Orthodontics may be known for creating cosmetically pleasing smiles, but treatment can do so much more than give you a pretty smile. You might be surprised to learn that headaches, tooth or jaw pain, and sleep apnea could point to a misaligned bite.
Your bite is the alignment of how your upper and lower teeth fit together. Even if your smile appears healthy, you could have other oral issues related to your unique bite. When thinking about your oral health, consider more than just how straight your teeth are to ensure you’re getting the whole picture.
Here at Dietrich Orthodontics, we know straight teeth are easier to keep clean, improve your bite and function, and create an attractive smile that lasts a lifetime. We want your whole experience to be informative and practical so let’s look at some of the benefits of an aligned bite below.
What is malocclusion?
A malocclusion is simply a misalignment of teeth, making eating and brushing more difficult. But where do misalignments come from? A malocclusion can be caused by genetics and congenital disabilities, injuries, childhood habits, such as thumb sucking, and inadequate or ineffective previous dentistry treatments. Mild misalignment is very common and often does not lead to other issues for most people. For some, though, it can be a complicated process to amend.
The good news is that Dr. Dietrich and his experienced teams in Canton and Alliance can utilize many different individualized treatment plans to help align your bite just the way you need. Different classifications for a misaligned bite are determined by the positioning of your upper and lower jaws and teeth and how both the upper and lower ones relate to each other. Here’s how they rank:
This class is the most common misalignment and occurs when tooth crowding or spacing between the teeth, but the overall jaw positioning does not affect the bite.
This class occurs with severe overlapping of the upper teeth and jaw, most commonly known as an overbite.
This class occurs when the lower jaw is much larger than the upper jaw, causing you to see more of the lower teeth during a closed bite, commonly called an underbite.
Depending on the severity of your bite issue to be resolved, there are numerous ways to address misalignment. To begin, Dr. Dietrich will conduct an initial examination. He will ask some questions about your oral health and background to understand your situation better. Then your orthodontist will take panoramic X-rays and intraoral photos to get a better view of your teeth, gums, roots, and jawbone.
Dr. Dietrich will create a customized treatment plan based on your unique needs, considering this data and information.
Treating a Misaligned Bite
At Dietrich Orthodontics, we take pride in making the process of aligning your bite as comfortable as possible. Successful treatment isn’t just about receiving professional and gentle care. Your doctor should have your best interests at heart, and that is what we strive for every day. If Dr. Dietrich determines the treatment is necessary for your misaligned bite, you will have a few options depending on the severity and class of your misalignment. Some standard treatment options include:
Braces are the most commonly used treatment in aligning your teeth and jaws. This method uses metal or clear brackets that are carefully applied to the outside faces of your teeth and connected by a strong but delicate wire. Dr. Dietrich will slowly tighten this wire to make minor adjustments throughout your treatment process, bringing the teeth and jaw into optimal alignment as quickly and as painlessly as possible. In some instances, Dr. Dietrich may use elastic bands to apply pressure for achieving better alignment. After your treatment process is over and your braces are removed, you will wear a retainer to ensure your new alignment holds. Teeth will want to return to their original spots over time, so a retainer should be worn 24/7 for the first year, and then Nighttime for a Lifetime.
Upper Jaw Expander (Palate Expander)
Another option for treating particular alignment issues is the upper jaw expander or palatal expander. This method is most commonly used to treat a crossbite. Dr. Dietrich only uses expanders if absolutely necessary, saving your family time and money. Many orthodontists use them more frequently, but Dr. Dietrich can obtain expansion with his Damon brackets in a regular phase of orthodontics, bypassing the need for an extra phase of treatment.
While this is not the most common option, jaw surgery may be necessary to correct your bite. To avoid needing jaw surgery later in life, Dietrich Orthodontics recommends starting your child’s orthodontic relationship and treatment early. Age 7 is the perfect time for a checkup! Many alignment issues are easier to solve when your palate is softer, and the bones and tissues are already moving due to normal growth.
The Benefits of an Aligned Bite
Maybe straight teeth aren’t the only goal of orthodontics, and perhaps that’s a good thing. Having properly aligned teeth and jaws can mean so much for your health, and ensuring this alignment early can prevent excessive wear and strain on your jaws and muscles to help you avoid joint pain and disorders like TMJ later. Proper alignment makes brushing and flossing less tricky, reducing the risk of cavities, tooth decay, and gum disease, like gingivitis. Speech problems and even aesthetic facial symmetry can be remedied by treating the alignment of your teeth and jaws.
For your perfect smile AND aligned bite, trust Dietrich Orthodontics!
At Dietrich Orthodontics, we treat our patients like we would treat our own families. That means our supportive teams in Canton and Alliance are passionate about working together to achieve your smile goals.
Dr. Dietrich will create a personalized treatment plan just for your smile, and you’ll get an explanation for every step. Since orthodontics is his specialty, Dr. Dietrich and his expert team have the experience to give you the best in treatment, costs, and efficiency as you work to align your jaw and smile!
Your smile is one of the first things people notice, and we’re here to give you the sparking confidence you’ve always wanted. Contact us today to schedule your FREE consultation here at Dietrich Orthodontics. You’ll enjoy quick and easy appointments with flexibility and payment plans that work for you and your family’s budget.