Malocclusion can be the uneven fit between the upper and lower teeth or teeth that are very crowded. The causes of an overbite can be sucking of the thumb or fingers or other actions that result in the upper teeth jutting out over the lower teeth. Underbite can be caused when the lower jaw extends too far forward in front of the upper jaw. It can also be hereditary or caused by crossbite. Crossbite is when teeth in the lower jaw are positioned outside of teeth in the upper jaw when the upper and lower jaw come together. This can happen at the sides of the mouth or the front.
Dentists like Dr. Johnson employ more than one type of misaligned teeth treatment. Treatments for malocclusions range from braces to surgery to fix a skeletal or hereditary underbite. Surgery, of course, is a last resort. Most people fix malocclusions by way of appliances like braces or Invisalign. Poor bite treatment is being performed at younger ages, and children as young as 7 years old can be fitted for dental appliances to correct their bite. Dentists believe that this staves off problems that will be harder to fix in the future.
Traditional braces help to gently realign the bite by applying pressure to the teeth by way of wires and brackets and O-rings. There are self-ligating braces that do away with the O-rings and use clips to hold the wires in place. These types of braces are reportedly more comfortable than braces with O-rings.
Other braces have ceramic brackets that are the same color as the patient’s teeth and are hard to see. These braces are harder than tooth enamel, and it’s possible for them to wear away enamel on the teeth if the patient grinds them during sleep. For this reason, ceramic braces are usually used only on the upper teeth.
Lingual braces are fitted behind the teeth and can’t be seen at all. A dentist needs special training for this poor bite treatment, so they may cost more.
During the time braces are worn, the patient will need to take special care of his or her dental hygiene as food can stick in the braces. Many patients, especially children, find this trying. Invisalign is a system where the braces are replaced by a series of computer designed trays. These trays can be removed by the patient when he or she needs to eat or brush or floss his or her teeth.
Misaligned teeth treatment or teeth straightening dental treatment is not only important cosmetically but can help the patient speak and eat better. It may also prevent future tooth extraction. Therefore, it’s an important part of overall dental health. For more information about how our lovely staff here at Johnston Dental Care in Ruston, LA can help treat your misaligned teeth, or answer any questions you may have regarding teeth straightening procedures available, contact us today! Dr. Johnston and his staff are here to help you.