When you think about orthodontics, do you think mostly of shiny, straight teeth? Well, that certainly is one of the big components, but it isn’t the only one! Another huge thing that orthodontic treatment focuses on is jaw and bite health. Most people who aren’t orthodontists like Dr. Wedding or Dr. Thompson might not know much about how to fix a jaw problem, but thankfully they are here to help!
Dealing with jaw and bite issues is super important for overall health and well-being. You may not know it now, but an issue with your bite can turn into all kinds of challenging or painful outcomes later. It’s better to take care of it as early as possible, so if you think that you or your child might have a problem with your bite, then bring them into our Owensboro office soon!
What Causes Bite Problems?
If bite problems are so serious, then what might be the cause of a bite problem you may ask? There are a few different factors. Some are completely biological and based on genetics. Others might involve environmental factors when you were an infant. These habits that we pick up as babies are called myofunctional habits and are things like bottle feeding, mouth breathing, tongue thrusting, and thumb sucking. There are other genetic factors, as well as injury, and facial development.
Regardless of the cause of your jaw issues, it’s important to have it looked at by a board-certified orthodontist like Dr. Wedding or Dr. Thompson. They spend many years in school learning how to straighten teeth as well as adjust the jaw so that they sit correctly when you bite, saving you from a host of problems later on.
What Do We Mean by Bite Problems?
There are several kinds of bite problems. Most of them can be categorized into these groups:
When there is not enough space along the jaw for all of your teeth, causing them to crowd together.
Misplaced Midline Bite
When the center of your upper teeth does not match the center of your lower teeth.
When the upper teeth stick out farther than the lower teeth.
When the upper and lower teeth do not connect when you bite down.
When the lower teeth stick out past the upper teeth when you bite.
When the lower jaw is longer than the size and length of the upper jaw.
What Problems Can Bite Issues Cause?
Some people choose to ignore a bite problem, thinking that they won’t have any issues later on or just hoping they will get lucky. Unfortunately, we don’t think that’s the best approach. The problems that are associated with bite issues can be severe and typically grow with time. Plus, jaws are much easier to align when we are children and the bones of our faces are still growing.
If it’s possible, definitely bring your children into Wedding Thompson Orthodontics while they are still young to be evaluated. And even if you are an adult and are having problems now, it’s not too late to get treated! The sooner the better is our motto!
Here are a few of the common outcomes of a misaligned jaw and bite:
-Jaw and facial pain
-Wearing down teeth
Treatment for Jaw Problems
As we said before, the good news is that there are quite a few options for treating jaw issues! Here are a few of the common ones we provide at our office!
Aligners, like Invisalign, are a great fit for people that have mild to medium challenges with their teeth and jaws. These retainers are made of a firm, clear plastic that sits over your teeth and slowly helps them to shift into alignment. When paired with other devices like rubber bands, they can also be effective at moving the jaw!
When it comes to more serious jaw problems, braces are the way to go. These metal brackets and wires are the most effective tool for pulling your jaw and teeth into alignment, and they pair nicely with other equipment like palatal expanders, rubber bands, and more! This means that even if your jaw needs a lot of adjusting, braces can be a really helpful solution!
For people that need braces but aren’t excited about sporting a new, flashy smile, then clear braces are for you! These braces are made from a tooth-colored ceramic that blends in seamlessly with your teeth, making them nearly invisible at first glance. They still have the effective power of braces but in a more discreet form. Just be prepared to treat them carefully as the ceramic is more prone to breaking than metal braces!
It’s Time for You to Have a Healthy Bite!
Are you ready to deal with your tooth or bite issues with orthodontics? We are ready for you at Wedding Thompson Orthodontics! Reach out anytime to schedule a free consultation appointment and learn all about the options that you have for a healthy smile. We hope to see you in our office sometime very soon!