Malocclusion of teeth is a common orthodontic problem amongst many people. In most cases, it can be a cosmetic problem and it can cause severe repercussions on self-esteem. It is also very tricky to keep crooked teeth clean. Braces and teeth retainer are commonly used to fix malocclusion. Let’s learn more about the same.
What is Malocclusion?
Malocclusion is when you have crooked teeth or a poor bite. Bite refers to the way the upper teeth and lower teeth line up. In case of a normal bite, upper teeth sit slightly forward of the lower teeth.
With the right orthodontic treatment, it is possible to line up the teeth and jaws correctly. You can visit an orthodontist to diagnose malocclusion and decide on a treatment that works the best for you.
Different Types of Malocclusions
- Overcrowding: This is a common dental condition that is typically caused due lack of space which results from crooked or overlapping of teeth.
- Spacing: Spacing problems occur when there is too much or too little space for the teeth. This results in crowding of teeth which can impact the eruption of permanent teeth.
- Openbite: This occurs when the upper and lower front teeth do not overlap each other, which results in the formation of an opening. The mouth stays open all the time due to this condition. Openbite can also occur on the sides of the mouth.
- Overbite: It is normal for the upper teeth to overlap the lower teeth. But if the upper front teeth are covering the lower front teeth down to the gums, it causes an increased overbite. The lower front teeth can also bite into the roof of the mouth. Overbite teeth can be tough to clean and take care of.
- Underbite: An underbite occurs when the lower front teeth are positioned much forward than the upper front teeth. Underbite teeth can also be difficult to clean properly.
- Crossbite: This condition occurs on either or both sides of the jaw when the upper front teeth are biting inside the lower front teeth. Crossbite can also affect the front or back teeth as well.
- Missing Tooth: Also known as hypodontia, a missing tooth can occur as a result of improper development of teeth or trauma.
How Does an Orthodontist Treat Malocclusion?
Malocclusion or crowding of teeth is common in children and teens. Early orthodontic treatment helps in correcting the dental issues when they are the easiest and quicker to correct. Getting the same treatment as an adult will take a longer time.
- An orthodontist usually checks for malocclusion during regular dental visits. If the teeth seem out of line or if the jaw appears ‘wonky’, then the orthodontist will:
- Take X-rays of the teeth and face
- Examine the teeth and mouth
- Examine the medical history and identify any past health problems
- The orthodontist will remove some baby teeth in kids to make room for the permanent teeth to grow in. This helps with correct teeth alignment as they grow.
- The orthodontist may also give you a device to wear which helps in shifting the jaw into a better position. This treatment, known as growth modification, helps in addressing malocclusion by targeting the jaw.
- Orthodontic braces come next. The braces are designed to move the teeth into the correct position for correcting the bite.
- Once the braces come out, the orthodontist will recommend using a teeth retainer. Without the retainer, the teeth may move out of place or settle into their old positions. Retainers help in ensuring that the orthodontic treatment is successful.
Now that you know how to fix crooked teeth with the help of an orthodontist, make an appointment to fix the malocclusion.
Emily Taylor found the perfect fit for herself as the Online Marketing Manager at Thurman Orthodontics in Fresno CA as she believes that a great smile does more than just make a person look great – it makes them feel great as well. The power of a smile has always been a mystery to Emily and she loves researching and writing about it. She loves to write about everything to do with a healthy bite and a beautiful smile - whether is it ways to achieve it or the importance of it in the various aspects of life. What brings a big smile on Emily’s face is her family and surfing. She also likes to bake and her children and co-workers call her the cookie fairy!