Malocclusion, or misalignment of teeth, is a common dental problem that is often hereditary. When teeth do not align properly, they can be more difficult to keep clean and may lead to uneven dental wear or problems with chewing and talking.
Fortunately, all of these problems can be corrected by orthodontists – and at Smiles for Kids Dentistry & Orthodontics, we know that providing bite correction at a young age will lay the foundation for a lifetime of healthy teeth!
Common Types of Malocclusion
In a normal bite, the upper teeth are slightly outside the lower teeth, with a slight overlap of the front teeth. In a closed mouth, the teeth should mesh together.
The most common malocclusion is an overbite, more accurately called an “increased overjet” or “Class II” bite. In this case, the front top teeth extend significantly over the bottom teeth, and the rear teeth are not in alignment. Long-term, this can lead to gum irritation, jaw problems and uneven tooth wear.
Another common problem is an underbite, or “Class III” bite. In this case, the bottom teeth protrude in front of the top teeth. This generally occurs due to a difference in jaw lengths, with overgrowth of the lower jaw, undergrowth of the upper jaw, or both. Uneven tooth wear and jaw pain are common.
Does Your Child Need Bite Correction?
Malocclusion can be successfully corrected with braces and other orthodontic appliances. We can also correct other issues of tooth alignment and straightness at the same time to create a straight, healthy smile to last your child’s lifetime.
The best time to correct an overbite or underbite is during childhood, when the jaw bones are still growing and the adult teeth have not yet erupted. The earlier we can perform bite correction treatment, the more quickly we can save your child from years of discomfort and self-consciousness.
Contact us today to schedule a consultation and learn what bite correction method is right for your child!