Often when people hear about orthodontic treatment, they first think of straight smiles. Of course, the aesthetic of your grin is essential. But orthodontic treatment can also be very important for your oral health. When orthodontists straighten your teeth, we can also improve your bite.

Orthodontists call a misaligned bite “malocclusion,” and we have different treatments based on the problem and its severity.

A misaligned bite, or “malocclusion” in orthodontist-speak, can cause a variety of problems. It can make it harder to chew and affect your speech, breathing, and even sleeping! If your bite is misaligned, you can also experience jaw pain which can radiate to your neck and head. In this case, you could be suffering from a condition called TMJ disorder. Since you use your jaw so much, this pain can become chronic. Finally, if your top and bottom teeth don’t line up, you can be at an increased risk of breaking a tooth!

But don’t worry, at Burrow & Welchel Orthodontics, we have different orthodontic treatment options based on the problem and its severity. Here are the top 2 types of malocclusion problems and what we do to fix them.

Overbite:

Overbites are the most common type of malocclusion, and they make up almost 70 percent of dental problems for kids. As the name suggests, an overbite occurs when the top teeth extend beyond the bottom teeth. Overbites can come from the early loss of teeth, prolonged thumb-sucking or pacifier use, or tongue thrusting. Ideally, we want to fix an overbite as soon as possible for the individual’s oral health. However, there is no age limit for this orthodontic treatment. We help lots of adults, too! Traditional braces are a great method to correct an overbite, but Invisalign can be used, as well. At Burrow & Welchel Orthodontics, we’ll use the best treatment for your case.

Underbite:

Underbites are less common, but plenty of our patients come in looking for a fix. Again, as the name suggests, an underbite occurs when the bottom teeth overlap the top teeth. In mild cases, the rows of teeth almost touch. In more extreme cases, there may be a gap. With an underbite, the jaw may look different, so in addition to wanting the fix for oral health reasons, many patients want to improve the aesthetic as well. Underbites are usually present at birth and are not usually developed. We like to start orthodontic treatment to remedy underbites when our patients are still young. Treatments can range from orthodontic appliances to surgery when necessary. We will help you determine the treatment that will work the best for your situation.

Two other types of malocclusion include crossbites, where one or more upper teeth fit behind the bottom teeth when the mouth is closed rather than in front, and open bites, where the upper and lower teeth do not make physical contact when the mouth is closed. Orthodontic treatment can permanently fix these problems, too.

At Burrow & Welchel Orthodontics, we want you to get the smile of your dreams and also have the best bite. Visit us today to learn how you can get started on your path to your perfect smile!