Malocclusions

April 10, 2020

MalocclusionsYou’ve probably heard of overbites, crooked teeth, or underbites whether you know someone who has one of these conditions or if you’ve experienced one yourself. These conditions are considered different types of malocclusions, which is the official term for mismatched teeth or jaw issues caused by misalignments with your bite. Roughly 2/3 adults have some degree of malocclusion as very few people have perfectly aligned teeth. While some cases do not require significant treatment or treatment at all, we want to educate you on this common orthodontic occurrence and give a brief guide to malocclusions.

What is malocclusion?

Occlusion refers to the meeting of your teeth, or the actual contact of your teeth in your upper and lower jaws. Your teeth should fit easily and comfortably within your mouth without crowding, gaps, or any teeth that may be rotated or twisted. There should be a slight overlap of your upper jaw on your lower jaw so that your molars can fit into the grooves of their opposite molars.

Malocclusion refers to any deviation from the ideal occlusion. Most people have a malocclusion to some degree, but often it is so minor that treatment is not necessary unless for aesthetic reasons. There are three main categories of malocclusions:

Class 1 – This is the most common type of malocclusion where the bite is normal, but there may be a slight overlap.

Class 2 – Commonly referred to as an overbite where a severe overlap is present, meaning the upper teeth and jaw significantly protrude over the lower jaw and teeth.

Class 3 – More commonly known as an underbite, this class refers to cases where the lower jaw juts out causing the lower teeth to overlap the upper jaw and teeth.

The types of malocclusion can vary, but any type can cause issues for a patient. Common types of malocclusions include:

Crossbite – When the upper teeth bite down inside the lower teeth. It can occur on one side or both and may involve either the front or back teeth.

Open bite – When the front teeth do not overlap with the lower teeth or jaw when the mouth is closed there is a space between the top and bottom teeth.

Overbite – A severe overlap of the lower front teeth. In severe cases, the front teeth may hit the gums when a person bites their teeth together.

Overcrowding – Often caused by a lack of space resulting in teeth that overlap or become crooked, rotated, or twisted.

Overjet – Similar to an overbite, but occurs when the top teeth extend beyond the bottom teeth horizontally.

Spacing – Spaces that occur between two or more teeth

Underbite– An underbite is an anterior crossbite that occurs with the front teeth. When the mouth is closed the lower teeth protrude forward of the top teeth.

Symptoms

Symptoms of malocclusions vary depending on the classification, type, severity, and patient but common symptoms include:

  • Misaligned teeth
  • Abnormal signs of wear on teeth
  • Difficulty chewing or biting
  • Alteration in facial features
  • Frequent biting inside of the cheek or tongue
  • Headaches
  • Tooth grinding
  • Neck, shoulder, and upper back pain
  • Speech complications
  • Mouth, teeth, or jaw pain
  • Breathing through the mouth rather than the nose

Cause

There is no single direct cause for all malocclusions. The majority of the time it is heredity due to a size difference in the upper or lower jaw or jaw shape. Sometimes certain birth defects such as cleft lips or cleft palates can lead to the development of malocclusions.

It can also be acquired from childhood habits such as thumb sucking, pacifier usage, or bottle feeding beyond the age of three. Children who have little space between their baby teeth are likely to experience overcrowding with their permanent teeth which can result in malocclusions.

Other causes for malocclusion include abnormally shaped teeth or bite patterns, presence of extra teeth, loss of teeth due to injury or accident, or impacted teeth. Malocclusions may also occur due to poor dental care such as poorly-fitted crowns or other dental/orthodontic appliances. Medical conditions such as allergies or enlarged adenoids or tonsils may also lead to airway obstructions and could create a degree of malocclusion.

Diagnosis

Malocclusions are often diagnosed during routine dental exams. If suspected, x-rays, photographs, and molds are taken and often given to an orthodontist to study and confirm.

Treatment

If a malocclusion is confirmed, an orthodontist will handle treatment in most cases. Treatment varies depending on the type of malocclusion and is determined on an individual basis. Several factors are considered including age, medical history, overall health, and the severity of the malocclusion.

Common types of malocclusion treatments may include but are not limited to:

  • Orthodontic appliances such as braces, aligners, or retainers to correct the position of teeth
  • Extraction of teeth to alleviate overcrowding
  • Capping, bonding, or reshaping of teeth
  • A palatal expander can be used in younger patients to widen the jaw
  • Plates and wires may be used to help stabilize the jaw

In severe cases, surgery may be needed and you may need to be referred to a maxillofacial surgeon or oral surgeon.

If not treated, the malocclusion may worsen over time and become more pronounced. Depending on the type of malocclusion, it may become difficult for you to clean your teeth and gums which can put you at risk for tooth decay, gum disease, and even tooth loss.

For more information on malocclusion and treatment options or to schedule a consultation, please contact Bracify 3D Orthodontics today.

Blog Posts

Announcing Our Prosper Location

Read More

The Benefits of Early Orthodontic Treatment

Timing is everything, especially when it comes to your child’s oral health. Orthodontic treatment should begin earlier than most parents realize as certain conditions can become progressively worse if

Read More

Taking Care of Your Smile from Home

Due to COVID-19, many offices closed for patient and staff safety or were open for emergencies only. As our offices begin to reopen, you may be unsure of when

Read More

Toothpaste and Orthodontics

Between the thousands of brands, different flavors, and claims it is no surprise that people can have a difficult time when choosing a toothpaste. Even some dental professionals admit

Read More

Read All Our Blogs

Follow Us on Instagram

Announcing Our Prosper Location

Bracify 3D Orthodontics

2361 E University Dr. Suite #30
Prosper, TX 75078

Phone: (972) 525-5500

Business Hours
Monday & Tuesday: 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Wednesday: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Thursday: 8:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Friday: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Saturday: By Appointment Only
Sunday: Closed

Our Location

The Benefits of Early Orthodontic Treatment

The Benefits of Early Orthodontic TreatmentTiming is everything, especially when it comes to your child’s oral health. Orthodontic treatment should begin earlier than most parents realize as certain conditions can become progressively worse if left untreated. Our staff and doctors are happy to help you determine whether or not early orthodontic treatment is necessary for your child.

What is early orthodontic treatment?

Though treatment can be beneficial at any age, early orthodontic treatment can prevent conditions from becoming more severe and leading to extensive treatment later on.

Early orthodontic treatment, also known as an interceptive treatment, refers to orthodontic treatment performed while primary or baby teeth are still present. The goal of this treatment is to intercept and stop the developing problem to guide the proper growth of facial and jawbones as well as provide enough space for incoming teeth.

The American Association of Orthodontics (AAO), recommends that children recieve an orthodontic screening at the age of seven. This is around the time that the back molars have erupted, and we can begin to identify any conditions or problems that may be developing.

Why should I consider early treatment for my child?

There are several advantages to receiving early orthodontic treatment. Early evaluation provides us with both timely detection and a greater opportunity for a more effective treatment. During this time, a child’s mouth and jaw are still developing allowing treatment to easily correct any misalignments. In the long run, this will allow for shorter, less extensive, and less expensive treatment.

Early treatment can correct and prevent several problems including:

  • Excessively spaced teeth
  • Expand upper or lower arches
  • Malocclusions (underbites, crossbites, any misalignment among the upper and lower teeth)
  • Overcrowded teeth
  • Protruding teeth

Is treatment always necessary?

No, not all cases will benefit from early intervention. In some cases, we may monitor your child’s growth before beginning treatment and in other cases, treatment may not be necessary at all. Our staff will conduct a thorough examination to determine the optimal time for treatment.

Will my child need additional treatment later on?

Though treating problems early has the chance of reducing your child’s need for orthodontic treatment later on, your child may still need treatment once all of their permanent teeth have erupted. However, treatment is often shorter in length and less extensive.

Early orthodontic treatment enables your child to avoid lengthy procedures, tooth extractions, and extensive treatment later in life. It also sets a stable foundation for future oral health. For more information on early orthodontic treatment and our services, please contact Bracify 3D Orthodontics today.

Taking Care of Your Smile from Home

Taking Care of Your Smile from HomeDue to COVID-19, many offices closed for patient and staff safety or were open for emergencies only. As our offices begin to reopen, you may be unsure of when you will be able to return for treatment. We understand that part of the success of the orthodontic treatment is showing up for your scheduled appointments, but under these circumstances, it is okay if you need to reschedule for your health. Our staff will work with you when you decide to return to our office to get you back on track with your orthodontic treatment plan.

With limited appointments available, now is the time to take care of your teeth and orthodontic appliance(s) to ensure the best possible result. If you are hesitant to return to our offices as we reopen, here are some steps you can take to handle any potential orthodontic issues and maintain a healthy smile from home.

Tips to keeping your smile healthy

Brush often – Keeping your teeth clean is important no matter the situation. If you can, brush and floss after every meal to keep your appliance clean and to prevent any cavities or other dental health concerns.
Stay on track – Wear your removable appliances such as retainers as prescribed so that you can keep your treatment on track.
Avoid problematic foods and drinks – If you are uncertain of when you will be able to visit us, handle your appliances with care until then. Continue to avoid hard, sticky, or crunchy foods that could potentially damage your appliance.

If you have any questions or concerns, call our office. Even if we aren’t open or if you may not be ready yet to come in for an appointment, we are here for you.

Handling common concerns

It is common to experience some discomfort with orthodontic treatment as your teeth move. Here are some steps you can take to alleviate any discomfort or prevent additional damage to your appliance while staying at home.

We would like to remind you that should any issues or complications arise during your treatment, your orthodontist should be informed immediately.

Supplies

Keep the following items on hand and you will be prepared to handle most orthodontic issues from the comfort of your home.

  • Orthodontic wax
  • Dental floss and flossing aids
  • Interproximal brushes
  • Toothbrushes, toothpaste, and mouthwash
  • Toothpicks
  • Q-Tips
  • Non-prescription pain relievers
  • Topical oral anesthetics such as Ora-gel

and discomfort

Discomfort and irritation are common experiences with orthodontic treatment, but pain should not persist for more than a few days. Rinsing your mouth with warm salt water and using pain relief medication can help alleviate discomfort felt during treatment.

Irritation felt due to your appliance rubbing against your cheek or lips can be soothed by using orthodontic wax. Make a small ball the size of a pea and flatten the ball over the surface causing irritation. If you run out of wax, it can also be purchased at local stores in the pharmacy section.

Some patients are prone to mouth sores during treatment which can be exacerbated by orthodontic appliances. These sores may appear on the cheeks, lips, or tongue. While not an emergency, they can be uncomfortable. Relief can be achieved by using a small amount of topical oral anesthetics such as Orabase or Ora-Gel.

Appliance Complications

Sometimes elastics or wires can become loose during treatment for various reasons. If you experience any appliance malfunction or complication, contact your orthodontist right away so they can advise you on the situation.

If an O-Ring (elastic rubber band) comes off at home, you can put it back in place using disinfected tweezers. If a wire ligature that holds a bracket in place becomes loose, you should remove it with the tweezers. However, if it is sticking out and not loose, to avoid any pain or discomfort, bend the ligature back down.

Occasionally a wire may work itself out of place and begin to irritate the soft tissues of the mouth. Using the tweezers or Q-Tip, push the wire so that it is flat against your teeth. If the wire cannot be bent or moved into a comfortable position, cover it with orthodontic wax for relief until you can visit your orthodontist.

These are just a few steps you can take to keep your treatment on track. Make sure to stay in contact with your orthodontist about how and when they plan to reopen for routine appointments. Keep in mind you may need to reschedule appointments due to limited availability.

For more information on treating issues at home amid COVID-19, please contact Bracify 3D Orthodontics office.

Toothpaste and Orthodontics

Toothpaste and OrthodonticsBetween the thousands of brands, different flavors, and claims it is no surprise that people can have a difficult time when choosing a toothpaste. Even some dental professionals admit that it can take time to differentiate between brands and types. If you are undergoing orthodontic treatment, it can make the decision even more daunting. To help you we’ve compiled the ultimate toothpaste buying guide to keep your smile healthy and happy.

Common Ingredients

Though there are many forms and types of toothpaste on the market, there are some common ingredients shared by most varieties.

  • Abrasive Agents – These are scratchy particles that work to remove food, bacteria, and minimal stains from the surface of your teeth while you brush. Calcium carbonate is the most common abrasive substance used in toothpaste.
  • Flavoring – Artificial sweeteners are added to make toothpaste taste better. Though many of us associate the flavor of toothpaste with mint, there are many other flavor options on the market such as cinnamon, lemon-lime, and bubblegum.
  • Humectants – Moisturizing agents are used to keep pastes and gels from drying out. The most commonly used humectant for toothpaste is glycerol.
  • Thickening Agents – These agents help to give toothpaste that distinctive consistency and texture that we are used to in our toothpaste.
  • Detergent – Detergents are used to create suds or foams while you brush your teeth. The most commonly used agent for detergents in toothpaste is sodium lauryl sulfate.

Types of Toothpaste

Toothpaste comes in gel, paste, and powdered forms. When it comes to selecting the form of your toothpaste, it is a matter of preference. There are many types of toothpaste on the market and while some may target specific oral concerns, others may cover a variety. Some of the common types of toothpaste include:

  • Fluoride- Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that has proven instrumental in reducing tooth decay and preventing cavities dramatically over the last 50 years. Toothpaste that contains fluoride works to strengthen your enamel to prevent acidic damage and also reverses early signs of decay by remineralizing the surface of your teeth. Anti-cavity toothpaste contains higher levels of fluoride than standard options.
  • Tartar-Control- Everyone has bacteria on their teeth known as plaque which can be removed with good oral hygiene habits such as daily brushing and flossing. However, when plaque is left alone, it can harden and form into tartar, which can only be removed by a dental professional during a cleaning. Tartar-control toothpaste is formulated to reduce the number of bacteria in your mouth using chemical compounds such as zinc citrate, thus preventing the buildup of plaque and decreasing the formation of tartar more effectively than other toothpaste.
  • Tooth Sensitivity- Tooth sensitivity occurs when your enamel is damaged and the second layer of your teeth, dentin, is exposed. Specific compounds, such as potassium nitrate or strontium chloride, desensitize nerve endings in your teeth to offer relief and add a protective layer to the exposed areas.
  • Whitening – Having a whiter smile is a common goal for many people. Whitening toothpaste does not typically use bleach but may contain more abrasive particles or chemicals to polish or remove stains from the surface of your teeth. It is important to discuss whitening toothpaste with your dentist as some can do more harm than good as the use of whitening toothpaste can increase your risk for developing tooth sensitivity. Depending on your goals, you may need professional treatment to achieve your desired results.

 

Brushing with Orthodontics

Toothpaste that contains fluoride is recommended for all patients as fluoride works to reduce tooth decay and protect your enamel from erosion.

If you are straightening your teeth with Invisalign, then your oral hygiene routine can stay the same and your options are endless. For patients who have other forms of orthodontic appliances such as braces, you may need to work a little harder to maintain a clean, cavity-free smile. As always, we suggest a fluoride option, but using tartar-control toothpaste can also help to reduce plaque buildup in those hard to reach areas.

We advise our patients to avoid using whitening toothpaste or products while receiving orthodontic treatment, as these products will only whiten visible areas and may leave patients with uneven colored teeth once your braces are removed.

For more information on which toothpaste to select or how your toothpaste can affect your smile with orthodontic treatment, contact Bracify 3D Orthodontics today.

Font Resize
Contrast
Call Us Text Us