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Different Types of Misaligned Jaws

When a patient puts their teeth together, we call that relationship—in occlusion.

One of the things an orthodontist looks for, in a patient’s occlusion, is that the upper teeth are out over the top of the lower teeth.  That is normal occlusion. When the upper and lower teeth don’t meet comfortably the cause is a misaligned jaw. Sometimes if the condition is severe it can interfere with eating, breathing, sleeping, speech, and cause discomfort and pain even when the jaw isn’t moving. This is because the joint where the upper and lower jaw meets is complex, and when it isn’t able to function properly, chronic pain is often the result.

The most well-known issues in this category include overbites and underbites; however, there are other types of misaligned jaws.

Overbite

This is where there is a significant overlap of upper teeth over lower teeth. An ideal overbite has a degree of overlap that would be about one or two millimetres and is not regarded as a malocclusion. A deep overbite, also referred to as a vertical overbite, is approximately 4 to 10 millimetres deep, and is considered a malocclusion which requires treatment. When an overbite is deep, the patient’s chin generally is pushed back by the upper teeth towards the jaw joint. Deep overbites generally cause the shape of the patient’s face to be short and round. Without overbite correction, the patient’s speech is less than clear because the patient has to accommodate their jaw position for all the various types of function as speaking, chewing, clenching and grinding.

Underbite

An underbite occurs when a person’s lower jaw protrudes forward and in front of the upper jaw giving the chin and lower teeth prominence. Besides the aesthetic issue, underbites can also cause other problems, such as difficulty with chewing, swallowing and speaking. Underbites can wear down tooth enamel, increasing your chance of developing tooth decay or other dental problems. Underbites occur mostly due to genetic reasons. However, children who have had prolonged pacifier use may also develop an underbite.

Crossbite

Crossbites occur when one or more teeth may be tilted toward the cheek (known as buccal) or toward the tongue (known as lingual) as compared to the tooth above it. The crossbite can be on one or both sides of the jaw. The condition causes excessive stress on the jawbone. Sometimes it is caused by thumb sucking or by a delayed loss of baby teeth or an irregular eruption of new teeth.

Open Bite

This is when upper and lower teeth do not touch each other and are forced outwards – even when the mouth is closed.  The problem is often caused by any action by the patient which puts a strain on the alignment of the teeth, especially when the patient is young. Primary causes in this regard are thumb sucking, tongue thrusting and chewing on a pencil or some similar object. Prolonged and incorrect use of feeding bottles and pacifiers could also contribute to the development of the condition. The patient could develop a lisp from an open bite.

When these types of malocclusion occur, an orthodontist will be able to correct them using a variety of techniques. The method used to remedy your malocclusion will be determined once your orthodontist has diagnosed the condition.

Misaligned Jaw FAQs

Can thumb sucking affect my child’s teeth?

Yes. Thumb sucking can lead to a variety of issues such as open bites. If your child is in the habit of thumb sucking, it is in their best interest for you to step in to try and break this poor habit for the sake of their teeth.

How is malocclusion corrected?

There are a variety of ways in which an orthodontist may correct malocclusion. This ranges from orthodontic elastics to headgear. In extreme cases, surgery may be required.

How long will treatment take to correct malocclusion?

This is a highly individual matter and differs greatly from patient to patient. The time in which it takes to correct your bite is dependent on the severity of the malocclusion as well as whether or not it is coupled with any other issues. Treatment can range from anywhere between a few months to a few years.

 

If you have any questions about the alignment of your jaw, please contact us today!

The Benefits Of Orthodontic Treatment

Orthodontic treatment is aimed at anyone who wants to improve their oral health and aesthetic.

At iSmile Orthodontics, we have a range of treatments that are designed to help our patients achieve their best smile. From our practices in Bundoora, Mernda and Caroline Springs we strive to treat each and every patient with the highest level of care and we do so with the very latest orthodontic techniques and technologies.

Orthodontic treatment is highly recommended to patients of any age who may need treatment for any number of concerns. The joys of smiling freely are something that everyone deserves to have and we do everything in our power to ensure that you or your child are able to do so without feelings of social anxiety or embarrassment. We always make sure that you are informed and educated on every single step of the process and our comprehensive range of orthodontic treatment means that we can offer a treatment solution that best suits your unique situation. The team of oral health professionals here at iSmile Orthodontics provide a network of people that focused on providing you and your family with quality orthodontic treatment and care, conducted to the highest degree.

Why You Should Consider Orthodontic Treatment?

A lot of patients may think that orthodontic treatments are strictly for improving the aesthetics of your smile and straightening your teeth, but the truth is that they offer far more than that. There are a number of very compelling reasons why you should think about opting for orthodontic treatment and not least of all, the improvements it can make to your oral and general health. When your teeth and jaws aren’t connected properly or don’t align as they should the results can cause us to be self-conscious and may even lead you to become concerned with your appearance. Orthodontic treatment can help to dramatically improve the not only the appearance of your teeth but also the way that they work together as a unit. All of these benefits in unison can help you to feel more confident as well as addressing any functional concerns you might have. One of the other common misconceptions about orthodontic treatment is that it is strictly for teenagers and the taboo around braces for adults is something that has become almost not existent, and rightly so. Advancements in modern orthodontics mean less visible braces that still offer all the same benefits with regards to their efficacy. Paired with affordable treatment plans and increased comfort, orthodontic treatments have become an attractive option for patients well into adulthood.

Orthodontic Treatments From iSmile Orthodontics

Teenagers will always experience far more rapid development in terms of the growth of their bodies, which naturally includes their mouth, teeth and jaws. We take advantage of this stage by adjusting teeth and jaws that are still shifting and growing. This can make treating any orthodontic concerns easier at this age and can even mean shorter treatment time than adult orthodontic treatments. This developmental stage should usually be taken of advantage before the patient’s 20th birthday in order to make it as effective as possible.

The other stage at which we can straighten your teeth is during adulthood. While it may sometimes take a little bit longer, we can still make great improvements to your smile with adult orthodontic treatments, which have become increasingly popular in recent years. It is never too late to straighten your teeth and adult orthodontics have become as discreet as they are effective and more capable than ever of giving you the beautiful straight smile that you may have been waiting for, but never had the opportunity to receive. To find out more about our range of orthodontic treatments, or to make an appointment with us, please click here.

Foods to avoid at Christmas with braces

If you’re new to the world of braces and Christmas – with all its goodies, mounds of food, and candy galore – this may be a daunting time for you. While this was never a concern before, the prospect of eating so much food with so many people around and a new dental structure to consider may be a daunting one. If you haven’t had the chance to speak with your orthodontist, here are some of iSmile Orthodontics easy tips about foods you can eat and foods it’s best to stay away from.

Vegetables
You may be thinking all vegetables are essential to maintain healthy dental hygiene, which is true, but brace wearers should be selective with their greens. Stay away from raw, low cooked, crunchy vegetables which can cause pain and discomfort, and may even get lodged in your braces and damage them. Of course, keep up your vegetable intake, but limit it to soft, well cooked, or mashed variations.

Fruit
Use the same caution with fruit. Bananas and oranges will be easy on your braces, but stay away from hard fruits such as apples, or anything with lots of seeds in like strawberries that may get caught and difficult to remove even with floss. Cutting up fruits can also make them easier to handle, and we recommend this for snacks such as apples, pears and raw carrots.

Sweets
You already know that candy and sweets are not a great food item to be consuming, but hey it’s Christmas. It’s hard to avoid all candy completely, but anything too hard, chewy, or sticky – like candy canes – are a no no. Soft, but not chewy, sweets are okay, and soft desserts have a pass too. Make sure you brush and floss afterwards!

‘Bitty’ food
Any food that leaves itself in your teeth for hours after without braces is definitely a bad idea with braces. ‘Bitty’ foods like popcorn or corn on the cob can leave kernels and husk strings, which will be twice as bad with braces, potentially damaging the wiring and leaving you with a lot of discomfort.

Nuts/pretzels
If you love snacking on nuts, you have some bad news in store. These are top items on the no go list. On the plus side, you can eat as much meat and stuffing as you like!

After dinner care
After such a huge meal, make sure you keep up with your dental hygiene. Brush your teeth carefully using a mirror as your guide, making sure to take your time with your new routine. Floss after you brush to get in between those wires and get every particle of food that may be stuck somewhere.

It may take some time to get used to your new braces, but you will easily adapt after a little practice. Need some more tips? Get in touch with iSmile Orthodontics to talk to one of our orthodontists for a personal one to one chat.

How to Prevent Cavities for Kids

With Christmas coming up, it’s easy to forget some of your stricter rules and let your little ones indulge in candy over this festive period, but it’s important to make sure they are looking after their teeth, even with a few treats here and there. You can still enjoy the holidays and follow a few cavity-prevention tips.

Maintain a routine
Christmas time may mean that routines go out of the window. Kids may be staying up later, sleeping in longer, having friends over, and disrupting their general school habits. No matter what they are doing in their normal everyday life, it’s still important – and easy – to maintain their dental hygiene routine. Brushing first thing in the morning and last thing at night is an essential habit to get them used to, integrating it into their daily life so it’s not seen as a chore, but just a regular activity. It’s may also be good idea to add another tooth brushing during the day if they’re indulging on lots of candy.

Keep up the greens
If they’re eating extra unhealthy snacks during the holiday time, that doesn’t mean they should skimp on the veggies. As long as the sugary snacks are within moderation and everything else is included in their diet, like veggies and protein, their teeth will continue to grow in a healthy, normal way. Keep up the greens to promote healthy teeth, body, and diet, and maybe balance out a little of the chocolate and sweet treats.

Limit sugary snacks
Don’t overindulge in sugary snacks or drinks too much – they should still be a treat, but not an expectation. Fizzy drinks, fruit juices, chocolate, and candy all contain high amounts of sugar that can erode enamel on teeth and cause cavities. It’s a good idea to encourage a quick tooth brushing or at least a mouth rinse with water or alcohol-free mouthwash after a sugary snacking session, to wash away any lingering sugar that may hang around in their mouths.

See your dentist regularly
All of these tips should be enough to encourage a healthy smile and prevent cavities, but you can’t watch your little ones 24/7, so keep up with regular check-ups at the dentist. Your dentist will be able to see any telltale signs of cavities or good habits, and give advice on any potential orthodontic treatment such as braces.

Begin orthodontic treatment early
At iSmile Orthodontics, we recommend children start their orthodontics check-ups from the age of 7. This ensures that we can keep an eye on your child’s teeth and their development, and recommend orthodontic treatment that will help them grow into a healthy smile and even prevent future unnecessary treatment into adolescence and adulthood. Making sure that teeth are growing evenly can make it easier for them to brush and floss, so that plaque and enamel doesn’t build up to cause cavities.

Get in touch here to find out more about orthodontics for children and schedule your first appointment.

What to expect with extractions

The concept of having a tooth pulled can be a scary and daunting one to consider, especially if it’s one you or your children are having to face. Tooth extractions are a common occurrence, and one that our professionals at iSmile Orthodontics are well experienced in. If you’re apprehensive about an upcoming tooth extraction, or are just looking for more information, here are some handy tips to keep your mind at ease.

Why you might need an extraction
Tooth extractions – in children or adults – can be necessary for a number of reasons, often involving the way a tooth is growing in. If the tooth itself is damaged or severely decayed beyond repair, the easiest solution is often to remove it. Other reasons can include severe gum disease, or teeth that are impacted, like wisdom teeth, and prevented from growing through. This can include baby teeth that are removed to make way for the adult teeth to grow through properly.

One of the most common reasons for tooth extraction is overcrowding. Although you may have the normal number of teeth, the spacing of teeth may take up a smaller area and result in a ‘crowded’ appearance in your mouth. This can become uncomfortable and difficult for cleaning and hygiene practices, so we’ll remove one or two teeth in order for the rest to realign themselves. It is good practice to extract the tooth or teeth in younger patients as the teeth will be more adaptable to grow into a more spaced out position, and our iSmile Orthodontics professionals can closely monitor the progress.

How to prepare
To make sure your oral surgeon is up to speed with your medical and dental history, you or your child will need to fill out any forms that outline current and past medications you take or have recently taken, as well as those you are allergic to. This is to ascertain which medications will be most appropriate for during or after the surgery.

In order to prepare you or your child for the surgery, you will have a consultation beforehand to discuss everything in your paperwork, any concerns or questions, and outline the procedure. Then, you will be taken for an x-ray to examine the area, tooth or teeth, and surrounding nerves to confirm there will be no damage to vital parts.

The procedure
If the tooth is visible and easy to remove, you or your child will have a simple local anesthetic to numb the area before extracting the tooth. The process is swift and painless, with little bleeding after. After biting down on some gauze for 20 minutes or so, you will be free to go home with some aftercare information.

For an impacted tooth or more complicated situation, sedation under IV may be required in order to make an incision in the gum to remove the tooth. Any medications can also administered via the IV.

Aftercare
There will be some bleeding after the surgery, which some fresh strips of gauze will take care of. When at home, you’ll be advised to hold ice packs to the extraction site to heal any swelling or discomfort, which should go down after three to five days. For any pain or swelling, simple over the counter pain medication will be fine. Soft foods are advised for the first 24 hours, and a normal brushing routine can continue, avoiding the area of the extraction.

All in all, not such a daunting process! Got any questions? Get in touch here or check out our results page of previous iSmile Orthodontics patients who have had tooth extractions.