Everyone knows that the goal of braces is to produce a straight beautiful smile. But did you know that your bite plays an important role in more than just the appearance of your teeth? A lot of people aren’t sure what it means when we talk about bite, so keep reading to learn more.
What is Bite?
A person’s bite is the way that the upper and lower teeth fit together when the mouth is closed. In dental terms, this is called occlusion. A malocclusion is an incorrect bite or the misalignment of the teeth. There are a few different kinds of improper bites.
- Crossbite – This is when the teeth fit inside of or on top of each other. Crossbites can affect a single tooth or a group of teeth and may cause the affected teeth to tilt towards the cheeks or tongue rather than straight up and down.
- Underbite – This occurs when the lower teeth sit in front of the upper teeth.
- Overbite – An overbite is when the top teeth jut out disproportionately over the bottom teeth. You may have heard this referred to as “buck teeth.”
Dangers of a Bad Bite
While misaligned teeth is not a dental emergency, it is important to have it corrected. Some of the negative effects of a malocclusion are:
- Trouble eating or chewing
- Difficulty with speaking or pronunciation of words
- Head or jaw aches due to pressure
- Uneven wearing of the teeth, risking decay or deterioration of tooth enamel
- Increased risk for mouth injury during sports or high impact activities
- Low self-esteem or self-image due to the appearance of crooked teeth
- In some cases, it may cause temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ)
Benefits of a Healthy Bite
In addition to moving teeth into their ideal aesthetic placement, braces or Invisalign can make sure that teeth are properly aligned for maximum health benefits too. Here are a few benefits of creating a healthy bite:
- More proportional facial appearance
- Balanced jaw and lip position
- Expanded airway that helps with breathing, eating and sleeping
- Healthier teeth and gums
We’re Here to Help
It’s possible that your bite is affecting your daily life more than you realize. The good news is that the treatment plan to correct your bite is easy. Braces, Invisalign, retainers and other orthodontic appliances are all tools that we use every day to help guide teeth to their ideal placement. Dr. Hood-Olson specializes in techniques that can improve your bite and overall dental and orthodontic health. If you suspect you have a bad bite, or other orthodontics concerns, contact us today to get started.