As you grow from childhood to adulthood, your facial features continue to develop and grow. Specifically, your jawbone continues to grow between the ages of 16 and 18. However, it is very common for your jawbones to grow irregularly, causing a plethora of problems. Jaw misalignment is directly related to chewing, speaking, breathing, and facial formation issues.
Your jaws are primarily responsible for your ability to bite down. When referring to your bite, you describe how your upper teeth and lower teeth connect inside your mouth. If you have a natural bite, your upper teeth fit slightly over your bottom teeth, and your molars fit into the grooves of their opposites. When your teeth don’t come together properly, it is known as malocclusion.
While facial development is a primary factor in malocclusion, there are other factors to consider. Other causes include genetics, injury, and developmental habits like thumb-sucking, bottle feeding, and mouth breathing.
Because every individual is different, no two bites are the same. However, you can correct common bite problems with orthodontic treatment
Here are the most common bite problems and how treatment can help:
If you have an overbite, your top teeth overlap your bottom teeth, covering them either partially or fully. When your top teeth cover most of your bottom teeth, this is referred to as a “deep bite.” In this instance, you are at risk of wearing down your two front teeth.
Overbites can sometimes cause jaw pain, discomfort when eating, or speech challenges. Habits such as nail-biting, thumb-sucking, and using a pacifier for too long can contribute to the development of an overbite.
Braces are an effective way to treat an overbite. As the braces straighten and align your teeth, they also move your jawbones. Your orthodontist may include orthodontic rubber bands as part of your treatment to enhance the shift of your jaw into the correct position.