Wondering how to fix an open bite?
An open bite, also known as a misaligned jaw or bad bite, is a malocclusion that makes several people seek medical attention. An open bite can affect a person’s smile, oral hygiene, self-esteem, and overall health from childhood to adulthood.
Knowing more about it can help you make the best decision for you, your child, and the family. Although it is not as common as overbite, open bites are also quite common and treatable. The best step to take is to seek orthodontic treatment at Dentakay clinic. Read on to learn more about open bites and finds ways how to fix an open bite.
What is an open bite?
An open bite is considered as a type of malocclusion or misalignment of the jaw characterized by a visible space between the top and bottom teeth even when the mouth is closed. However, an open bite can occur anywhere on the dental arches, even the molars.
Open bites are majorly caused by skeletal problems, the upper and lower front teeth slanting too far outwards, or a thumb or pacifier-sucking habit. While open bites are considered rare, they are commonly seen in young children, which progress to adulthood if not adequately treated.
If you have an open bite, you may feel your mouth is always closed or can’t cover it completely. Open bites may also affect speech and pronunciation and result in difficulty chewing. If left untreated, they may cause other dental problems like uneven wear and tear on your teeth.
Types of open bite
There are two main open bite types: anterior and posterior.
Anterior open bite
The most common type is the anterior open bite, where the front incisors in the top and bottom jaw slant outwards, meaning the mouth doesn’t close when the mouth is shut.
An anterior open bite makes it difficult to chew certain kinds of food, especially the ones that may need tearing by the front teeth. It also results in speech problems.
Posterior open bite
This is the direct opposite of anterior open bite. In posterior open bites, the back teeth (molars and premolars) do not touch when you bite down. Instead, it remains ajar and makes it difficult to chew food properly.
How to fix an open bite
Most people wonder how to fix an open bite because of how challenging it is to treat. Experts regard it as challenging because most patients return to the same habits that first caused their open bites, encouraging its development again. There are several ways to fix an anterior or posterior open bite.
On a visit to the orthodontist, they’d recommend a comprehensive exam to reach a correct diagnosis and then discuss the various treatment options with you. The specific treatment plan may be costly and intimidating, but the right orthodontist will help you find a treatment and financial plan well suited for your needs.
A couple of ways to fix an open bite include the following;
Traditional braces are an effective, convenient, and affordable way to correct open bites. In addition to dental correction, braces can help realign the jaw’s skeletal structure when pride with elastics, bite blocks, and other specialized appliances.
Since most adults prefer less conspicuous options, braces may not be an excellent option for them as braces are visible. However, if this is not a concern for you, braces are a great solution as they work faster than most methods. They also work best with tooth extraction for those with overcrowded teeth.
Several brace options exist, including ceramic, metal, and lingual. Depending on your diagnosis, the orthodontist recommends the right one.
2. Clear Aligners
An example of a clear aligner is Invisalign, a removable teeth aligner for adults with open bites. It produces similar results to traditional braces.
Clear aligners are more effective in treating open bites than braces. They can be paired with other dental appliances or tooth extraction. Invisalign can be provided by the dentist who attends to you for teeth cleaning. It’s best to seek the services of a professional orthodontist.
If you’re looking for an alternative which is removable and more discreet than braces, Invisalign is your best bet.
3. Headgear or other orthodontic appliances
Orthodontic appliances like headgear work to control the growth of the jaws. Most of these devices, like the high-pull headgear, vertical chin cups, roller appliances and bite blocks, work best with children with open bites. However, depending on the severity of your open bite, your orthodontic can recommend any of them for proper alignment of your jaw.
4. Behaviour modification
In young children who have gotten an open bite from thumb or pacifier sucking, the condition may be correctable by modifying their behaviour. This is best for children who still have most of their baby teeth or if their adult teeth are replacing the baby teeth.
However, this method may not be effective if the adult teeth are growing in the same pattern as the baby teeth. Custom braces may have to be used in addition to behaviour modification.
5. Corrective jaw surgery
This is another way to fix an open bite, according to Dentakay dentists it involves the surgical operation of the jaws for skeletal open bites. This causes a change in how the face and jaw look. Here, excess bone in the upper jaw is removed, and the orthodontist will drill your jaw with metal plates and screws. This causes a change in how the face and jaw look.
Surgery is often the last resort when treatment methods can’t produce the desired result.
This surgery is quite expensive, and the healing process takes a while. It’s recommended only for adults with open bites or children who have already developed adult teeth.
You now know several correction methods if you’ve wondered how to fix an open bite. The major ones include behaviour modification, braces, aligners, use of orthodontic appliances and jaw surgery. The correction method your orthodontist will recommend will depend on the severity of your open bite. Ensure you seek the services of an expert orthodontist as you fix your open bite.