If you’ve thought about getting braces, you’ve probably heard terms used like crossbite, overbite, overjet, underbite, and the like. Overbites and overjets are some of the most common reasons why people seek out orthodontic care, but most don’t know which they have or what the difference between the two even are.
Overjets are when the top front teeth splay outward. They are often called “buck teeth” and may cause the lips from coming together when the mouth is closed, causing dry mouth and chapped lips. People with this condition are also highly at risk for accidental traumatic injuries, as the teeth literally stick outward and are more susceptible to bumps. An overjet may be caused by habits like extended thumb sucking, pacifier use, or tongue thrusting.
Overjets may also include teeth that are straight, but are still located further in front of the lower teeth, without biting against them when the mouth is closed. Most of the time it appears as if the person has a short lower jaw that is set further back than it should be.
Overbites occur when the upper teeth overlap the lower teeth. When the person is biting, only a small surface of the lower teeth may be seen. This causes the lower tooth to wear against the upper tooth abnormally, and may interfere with everyday use.
Thankfully orthodontic therapy can help correct these conditions and bring the jaws and teeth into proper alignment with one another. Not only does this improve aesthetics, it also minimizes the risk of other conditions and injuries. How severe is too severe? See your dentist for an initial orthodontic evaluation.
Posted on behalf of:
Park South Dentistry
30 Central Park S #13C
New York, NY 10019
A common question asked in dental offices is whether or not a patient needs braces. Most of the time patients ask about braces if there is visible misalignment in their front teeth. While crooked front teeth can create an aesthetic concern, there are also several other factors that your dentist will want to consider when it comes to recommending orthodontic treatment.
Crossbites and Openbites
If the arches of your mouth do not occlude (bite together) properly against one another, it can cause irregular wear or damage to the TMJ. Having a crossbite means the back teeth are overlapping the wrong way, or an open bite indicates that the teeth are not biting together at all.
Over and Underbites
The patient usually notices significant overbites and underbites as the top or bottom teeth sticking out too far. Again, this can cause irregular use and complications, not to mention predispose your child to a higher risk of accidental trauma if their front teeth jet out very far.
Alignment of the Teeth
When teeth are crowded, crooked, or rotated, they can decay very easily as well as develop serious gum disease due to the difficulty in keeping them clean on a regular basis. Even with dedicated oral hygiene, most areas of crowding will still experience significantly higher levels of tartar buildup and bone loss around the affected teeth. This predisposes the patient to tooth loss later on, as well as irregular wear patterns that affect the function and appearane of their smile.
Braces aren’t just to improve the way your smile looks. They play a significant role in the long-term health and function of you or your child’s smile.
Posted on behalf of Dr. Brett Gluck
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