underbite is when the lower front teeth in your lower jaw stick out past the teeth in your upper jaw.
- An open bite is when the top and bottom teeth do not connect when you bite down.
- A crossbite is when some or all teeth in your upper jaw fit inside the lower teeth.
- Overcrowding is when your teeth have insufficient space, so they become pushed together.
- A misplaced midline bite is when the center of your upper front teeth doesn’t align with the center of your lower teeth.
Why is a bad bite a problem?
If you are unable to open and close your jaw correctly or bite down on food efficiently, it can severely negatively impact your quality of life. People with bad bites are likely to:
- Have difficulty chewing, which increases the risk of choking, vitamin deficiency, and digestive issues
- Suffer from migraines and neck pain
- Have trouble breathing caused by narrow air passageways
- Be forced to breathe through the mouth
- Develop temporary or permanent dry mouth
- Suffer from sleep apnea or snoring, which can leave you feeling exhausted during the day
- Develop temporary or permanent TMJ issues
- Have bad breath
- Have difficulty performing oral hygiene
- See unwanted influence on facial structure as they get older
- Have abnormal wear and tear on the teeth that strip the enamel and cause tooth chipping
- Have an increased risk of tooth decay, gum disease, infection, and mouth sores
- Have an increased risk of mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, or low self-esteem
- And more!
Most or all of these health issues will worsen over time, so we recommend starting your treatment sooner rather than later!
How can you fix your bite?
Though we provide surgical guidance as a potential treatment option if you have a severe jaw problem, we’re happy to report that most orthodontic work can be done with the non-invasive treatment options we offer at Farrow & Dewbre!
Metal braces have been trusted for many, many years for effective, reliable bite adjustments, but don’t let their age fool you! They have earned their well-respected reputation rightfully, and modern updates make them more efficient than ever.
Their metal brackets make them strong enough to handle intense wire tightenings, orthodontic accessories to help with bite alignments, and tough treatment.
If you need braces but are not fond of their aesthetics, you might qualify for clear braces. These braces are almost identical to their metal predecessor. Their most significant difference is that their brackets are made of a polycrystalline ceramic mix of materials with a tooth-like color. If you choose to use matching ligatures (the elastics that hold the wire to the bracket), your braces will blend in with your teeth, hence the name clear braces!
This aesthetic option is durable but not as much as metal. Because of this, you should expect to spend more time in ceramic braces compared to metal ones to fix the same issues because the wire tightenings will be less extreme. Clear braces can use the same accessories as metal braces but, again, cannot handle the same amount of pressure.
If you have a mild to medium bite correction need and don’t like the appearance of either style of clear braces, consider clear aligners from Invisalign, the leading in-office clear aligner provider!
Clear aligners are transparent trays that apply pressure, like braces, that straighten the teeth. Unlike braces, however, clear aligners are removable and do not use brackets, wires, and elastics. That means you stick to your regular and oral hygiene — so you’ll have minimal disruption to your lifestyle! The trays are custom-made, so you will have a fit so snug and comfortable that most people won’t even notice you are wearing aligners!
Invisalign creates aligners for children, teens, and adults.
Orthodontic issues only worsen with age, making them more expensive and painful to improve. Children should see an orthodontist before age seven to find and fix potential concerns early. When children need orthodontic work, we usually suggest Two-Phase Treatment.
Two-Phase Treatment occurs in two phases, as the name suggests. The first stage happens when your child still has some baby teeth. The second stage happens years later when they have grown in most or all of their baby teeth.
The treatment is used for preventative reasons (to stop a developing problem), interceptive (to interrupt the progression of an already developing problem), and developmental guidance (to help the bone develop correctly).
Visit us at Farrow & Dewbre Orthodontics for more information!
We have everything necessary to transform your smile into the one from your dreams!
We look forward to helping you and your family improve your quality of life through your smile! See you soon!