Traditional braces can correct most “bite” problems that patients have. One thing you might not realize however, is that braces are not the only treatment out there. Your orthodontist located in Melbourne and Indian Harbour Beach, FL has several options available for straightening teeth and correcting bite problems (known as malocclusions). Plus, braces might not always be the best option for straightening a patient’s teeth. Thanks to advancements in orthodontic science, we have a lot of available tools and options at our disposal. Dealing with an overbite, underbite, or crossbite has never been easier. Read on for details!
Best Treatment Options for Overbite
An overbite occurs when the top front teeth cover the lower teeth as the mouth is closed. The bottom teeth are “hidden” by the top teeth. This type of malocclusion often occurs very early in the patient’s life. This can be due to thumb sucking or bottle feeding too long after the baby teeth start to come in. An “overjet” is a similar type of bite problem, in which the top front teeth point outward more than they should.
Clear aligner systems like Invisalign are one possibility for correcting an overbite, so long as the problem is mild-to-moderate. The aligners are mostly invisible, so no one has to know you’re having your teeth corrected. However, one downside to clear aligners is that they don’t exert as much pressure on the teeth as traditional braces.
Orthodontic headgear is an option that works well for younger kids. High-pull headgear can be used to straighten the teeth in the case of an overbite or overjet.
The best possible option for treating an overbite however, is a traditional set of wire braces. Braces are the industry standard for overbites and overjets. This is because they work better than any other option that can be provided by your orthodontist.
Best Treatment Options for Underbite
An underbite occurs when all of the patient’s lower teeth rest on the outside of the upper teeth. This condition can cause a lot of problems later in life. Thus, it’s best to correct an underbite while the patient is young. There are two types of “braces” that work particularly well for an underbite treatment. Although, these are not the traditional wire braces that everyone thinks of when they hear “braces.” In dealing with an underbite, the goal is to move the upper teeth outward so they line up correctly with the lower teeth.
The first option is a reverse-pull face mask. Metal bands are fastened to the upper back teeth. The face mask is then worn to connect with the wires and gradually pull the upper teeth outward, correcting the underbite over time.
The next option is an orthodontic device called an upper jaw expander. A wire-frame device is attached in the upper part of the patient’s mouth along the palate. That wire frame expander is widened just a tiny amount every night using a small, specialized tool. The expander pushes the upper teeth outward gradually over time to correct the underbite.
Best Treatment Options for Crossbite
There are several different types of malocclusions that are included in the definition of a “crossbite.” If the upper back teeth come to rest inside of the bottom back teeth, it’s a condition known as a “posterior crossbite.” The other type is “anterior crossbite.” An anterior crossbite is similar to an underbite. However, only the upper front teeth come to rest behind the bottom front teeth. When only the teeth are affected by the crossbite, it’s known as a “dental crossbite.” If the jaw is involved in the problem, it’s known as a skeletal crossbite.
Clear aligners like Invisalign are often a really good corrective option for a dental crossbite, in which only the teeth need to be shifted. But once again, aligners are limited in how much pressure they can put on the teeth. They work for mild-to-moderate crossbites in most cases. For more severe adjustments though, they are not the best option.
Traditional braces are really the “go to” treatment option for most crossbite problems. If the crossbite is skeletal or so severe that traditional braces won’t solve the problem, your orthodontist will discuss other available treatment plans.
Contact an Orthodontist in Melbourne for the Braces
Reddick Orthodontics in Melbourne and Indian Harbour Beach, Fl can help you make informed decisions. Contact one of our offices and we can answer any questions you have as well as schedule and appointment. We look forward to hearing from you!