Treating an Open Bite with Orthodontics

Posted on 06/10/2017 by Dr. Lovrovich
A teenage girl with braces.

An open bite is a condition where the upper incisors fail to overlap with the lower incisors. Instead, these teeth might touch, so you’ll notice a major gap between your lower or upper teeth when you bite.

Tongue thrusting and thumb sucking are thought to be potential causes of an open bite, but regardless of the reason that you have developed one, there are treatment options out there that can improve the appearance of your smile.

How to Treat an Open Bite

A mild open bite may not require treatment, especially if it doesn’t bother you. However, if you have difficulty chewing, experience discomfort, or simply want to improve how your smile looks, you may be able to pursue two main open bite treatments:

  • Orthodontics. Braces and headgear are often used to correct an open bite, especially for children that are young and still experiencing bone growth. However, if the habit that caused the open bite continues, the correction might not be long-lasting.
  • Surgery. This option is more common for adults, as bone growth has likely slowed down. Surgery can provide a permanent open bite solution by placing the upper jaw into a new position so that the teeth will overlap properly.

Avoiding an Open Bite

Parents should remember that there are possible ways to prevent an overbite. Make sure that you are discouraging your child from using a pacifier at a young age, and work to eliminate thumb sucking. In many cases when young children are able to stop these habits, the problem with an open bite can actually resolve on its own, although it may take a few years to happen.

Early intervention is recommended when it comes to open bite treatment, but regardless of your age, there are ways to correct your open bite. Contact our office today if you would like to further discuss how your open bite might be helped.

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Seattle WA 98105-3941

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