Orthodontic treatments are well-known for straightening crooked teeth, but that isn’t the only thing they do; they can also improve your bite. Having a proper bite enhances the look and function of your mouth.
Here at Healthy Smile Dental, we utilize the Invisalign ® clear aligner system to provide our patients with straight teeth and proper bites.
In this article, Dr. Hannah Baek, an expert, certified Invisalign provider in Woodridge, Illinois, explains why having a good bite is so important and how Invisalign can help you achieve that proper bite.
Occlusion refers to how your teeth align. In a good bite, your back molars fit nicely together just like puzzle pieces. Your maxillary teeth (the top teeth) hang just a little bit over your mandibular teeth (bottom teeth).
Malocclusion — sometimes called a bad bite — refers to any misalignment. There are several different types of bite issues:
Although most people have some degree of an overbite, too much of an overbite can cause problems. Overbite is referenced by percentage points, and anything between 5-25% is considered normal. Overbites over this threshold can contribute to:
Overbites can be corrected with Invisalign.
An underbite is the opposite of an overbite. Here, the lower teeth stick out in front of the upper teeth. This can make it appear as if you have a large lower jaw and a small face. Underbites also cause other problems, including premature wear-and-tear on your teeth. It’s also more difficult to eat properly or speak clearly.
You might have a crossbite if you notice that some of your upper teeth sit behind your lower teeth when you close your mouth. Crossbites can cause many problems, including:
Crossbites can be corrected with clear aligners.
If you have an open bite, some of your teeth won’t touch even if you close your mouth. This makes eating food very difficult, but it also impacts speech. Sounds like /s/ and /z/ require your teeth to touch, and if your teeth don’t touch appropriately, you might say /s/ and /z/ sounds as /θ/ (like “thing”).
Bite problems can affect how your face appears (e.g., protruding jaw), limit your ability to eat comfortably, and affect your ability to speak clearly. Bite problems also contribute to jaw pain. Your jaw joint — officially called the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) — is a hinge that works to help you bite, speak, chew, and smile. If your bite is misaligned, it can impact this joint, leading to pain and discomfort. TMJ pain isn’t just limited to your jaw muscles. It can also lead to sore muscles, ligaments, or tendons in your neck.
To recap: Improving your bite can improve your ability to chew properly, which also helps support healthy digestion! A good bite also promotes clear speech, reduces TMJ pain related to misalignment, and eliminates unnecessary wear-and-tear on your teeth. If you suspect you have a bad bite, there is a solution: orthodontic treatment.
When you opt for Invisalign, you’ll receive a new set of clear aligner trays every one to two weeks. Each week, the tray gently shifts your teeth closer and closer to their ideal location. By doing this, Invisalign straightens your teeth, but also corrects minor bite issues.
Find out how if Invisalign is the solution for your bite issue by scheduling a one-on-one Invisalign consultation today. Call our Woodridge, Illinois, practice at 630-910-1900. You may also request an appointment online.