Orthodontic care is often associated with teens and adults who want to improve their smile’s aesthetic by fixing overcrowded or crooked teeth. Sometimes, it is associated with people who have related oral health concerns they would like to address, like simplifying their oral hygiene routine by aligning their teeth.
However, those are not the only reasons we provide orthodontic care at Andrew Pedersen Orthodontics! We also address and treat bite problems and help people fix their bites.
What Are “Bite Problems”?
Your bite is how your upper and lower jaw come together when you touch your teeth or close your mouth.
An irregular bite can be called by a few different names, depending on how the teeth align. An overbite is when the upper teeth stick out farther than your lower teeth. An open bite is when the top and bottom teeth do not connect when you bite down. An underbite is when the lower front teeth in your lower jaw stick out past the teeth in your upper jaw. A crossbite is when some or all teeth in your upper jaw fit inside the lower teeth. Overcrowding is when there is not enough space for your teeth, so they become pushed together. A misplaced midline bite is when the center of your upper front teeth doesn’t match with the center of your lower teeth.
Why Are They Problems?
If your teeth and jaw cannot align properly, it can cause a whole host of issues.
Difficulty chewing can make eating uncomfortable and maybe even dangerous. Your teeth are meant to break down food. Chewing not only makes the food smaller and easier to swallow, but it also stimulates the production of saliva, which lubricates the mouth and helps food stick together. If chewing is unpleasant, you are likely to spend less time chewing and swallowing food that is too large, creating a choking hazard and allowing big chunks of food to get stuck in your digestive system. Food stuck in the digestive system can collect bacteria, leading to indigestion, bloating, constipation, and intestinal gas. Indigestion can lead to heartburn and bad breath, too.
Improper alignments can cause breathing difficulties due to narrower air passageways. Narrow passageways can force some people to breathe through their mouth instead of their nose. Mouth breathing is one cause of dry mouth, an uncomfortable condition that leads to bad breath, an overgrowth of bacteria, and mouth sores. Two more breathing concerns caused by a bad bite are snoring and sleep apnea, which can disturb your sleep and leave you exhausted in the morning.
Abnormal stress and pressure on the jaw from an inefficient bite can produce pain in the jaw joints, also known as the temporomandibular (TMJ) joints. TMJ disorders can be temporary or permanent and have the potential to spread to your neck and head in the form of neck pain and migraines.
People with improper bites could have trouble communicating due to pain from jaw movement or speech impediments, such as a lisp.
Overcrowded teeth or abnormally located jaws can create unusual wear and tear on the teeth. You might grind your teeth, or the teeth could rub against each other when you talk or eat. This friction can wear down the enamel, leaving the teeth vulnerable to tooth decay and other oral health concerns. It could even lead to tooth chipping!
This list is not all-inclusive! Other complications include facial pain, tooth loss, and a noticeable influence on facial and jaw structure. Dr. Pedersen can provide a more exhaustive list upon request.
How Can Orthodontics Help?
All of the above can sound intimidating and scary but don’t worry. Most bite issues can be fixed with non-invasive orthodontic treatments at Andrew Pedersen Orthodontics!
Metal braces are strong and can handle a lot of pressure at once, making them perfect for fixing simple and complex bites problems. Their durability and bonded application make them ideal for patients of all ages with varying severity. This traditional route also allows for accessories like orthodontic elastic bands that help align the jaw or spacers to fix overcrowding.
Clear braces are almost identical to metal braces. What sets them apart are the materials! Traditional braces use brackets made of metal, but clear braces use a tooth-colored polycrystalline ceramic material. When paired with matching ligatures (the elastics that hold the wire to the bracket), these braces have the illusion of being invisible! Clear braces are great at treating bite issues, though we recommend them for adults and older teenagers because they are less durable than their metal predecessor. They also cannot handle as extreme adjustments as metal braces, making treatment time a little longer.
Clear aligners might be the way to go for those with milder bite alignment needs. Andrew Pedersen Orthodontics is proud to offer clear aligners through Invisalign, which creates custom trays for a comfortable fit and efficient, personalized treatment. Clear aligners are removable trays that straighten teeth by applying pressure, but unlike braces, they don’t require brackets or wires. The company’s patented technology permits them to fix bites in as little as six months! They create trays for qualifiable patients of all ages.
Let Andrew Pedersen Orthodontics Fix Your Bite!
Whether your bite is creating challenges in your life or you are unsatisfied with the cosmetics of your alignment, Dr. Pedersen and his team at Andrew Pedersen Orthodontics can help!
Schedule your free consultation with our experienced and compassionate team to start your life-changing orthodontic journey. We look forward to meeting you soon!