Do you or your child have a problem with their bite or alignment? These problems can seem small at first. However, as a child grows into an adult, bite or alignment issues could cause many health problems. It can even cause speech impediments and difficulty chewing in the future. Find out how bite correction can improve your health and just how important it is to get bite correction via braces if you need it!
Your Bite Should Be a Certain Way
The structure of your mouth is defined by how your teeth and jaws are formed. Your upper jaw and your lower jaw should both follow the same arch in a U shape. Those arches should also line up together. The teeth as well, should lie on top of one another evenly, with your back top molars resting on your back bottom molars all the way towards the front. In a normal bite, the front top teeth will rest on top of your bottom teeth, except they will be just slightly in front of those bottom teeth.
Orthodontic care is not just for teens who are looking to get a straighter smile. In fact, about 1/4th of all people who wear braces are actually children! Marina Dentists recommends that children have their first orthodontic visit between the ages of 7 and 8. Having an examination early on helps prevent the progression of orthodontic issues, such as a misaligned bite. How a child’s mouth is forming is a great indication of what their mouth will look like as an adult. If we can already see that their teeth are growing at the wrong angles, or that their jaws don’t line up, we can predict that oral health issues will be present in the future. That is why having this orthodontic appointment at 7 or 8 is so important.
Types of Bites
When a child comes in to have their mouth examined, we can see how the top and bottom jaws line up. In a mouth with correct bite formation, the jaws will line up. If they do and the teeth are not coming in at crooked angles, then a child won’t need orthodontic care unless they want to straighten their teeth later on in life. However, prompt treatment will be needed for alignment and bite correction if a child or older patient has:
Overbite – The upper front teeth overlap too much over the bottom front teeth.
Underbite – The upper front teeth rest behind the bottom front teeth.
Crossbite – Teeth are at varying angles in the mouth, which can lead to decay, broken teeth, and speech problems.
Benefits of Bite Correction for Children
The ideal time to receive any treatment for bite correction is during the childhood years. This is when the mouth and jaws are still growing. Because the bones aren’t set yet, it is much easier for an orthodontic appliance to mold a bite into the correct shape without too much effort. This is generally why a child would receive bite correction treatment before they are 10 years old.
If a child receives bite correction via braces, they benefit from their mouth forming correctly. Where there were once speech problems developing, their speech can start to sound normal without lisps or other impediments. Facial features will appear more normal because the structure of the mouth will be maintained with orthodontic appliances. In a child with severe bite problems, some people can physically see parts of the jaws jutting outward. This makes the face look different than it should, and speech will almost certainly be compromised.
Even if you don’t detect any dental issues with yourself or a child, there are still many advantages to bite correction and braces at an early age such as:
- Observing the progress of incoming teeth
- Monitoring facial and jaw development
- Guiding incoming teeth into their ideal position
- Detecting hidden dental issues
- Reducing the risk of impacted teeth
- Decreasing the risk for permanent tooth extractions (as teeth won’t get uneven pressure that breaks them)
- Reducing the risk of cavities and gum issues that happen when the teeth are crooked and harder to clean
Benefits of Bite Correction for Adults.
If you didn’t receive orthodontic care as a child, it is not too late to receive it later on in life. Adults and teens make up the other 3/4ths of patients who get braces. At about age 11 or 12, most of the permanent teeth should be in the mouth. At this time, we can look at a patient’s teeth and see if they need their teeth straightened. When bite problems are present (because child orthodontics was not done), it is harder to do them as teens and adults, but it can be done with normal orthodontic appliances. In some cases, some surgery may be done to reshape areas of the mouth that have hardened into place.
However, the benefits of bite correction and tooth alignment for teens and adults are astounding. Studies show that people perceive you as more successful, healthy, and happy if you have straighter teeth than if you have crooked teeth. You’re more likely to get a job over someone who has crooked teeth because your smile is an expression of your health and how well you care for yourself. That can translate into how well you care for other things, like your obligations.