How to Treat an Open Bite
Having a beautiful smile is a wonderful thing. In a perfect world, everyone would be born with perfectly aligned teeth, but in reality, some of us aren’t so fortunate. Sometimes, people are born with what is called an “open bite”, in which the upper set of teeth rest above the lower set. Open bite is an example of malocclusion or misaligned teeth and a professional Orofacial Myologist can help you fix this condition so that you may have a more comfortable and appealing smile.
What Open Bite Looks Like?
Cases of open bite can be either very mild (little space between upper and lower teeth) or severe (lots of space between upper and lower teeth). Therefore, you will know if you have open bite if your two sets of teeth do not touch when your jaw is closed. Other signs that you may have open bite is if you have difficulty speaking, speak with a lisp or have any other type of speech impediment.
What Causes Open Bite?
There are 3 factors that usually contribute to the misalignment of teeth: jawbone structure, a mixture of baby and permanent teeth in a child’s mouth, and habits. Habits such as “tongue thrusting” (when you push the tongue through and/or toward the front of your mouth while swallowing or speaking), can cause open bite, which is why it is imperative for parents to recognize and help break bad dental habits in their young children. If you don’t know how to recognize bad habits or how to break them, visit an Orofacial Myologist in Vaughan for a consultation.
Other habits that can cause open bite include:
- Thumb sucking
- Sucking or chewing on foreign objects
- Improper bottle of pacifier use
How to Treat an Open Bite?
Open bite treatment is often more complicated and challenging than other types of misaligned teeth because it is not something that can be fixed with traditional braces. Sometimes the growth of permanent teeth and the replacement of baby teeth resolves the issue on its own, but it usually takes more extensive measures to fix the condition.
If the malocclusion causing open bite is caused by a skeletal problem (for example, if the jawbone doesn’t fit together correctly), orthognathic surgery might be necessary to remove a portion of the upper jaw and realign the bones.
If it is is less severe, a treatment that may be useful involves a variety of orthodontic devices to help correct the opening such as an appliance that keeps the tongue from pushing its way between the teeth or special headgear to help position the jaw correctly.
Do you suffer from open bite? We would like you to know that there are options for you. You can have that perfect smile of your dreams! The first step is to visit a professional Orofacial Myologist and get a proper examination and diagnosis. Start with Pina Mazza, Orofacial Myologist and Dental Hygienist at Maple Dental Hygiene Care in Vaughan. Call today to book an appointment: (905) 597-6342