Open Bite Correction
Open bite correction is needed when the upper and lower front or incisor teeth do not touch when biting down. This causes all the chewing pressure to be placed on the back or molar teeth. Open bites can be classified as one of three types:
- anterior – the lower and upper teeth at the front of the mouth do not touch when biting down. Most often caused by genetics, but can be a results of thumb-sucking or chewing habits at a young age. Can also be a result of a tongue that is too large (macroglossia), tongue-thrusting, or TMJ (temporomandibular joint).
- posterior – the lower and upper molars at the rear of the mouth do not touch when biting down. It is a less common type of open bite often caused by molars not properly and completely erupting
- incomplete – where the lower front teeth do not touch the back of the upper front incisor teeth.
Often times, open bite treatment is needed because of oral habits, especially when the patient is young. Thumb-sucking, incorrect use of feeding bottles, and pacifiers can contribute to the development of this an anterior or incomplete open bite. These habits can cause the front teeth to flare out and with the jaw undeveloped, the teeth become misaligned. This condition greatly affects proper chewing and can possibly cause development of speech problems such as a lisp.
Early Open Bite Correction Is Important
It is of urgent importance to have this orthodontic issue addressed as soon as possible. Delaying treatment could result in poor speech and an unattractive smile.
A developing open bite or a family history of open bites is an excellent reason to schedule pediatric orthodontist evaluation for your children around age 7. Early open bite treatment can be more effective, less costly, and less painful than jaw surgery that is usually required for open bite correction in adults.
Contact Dr. Bright’s office and schedule the first appointment and consultation to discuss all options available for open bite correction.