Malocclusion, or the misalignment of opposing teeth in the upper and lower jaw, is very common in both children and adults. This is often due to the fact that teeth can move slowly overtime just from the normal forces of chewing. This can even occur in individuals who have had braces in the past if they are not wearing a retainer. But not to worry, occlusal/bite problems can be identified early on in children while they still have baby teeth or mixed dentition and restored with orthodontic treatment.
Sometimes malocclusion can be genetic, or due to unhealthy oral health habits during childhood such as thumb sucking or tongue thrusting. An orthodontic consult is typically recommended for all children around the age of 7 as permanent teeth start coming in so that any potential orthodontic problems can be identified.
Adults may also begin to notice crowding developing visible when smiling. This could occur for various reasons, including teeth shifting out of place after the loss of a tooth. Despite age, orthodontics can help anyone experiencing common tooth alignment issues:
This is caused when a tooth erupts from the gums in the wrong place. The tooth could be blocked from developing in the correct place (tooth impaction), in which a minor oral surgery treatment can be performed to uncover the tooth before beginning orthodontics to bring the tooth into the correct position.
Crossbite occurs when one or more of the upper teeth are positioned behind the lower teeth. Orthodontic appliances including a palatal expander can solve this problem in children whose jaws are still developing.
This occurs due to a lack of space in the jaw either because the teeth are too big or the jaws are too small. Crowding can be corrected by removing some teeth and/or creating more space within the jaws through orthodontic appliances.
Spaces may develop when teeth are lost or there is a difference between jaw size and tooth size. These spaces can be closed with braces to ensure teeth don’t shift out of place.
An open bite can be hereditary, or be the result of prolonged thumb sucking r tongue thrusting. This results in a space between the upper and lower front teeth when biting down.
Also known as a deep bite, occurs when the upper front teeth cover the majority of the lower teeth.
This occurs when the upper front teeth protrude outwards or the lower teeth are inclined toward the tongue. This can be hereditary, or from improper jaw development, missing lower teeth and/or improper positioning of molars. Poor oral habits including thumb sucking or tongue thrusting can contribute to overjet.
This is characterized by the lower front teeth covering the upper front teeth. This may be due to overgrowth of the lower jaw and/or less development of the upper jaw.
Feel free to contact Drs. Ali & Ali and their newest addition to the team, Dr. Zarah Ali, if you have any thoughts or concerns. Your little ones and teens are welcome to visit our pediatric dentist Dr. Van. Dr. Emad is happy to help with your orthodontic needs. For wisdom teeth extractions or any other periodontal or oral surgery needs, Dr. Ghazi would be more than willing to help.