Your bite refers to the way that your top and bottom teeth fit together. If the teeth do not meet properly when you close your mouth, then your dentist would call this concern a bite problem, also known as a malocclusion.
Several types of bite problems can develop. Your teeth might be crooked, crowded, ill-spaced, or protrude forward. Or your jaw might push too far forward or backward or cannot close all the way.
Your dentist can resolve minor alignment issues in their office, but more severe concerns might need attention from a specialist. You can feel more confident about straightening your smile when you know more about these concerns. Read on to learn more about the causation, treatment, and prevention of bite problems.
What Causes Dental Misalignment?
Many factors can make the teeth or jaw become misaligned, including some variables outside of a patient’s control. For instance, genetics play a major role in the placement and formation of the jaw, palate, and teeth. Dentists will often notice these types of bite problems during the patient’s childhood and provide early intervention.
Poor oral habits can also impact a patient’s bite. If you bite your nails, suck your thumb, or chew on your lip, this repetitive action will push and pull at the teeth. This can encourage the teeth and jaw to move out of their proper alignment.
You can develop bite problems if you do not take proper care of your oral health as well. Dental issues like gum disease and cavities will affect the position of your teeth over time. So prevent these concerns by practicing proper oral hygiene.
How Will My Dentist Fix Bite Problems?
More severe malocclusions might need a referral to an orthodontist or other dental specialist. But your dentist can address minor dental alignment issues through Invisalign teeth-straightening treatment. This process involves custom-made clear plastic trays that fit over a patient’s unique smile.
The patient wears them for the majority of the day, and the aligners gradually push the teeth into the desired straighter position. The patient will swap the aligners for a new set every two weeks as directed to advance the treatment.
Invisalign treatment can make teeth straighter and close gaps between teeth. This will improve the appearance of the smile as well as its health. The patient can see less wear and tear on their teeth that might otherwise happen with underlying bite problems.
How Can I Protect My Bite?
While a dentist can amend bite problems, you can reduce the chances of needing teeth-straightening treatment by making efforts to preserve your bite. Some causes of malocclusions cannot be avoided. But you can prioritize your oral health to protect your smile.
Practice good oral hygiene at home to stave off dental issues that might impact your bite. This will involve brushing your teeth at least twice a day and flossing on a daily basis. Visit your dentist for regular teeth cleanings and oral exams too to maximize oral hygiene and overall preventative dental care.