How do you know if you have a normal bite or an overbite? How can these problems be identified and corrected? Our team at Walt Orthodontics is happy to help explain!
What is an optimal bite?
Many patients are referred to us for a ‘bad bite’. What does a good – or bad – bite mean? And why is a normal bite so important?
When Dr. Walt and Dr. Grossman discuss your bite, they’re talking about how your upper and lower jaws fit together. The upper teeth should somewhat cover the lower teeth, and the tips of your molars should fit into the grooves of the molars opposite them. If your jaw is positioned like this, you most likely have a healthy (normal) bite.
People who have straight teeth and a healthy normal bite have proper fun function and balance with their teeth and jaws. Whereas, a misaligned bite can cause pain and undue pressure on certain teeth. This problem can also result in uneven wear.
A normal and functional bite helps support face symmetry, as well as daily functions including breathing, chewing, swallowing, digestion, and more.
A normal healthy bite includes the following:
Is your upper and lower jaw line symmetrical, and are your teeth aligned? If so, you most likely have a healthy, normal bite. Having just one tooth out of place can cause oral health problems for your entire mouth!
To properly chew your food, a strong and well-aligned bite is recommended. This is important as chewing can be taxing on our jaw and teeth. When you eat, your jaw and teeth will take the force, not the food. If your teeth are already misaligned, chewing can leave you in pain!
Your bite should not give you any discomfort or pain. If you have pain in the muscles surrounding your jaw or in your jawbone, this is a warning sign!
Supporting Your Tongue
When you think of your bite, you may not think of your tongue. However, it is essential for eating and communicating too. If your bite is off, your teeth may be nicking or cutting into the sides of your tongue. This can increase your risk for sores, which can become infected too. You can also bite on your cheek with a bad bite.
What exactly is a ‘bad’ bite?
If you have a bad bite, we refer to this as a ‘malocclusion.’ In Latin, this translates to “bad bite.” A malocclusion, or bad bite, can be caused by:
- Missing teeth, impacted teeth, or excess teeth
- Differences in the size of your upper and lower jaw
- Birth defects such as a cleft palate
- Differences in the size of your teeth
- Childhood habits such as tongue thrusting, extended use of a pacifier, or thumb sucking
Overbite vs. Normal Bite & Other Concerns
There are four main types of ‘bad’ bites – overbite, crossbite, underbite and open bite.
How can orthodontics help?
Come and see for yourself how orthodontic treatment can help your bite, with a personalized consultation from our experienced orthodontists. Remember, orthodontists are specialists who can realign your teeth, jaw, mouth, and face.
At Walt Orthodontics, we believe a healthy bite not only supports more functional teeth, but it can contribute to improved overall health and well-being too. Dr. Walt and Dr. Grossman treat patients of all ages – including children, teens and adults too.
Are you curious if you have a normal bite or if you should pursue orthodontic treatment? Book your complimentary consultation with us to find out! We love meeting new smiles in our Maple-Vaughan-Thornhill community!