Addressing a misaligned bite is as much about restoring function as aesthetics. For some patients, this misalignment is barely noticeable, but for others, it’s severe enough to affect their day-to-day life.
Are you someone who looks in the mirror in the morning and thinks, “Why are my teeth not aligned when biting?” With the right treatment plan, achieving that ideal bite is well within reach.
In this blog, we explore how to fix bite alignment through bite correction treatment.
Why Is My Bite Off?
Several factors can contribute to an incorrect bite:
- Genetics: The size and shape of the jaw and teeth, which play a large role in determining bite alignment, are often hereditary. If a person’s parents or grandparents had malocclusions, they might be at a higher risk.
- Premature Loss of Baby Teeth: If primary teeth are lost too early due to decay or trauma, the neighboring teeth might drift into the empty space, causing spacing issues and improper alignment of the permanent teeth.
- Prolonged Pacifier, Bottle Use, and Thumb Sucking: Prolonged use of pacifiers or bottles beyond infancy and thumb sucking past the age of five can contribute to malocclusions.
- Impacted or Missing Teeth: Teeth that don’t emerge properly from the gums, such as impacted wisdom teeth, or are missing entirely can lead to space issues and misalignment of surrounding teeth.
- Poor Dental Work: Poorly fitting dental appliances, fillings, crowns, or braces can contribute to malocclusion.
- Growth and Development Issues: Sometimes, the upper and lower jaws grow at different rates, leading to underbites, overbites, or crossbites.
As you can see, there are many contributing factors that can lead to those with teeth not aligned when biting.
Is Orthodontist Bite Correction Needed?
Orthodontic bite correction may be needed for functional and/or aesthetic purposes. Here’s how to know if your bite is off:
- Difficulty chewing: Misaligned teeth can make chewing difficult due to inefficient tooth contact and jaw pain.
- An abnormal jaw or facial pain: If your bite is off, it can cause chronic pain in the face, jaw, and surrounding muscles.
- Speech impediments: Teeth play a role in articulation. A misaligned bite can cause speech issues like lisping.
- Excessive wear: An improper bite can cause uneven wear on teeth, leading to enamel erosion, sensitivity, and potential future dental issues.
- Appearance: While crooked teeth may lower your self-confidence, overbites and underbites can actually affect facial balance and symmetry.
- Breathing Issues: Severe bite issues can impact breathing or contribute to conditions like sleep apnea.
Determining whether to get your bite corrected is ultimately a decision that you and your orthodontist will make together.
How To Fix A Misaligned Bite
Are you concerned about your bite? The good news is that bite correction treatments are available to address many misaligned bites. Here are some of the most common methods for how to fix a misaligned bite:
1. Braces For Bite Correction
Braces for bite correction is a tried and true method that has been used for centuries. Comprising metal brackets adhered to each tooth and linked by a wire, braces work by applying continuous pressure on the teeth to shift them into their desired positions. It’s an effective treatment for even severe orthodontics jaw alignment issues.
While braces are often associated with teenagers, they can be a viable option for patients of almost any age. Advances in technology have also given rise to ceramic braces and 3D-printed braces, which are less noticeable alternatives to their metal counterparts.
Invisalign represents the cutting-edge evolution of orthodontic treatments, offering a discreet solution for teeth straightening. Unlike traditional braces, Invisalign utilizes a series of transparent, custom-fitted aligner trays that fit snugly over the teeth. Every week or so, patients switch to a new set of aligners, each one designed to make incremental adjustments.
Ideal for those conscious about their appearance during treatment, Invisalign is best suited for mild to moderate bite issues. Its removable nature also means fewer dietary restrictions and easier oral hygiene routines compared to traditional braces.
Palatal expanders are specialized bite-fixer orthodontics appliances designed to widen the upper jaw, effectively creating more space for teeth to align properly. This is particularly useful in treating crossbites and overcrowding in young patients whose jaws are still developing.
The expander, which fits over several upper teeth at the back of the mouth, has a screw at the center. Over time, with periodic adjustments (turns of the screw), the device gradually and gently pushes the left and right halves of the upper jaw apart, stimulating bone growth in the process. After the desired expansion is achieved, the device is usually left in place for several months to stabilize the result.
4. Tooth Extraction
For those with extreme teeth crowding, tooth extractions might be necessary. This process involves removing specific teeth to create more space in the mouth. By doing so, the remaining teeth have room to move and align properly with the help of orthodontic teeth straightening methods like braces.
After a thorough assessment by an orthodontist, if the benefits of the extraction outweigh the value of retaining all teeth, tooth extraction may be recommended.
5. Jaw Surgery
Jaw surgery – or orthognathic surgery – is a carefully considered decision for cases where the bite misalignment is caused by more than just tooth position. This invasive procedure adjusts the alignment of the jawbones to achieve a correct bite and improved facial aesthetics.
Typically, jaw surgery is combined with orthodontic treatment both before and after the procedure. It’s most commonly recommended for severe underbites, overbites, and asymmetries where non-surgical treatments are unlikely to achieve the desired results. While the idea of surgery can be daunting, it can offer transformative results, especially when simpler treatments are ineffective.
Ultimately, you’ll want to speak with an orthodontist who knows how to fix bite alignments and who will create a personalized treatment plan just for you.
Learn How To Fix Bite Alignment With Bates Orthodontics
A misaligned bite can significantly impact one’s overall oral health, daily functionalities, and self-confidence. Addressing it not may not only result in a straighter smile but a better quality of life!
With the numerous bite correction treatments available, there’s a tailored solution for everyone. Don’t let bite issues hold you back. Book a free consult with Dr. Bates to get a professional recommendation on how to fix a bite alignment like yours.