OPEN BITE: AN OVERVIEW
What is an Open Bite?
An open bite is when some or all of the upper and lower teeth do not correctly come into contact with each other. An ideal bite is when the upper teeth will slightly overlap the bottom teeth by about 25%. Open bites can typically be diagnosed in a child’s early oral development.
Open bites are commonly associated with a skeletal formation or can be caused by developmental myofunctional habits like thumb sucking, sucking of the lower lip, tongue forward posture, or tongue thrust. The cause of the open bite will determine the appropriate treatment.
Open bites can be extremely embarrassing especially for children. A big gap between their bottom and top teeth will make them too self-conscience to smile. Not only does it affect the appearance of their smile, but it can also lead to speech issues. An open bite can make it difficult for some children to talk leading to lisps or speech impediments.
What is Tongue Thrust?
Tongue thrust is a common habit that children develop early on in life. Children push their tongue forward, instead of relaxing it back while swallowing, speaking, or resting their tongue. The habitual pattern of the tongue pushing forward on the teeth can cause the jaw and teeth to become misaligned. Tongue thrusting during early oral development can impact the facial and skeletal structure of your child.
Izadi Orthodontics encourages early intervention and treatment of open bites to prevent further complications. Most orthodontists will agree that all children should be evaluated by age seven to see if their jaw and teeth are developing correctly.
Early intervention is extremely important because children with open bites can have difficulty speaking and eating. Treating open bites early in the development of the primary teeth can prevent speech impediments and improve the quality of your child’s life. Early intervention also takes advantage of the child’s still growing jaw.
Open Bite: What to Expect
Dr. Izadi and our orthodontic care team provide comprehensive analysis and personalized treatment plans for children with open bites. Our goal is to thoroughly analyze the skeletal structure and bite to provide targeted treatment for long-term results.
The advances in dental technology have made treating children with open bites much easier and more realistic. Even though children will need early intervention, treatments are more comfortable, shorter in duration, and will make it less likely for more involved future treatments.
Parents are encouraged to bring their children in for an orthodontic analysis as early as age 7. Early treatment can prevent further damage to the teeth and jaw. Dr. Izadi can help children stop the myofunctional habits that create open bites. Phased treatment and early intervention can prevent developmental speech issues and avoid damage to the bite and jaw.
Open Bite FAQs
What is an open bite?
When the top and bottom arch of teeth do not make contact with each other, this is called an open bite.
Can I fix an open bite as an adult?
An open bite can be treated at any age. However, treating an open bite as young as possible can help prevent complications with speech development and facial growth.
Dr. Izadi offers two-phase treatment options for children with open bites to prevent future oral health complications.
What are the treatment options for an open bite?
Treatment to correct an open bite may vary depending on how the teeth are aligned. Timonium, MD board certified orthodontist Dr. Izadi offers comprehensive bite analysis and personalized treatments for optimal results.
How long does it take to correct an open bite?
When correcting an open bite, the length of the treatment relies on the specifics of your situation. Treatment may last anywhere from 12-4 months.
How do you stop an open bite from relapse?
Relapse during the retention phase after correcting an open bite is not uncommon. In order to prevent this we commonly give patients clear aligners and elastics to wear at night.
Is open bite genetic?
Having an open bite can be inherited genetically but it can also be caused by functional issues. When a child is young, an open bite can be produced by the teething process as they move from primary to permanent molars.
Treatment Options for Open Bite
All treatment plans are personalized to the orthodontic needs of each patient. Using advanced analytic technology, digital imaging, and 3-D models, Izadi Orthodontics can provide more precise treatment that will support lasting orthodontic health with minimal inconvenience to our patients.