Non-surgical bite correction treatments

A perfect bite is not just about appearance; it is crucial to your overall oral health and well-being. Easier dental hygiene and reduced risk of cavities and gum disease may be achieved by treating a malocclusion, or a bad bite. This removes gaps where plaque can accumulate, so it is a great step to take.

A properly aligned bite also reduces stress on the teeth, jaws, and facial muscles, thereby minimising the risk of tooth damage and temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders. In other words, fixing malocclusion is more than just about getting a beautiful smile; it is crucial for your comfort and long-term oral health.

To help you better understand these issues, we will discuss the various types of malocclusion and common non-surgical bite corrections.

What is malocclusion?

Malocclusion refers to misalignments in the way the upper and lower teeth fit together. It can affect people of all ages and contribute to different kinds of oral health issues. The main types of malocclusion include:

Class I malocclusion: Class I malocclusion is the most common type and is often referred to as “normal bite.” In this condition, the bite is generally aligned, but certain teeth may be misaligned or overcrowded.

Class II malocclusion: Class II malocclusion, also known as an overbite, occurs when the upper teeth significantly protrude beyond the lower teeth. This may result in aesthetic concerns as well as difficulties with chewing and speaking.

Class III malocclusion: Class III malocclusion, or underbite, is characterised by the protrusion of the lower teeth in front of the upper teeth. The condition can affect facial appearance and function.

Open bite: Open bite is a type of malocclusion in which there is a space between the upper and lower front teeth when the back teeth are in contact. This can make it difficult to bite and chew food.

Crossbite: Crossbite occurs when some of the upper teeth fit inside the lower teeth while others fit outside the lower teeth when the mouth is closed. This misalignment can cause uneven tooth wear and strain.

Non-invasive solutions for malocclusion

Non-surgical bite correction methods are often recommended for mild to moderate cases of malocclusion. Here are some common treatments:

Braces

Traditional braces are a popular treatment for malocclusion. It involves using brackets and wires to gradually shift teeth into their proper positions. Braces can treat many different kinds of bite problems and are suitable for both children and adults.

Clear aligners

Clear aligners, such as Invisalign, offer an alternative to traditional braces that is less noticeable. These customised, removable trays gradually realign the teeth. Clear aligners are particularly popular among adults because of their convenience and visual advantages.

Retainers

Retainers are frequently prescribed following orthodontic treatment with braces or clear aligners to maintain the corrected bite. Retainers can be removable or fixed behind the teeth to prevent teeth from shifting back to their previous positions.

Palatal expanders

In cases of crossbite or overcrowding, palatal expanders are used to widen the upper jaw. These appliances make extra room for teeth to align properly by gently widening the palate.

Bite plates

Bite plates are commonly used to treat open bites or overbites in children. These orthodontic appliances help reposition the jaw and improve the bite.

Myofunctional therapy

Myofunctional therapy focuses on correcting improper mouth and tongue muscle function. Individuals with tongue thrusts or other muscle-related malocclusions may benefit from this treatment.

Tooth reshaping

Tooth reshaping, also known as dental contouring, is a cosmetic procedure that involves the removal of small amounts of enamel to reshape the teeth. It can be used to correct minor irregularities in tooth shape, such as small chips or uneven edges, contributing to a more harmonious bite and smile.

Night guards

Night guards are dental appliances designed to protect teeth from nighttime clenching and grinding (bruxism). Bruxism can lead to bite problems and tooth damage. The cushioning effect of night guards reduces the impact of teeth grinding and promotes a healthier bite.

Tooth replacement

In cases where tooth loss affects the bite, tooth replacement becomes essential. Dental implants, bridges and dentures are common options for replacing missing teeth. Restoring missing teeth improves the appearance of your smile as well as helps maintain proper bite alignment and functionality.

Maintain your healthy bite

Maintaining properly aligned teeth is essential for a lifetime of optimal oral health and comfort. By practising good oral hygiene, including brushing and flossing, you can maintain healthy teeth and gums. Additionally, remember to book your dental visits every six months. Your dentist will be able to monitor your bite, make necessary adjustments and identify potential problems beforehand, ensuring that your smile remains beautifully aligned and healthy.

Philips Zoom in-chair whitening

Seek professional care for your bite issue

Whether you have an underbite, overbite, open bite malocclusion or another type of bite problem, these each affect the aesthetics and functionality of your smile in different ways. It is essential to consult with our dentist to determine the most appropriate treatment plan for your unique needs.

Remember that early intervention can often yield better results, and in many cases non-surgical solutions are the most effective. If you suspect a bite problem, do not hesitate to seek professional advice, because your smile and oral health are worth the investment.