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Steps to a Healthy Bite

Posted on September 17, 2021

Young boy smiling and wearing a grey tshirt in front of a solid green background.

It’s no secret that the way our teeth fit together is important for healthy chewing and biting. The better your bite fits together, the more you can do with ease. The health of your bite is important for more than just chewing. A healthy bite plays an integral role in the strength and stability of your teeth, so it’s vital for oral hygiene as well.

Your bite also affects how you speak, your smile, and your self-confidence. A simple deviation in how your teeth come together can create tension, pressure, and pain. But to understand how you can achieve a healthy bite, let’s first look at common bite problems.

Common Bite Problems

  • Crowded Teeth: Crowding occurs when teeth do not have enough space in the jaw to erupt completely. This can lead to crowding of the teeth and subsequent shifting as more room is needed for those still growing into place.
  • Open Bite: This is when the upper and lower front teeth do not meet evenly, leaving a gap. An open bite can lead to problems such as decay or gum disease
  • Overbite: As its name implies, an overbite is when your upper front teeth extend beyond your lower front teeth.
  • Cross Bite: A crossbite is when the upper teeth bite inside the lower teeth. This can happen on one or both sides of your mouth, and it’s typically caused by an obstruction in the jaw that prevents proper tooth eruption into its correct position.
  • Underbite: The opposite of an overbite is an underbite when your lower front teeth extend beyond your upper front teeth. An underbite can lead to problems such as gum recession and jaw pain.

So, what are the steps you can take to achieve a healthy bite?

1. Get Your Bite Evaluated by a Professional

To determine your ideal bite, you should visit an orthodontist. They will be able to recognize any abnormalities in the shape of your teeth, jaw, and lips. The way these features interact with each other can dramatically affect your ability to chew food effectively and thoroughly, which is crucial for healthy gums and strong bones.

2. Get Orthodontic Treatment

Once your orthodontist has identified your bite problem, they can create a plan to correct it. In most cases, this may include one of the following orthodontic treatments for straight teeth.

  • Metal Braces: Metal braces are the most common way to move teeth into the proper position. They are made of a durable metal alloy and consist of two main appliances: brackets and wires. The brackets attach to the front surfaces of your teeth, while the archwire connects these brackets. When you tighten the archwire, it applies pressure to your teeth and causes them to move.
  • Self-ligating braces: Some patients may also be a candidate for self-ligating braces. Instead of using elastic ties to move the teeth into the proper position, these brackets have a metal clip that attaches to an orthodontic wire. This allows you to tighten or lengthen your archwire without having to deal with pesky elastics.
  • Lingual braces: Your orthodontist may also recommend lingual braces. They run on the backside of your teeth, so they can only be seen from the inside of your mouth. Lingual braces are quite discreet and can achieve the desired results in as little as 12 weeks, depending on the extent of your bite problem.

3. Take Care of Your Teeth

While wearing braces, it’s important to maintain optimal oral health by brushing at least twice a day (and flossing) and visiting your dentist for regular cleanings. You will also need to schedule extra appointments with your orthodontist to ensure that all the moving parts in your mouth are functioning properly.

4. Maintain Your Bite

Once your orthodontic treatment has been completed, it is important to maintain your newly straightened smile to prevent relapse. Your orthodontist will probably recommend you wear a retainer as part of this process.

A healthy bite is key to maintaining good oral hygiene throughout life. Not only can it protect your gums from disease and infection, but it can also ensure that you have strong bones well into old age. So, if you are having trouble chewing or keeping your teeth clean, make an appointment with your orthodontist in Pembroke Pines for a mouth check-up today.

Office hours

Monday 7:30 AM – 5:00 PM
Tuesday 9:30 AM – 6:00 PM
Wednesday 7:30 AM – 5:00 PM
Thursday 9:30 AM – 6:00 PM
Friday 7:30 AM – 5:00 PM
Saturday By Appointment Only

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