Category: Braces

What To Expect Your First Week With Braces

Young girl laying in grass, smiling with braces, Jupiter Orthodontics, What To Expect Your First Week With Braces

Getting braces on is an exciting day for all of our patients! Beginning your smile journey is a momentous occasion. However, under all the excitement, there are a few minor lifestyle adjustments you’ll have to make. It is important to remember that not only will your teeth be adjusting, but so will you! After all, you do suddenly have a mouth full of brackets and wires to get used to.

The first week with braces can be a little odd, but if you follow these tips and tricks, you will have a seamless transition.

Here Are Our Best Tips for Your First Week with Braces

How to prepare for your first braces appointment

Beginning your smile journey is something to look forward to! Leading up to your appointment, we encourage you to think of as many questions as you can. While we will do our best to prepare you, we want to make sure that you leave our office feeling comfortable and confident in your new braces. If you have any questions after you leave the office, rest assured that you can always contact our office or ask your questions through our virtual consultation portal.

How Long After Getting Braces Can You Eat Normal Foods?

It is important to choose soft foods the first few days after getting braces. Not only do we want to protect your new brackets while the dental cement sets, but your teeth may be a little sensitive as well. We recommend grocery shopping ahead of time and stocking your pantry with soft foods and cold foods to help ease any discomfort. Having readily available options to choose from while you adjust to your braces will make for an easier transition.

Here are some foods you can eat during your first week with braces:

  • Yogurt
  • Apple sauce
  • Pudding
  • Ice cream, milkshakes and smoothies
  • Soft-cooked meat, like brisket or fish
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Bananas, grapes, oranges, strawberries, and other fruits without pits
  • Soft crackers or cookies
  • Cheese
  • Peanut butter and jelly
  • Ravioli, spaghetti, macaroni and cheese, and other noodle dishes
  • Scrambled eggs
  • Oatmeal
  • Seafood
  • Cooked or soft vegetables
  • Moist desserts

You have plenty of tasty options to eat with braces the first week! Although, there are a few foods you should avoid to prevent discomfort, broken brackets or loose wires:

  • Popcorn or nuts
  • Sticky and hard candy
  • Gum
  • Ice
  • Corn chips
  • Pretzels
  • Hard cookies or crackers

Try to avoid biting into hard foods with your front teeth. When possible, cut up these hard foods into smaller pieces:

  • Raw vegetables
  • Croutons
  • Hard rolls/breads
  • Thin crust pizza
  • Chewy meats
  • Burgers
  • Sub sandwiches
  • Corn on the cob

Know how to properly brush your teeth with braces

Braces can be tricky to clean, but with practice and the right tools, you can ensure a beautiful end result! It is important to brush as often as possible while undergoing braces treatment. If you do not take proper care of your braces, then you are at risk for decalcification (permanent white marks) on your teeth. Decalcification is a result of plaque buildup, but is 100% preventable! To maintain optimal oral hygiene, follow these quick tips on brushing with braces:

  • Ask your orthodontists for their recommendation on the best toothbrush for your braces.
  • Practice angling your toothbrush at different degrees to get the top and bottom of your brackets as well as your gums.
  • Always floss! Invest in floss threaders and keep them handy with your floss.
  • Keep a compact mirror with you to keep an eye on food build-up.

Build A Braces Survival Kit

Some of the best advice we can give our patients is to build a braces survival kit to keep on-hand at all times! A portable braces kit can help you to keep your teeth clean, to be prepared for minor emergencies, and to minimize any discomfort! Your kit can be small; it’s what’s inside that counts! Here is a list of our braces survival kit must-haves:

  • Compact toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Floss and a floss threader
  • Orthodontic wax for a loose or pokey wire
  • Mints
  • A few over-the-counter pain relievers, such as Tylenol
  • Lip balm
  • Compact mirrorYou can keep your kit handy in your backpack, purse or car! Having all of these items available will ensure a smooth and comfortable braces experience.

Still Have Questions About Your First Week with Braces?

If you have any questions regarding your braces treatment or are ready to schedule your free consultation in Jupiter, we can’t wait to meet you! We are excited to answer your questions and address any concerns you may have about orthodontic treatment.

What is the Herbst Appliance?

Collage of orthodontic appliances, red lips in the middle, retainer, herbst appliance

The Herbst device is a popular orthodontic appliance that applies gentle force to promote the development of the lower jaw. The goal of this appliance is to realign the bite into a healthy position.

As orthodontic headgear has become relatively obsolete, the Herbst appliance has become a popular treatment option to step in its place.

What is an Herbst Appliance?

The Herbst appliance, also called a functional orthodontic appliance, uses steady but consistent force to slow down the development of the upper jaw, while fostering forward growth of the lower jaw.

The purpose of this appliance is to realign the upper jaw with the lower jaw, and is used in place of appliances, like headgear and rubber bands. This treatment is made of surgical, stainless steel, and is bonded to the first permanent molars in all four corners. Because the Herbst appliance is cemented in place, it works uninterruptedly and requires minimal compliance from the patient.

How Does the Herbst Appliance Work?

Herbst appliance parts include stainless steel surgical frameworks that occupy all four corners of the patient’s mouth. These are connected by sets of telescoping mechanisms that apply gentle upward and backward force on the upper jaw, and forward force on the lower jaw.

This appliance includes two metal bands that pull the lower jaw forward and encourage it to develop further. Over time, as the appliance exerts persistent and strategic pressure on the upper and lower jaw, the jaws will align, which rectifies the overbite.

The Herbst appliance is customized to fit the patient. Dr. King will take the King Method approach to determine whether the Herbst appliance is the most efficacious option for you to achieve your goals. (The King Method combines all orthodontic methods into a single method. This enables Dr. King to provide the proper selection of which specific technique and appliance to use for each individual, based on the unique condition and circumstances of that patient.)

Who May Need an Herbst Appliance?

If a patient has a class II malocclusion, he or she may be a good candidate for the Herbst appliance. Also known as an overbite, a class II malocclusion is present when the upper teeth overlap the lower teeth.

Dr. King will complete a thorough, complimentary examination and x-ray to assess your condition and determine whether the Herbst appliance is the most effective treatment route for you.

When it comes to Herbst appliance pros and cons, the pros outweigh the cons. Younger patients tend to get faster results, as their jaws are still developing. Treatment periods for adults whose bones have stabilized may take longer than treatment periods for children with developing bones. Although, the effectiveness of an Herbst appliance makes it effective for patients of any age.

How Long is Treatment with a Herbst Appliance?

Herbst appliance treatment time is about 12 months while total orthdodontic treatment time will vary for each patient depending on their specific condition. When treatment with the Herbst appliance is complete, Dr. King will remove the device to reveal an aligned bite.

Do You Have Questions About the Herbst Appliance?

The Herbst appliance is a popular treatment option for the correction of overbites. At Jupiter Orthodontics, we offer affordable payment plans to suit your circumstances. We believe everyone deserves quality orthodontic treatment that fits into their budget. If you’re ready to schedule your complimentary exam with us, request one today!

What Makes the Damon® System Different?

Jupiter Orthodontics, What Makes Damon Braces Different? Jupiter Florida

With a variety of different types of braces, what makes people choose clear braces from Damon® Clear™ and the Damon® System?

The answer is clear! Damon Clear braces:

  • Allow quicker treatment time
  • Don’t use elastic or rubber bands
  • Apply less pressure to the teeth, making treatment more comfortable
  • Require less appointments
  • Are considerably more hygienic than other types of braces

Quicker Treatment with Damon Clear Braces
Aren’t we all hoping to see our new-and-improved smile sooner than later? The Damon System technology works so efficiently that it reduces the treatment period (relative to traditional braces or Invisalign clear aligners) and requires fewer appointments. Damon Clear braces don’t use rubber band appliances, which means these braces don’t require an appointment to be tightened. In fact, they don’t require tightening at all!

Damon Clear Braces Use Comfortable, Convenient, Self-Ligating, Tie-Less Brackets

Self-ligating, tie-less brackets? What a mouthful! The highly-advanced, tie-less technology of Damon Clear braces means these braces (unlike traditional, metal braces) don’t use rubber bands or elastic bands to hold the brackets in place. Rubber bands in traditional braces can create space for bacteria to lodge themselves. They also apply added pressure to the teeth, which can sometimes feel sore or uncomfortable as the teeth are shifting.

Self-ligating brackets means they use a slide mechanism, which allows brackets to move freely, rather than all brackets repositioning at the same time. This feature allows greater tooth movement, which is ideal for repositioning each tooth to its optimal position. This is also how Damon Clear braces work quicker than traditional braces. When brackets are bonded to the teeth and not self-ligating, they apply added pressure to the teeth, which slows down the rate of tooth movement. With Damon Clear braces, teeth are not shifting all together at once, so they’re able to reach the desired position at an accelerated rate.

If you’re seeking a comfortable, clear and convenient braces option, Damon Clear braces might be the right choice for you! We would love to discuss the differences you’ll see with Damon braces, before and after treatment.

If Damon Clear braces aren’t your preferred option, we also provide Invisalign in Jupiter, FL along with metal braces, ceramic braces and lingual braces. Request your free orthodontic exam with Dr. King at Jupiter Orthodontics today, or reach out to us to talk about which orthodontic treatment is right for you. Jupiter Orthodontics are proud to serve the Jupiter, Palm Beach Gardens, and Hobe Sound, FL communities

Clear Aligner Therapy: Which aligner is right for you?

Woman holding Invisalign, ClearCorrect, Clarity clear aligners to teeth at Jupiter Orthodontics in Jupiter FL for clear aligner therapy

As clear aligners have become increasingly popular, countless brands are popping up left and right with the promise of effective clear aligner therapy.

So, how do you know if clear aligners are right for you?

The first few things Dr. King will help you to determine:

  • What is your current orthodontic condition?
      • Do you have a mild to moderate malocclusion (poor bite)?
      • Are your teeth crooked or gapped?
  • What goals do you hope to achieve through orthodontic treatment?
      • Are you hoping to completely realign your bite and restructure your appearance?
      • Are you hoping to straighten your teeth and experience a more confident smile?
  • What are your preferences, based on your lifestyle?
      • Do you have personal or professional commitments that may require a metal-free orthodontic treatment?
      • Are you seeking an unnoticeable, practically-invisible treatment?

Did you answer yes to the majority of these questions? You may be the perfect candidate for clear aligner therapy!

If you still aren’t quite sure whether clear aligners are right for you, take the first step by requesting your free orthodontic exam with Dr. King. He is here to educate you and help you understand all there is to know about your options in orthodontic treatment.

Now, how do you determine which clear aligner is right for you?

“Aligner therapy is all about the doctor, not the company that makes the aligner.” -Dr. King

Dr. King says it best! Each company that creates clear aligners has its own pros and cons. That’s why your team at Jupiter Orthodontics is here to help you pick out the right clear aligner for you.

We currently provide a variety of clear aligners, including Invisalign®, Clarity™ and ClearCorrect aligners.

No matter the brand of clear aligners you choose, what’s most important is the personalized treatment plan that Dr. King creates to suit your specific condition, needs, goals, lifestyle and preferences. Dr. King applies the King Method to all of his patients’ treatment plans, which allows him to provide better results in a shorter amount of time! Combining his vast knowledge with his extensive experience in orthodontics, Dr. King has a comprehensive understanding of which technique is best for each of his patients.

So, when it comes to clear aligner therapy, as long as you’re choosing clear aligners approved by a top orthodontist like Dr. King, the type of clear aligner is not necessarily the concern.

The main concern with clear aligner therapy is the doctor you choose. If your doctor isn’t exceptionally experienced with clear aligners, your treatment can be ineffective or even damaging, regardless of the brand.

Ensure that your clear aligner therapy yields the results you’ve always dreamed of when you choose Dr. King as your orthodontist.

Following your orthodontic treatment, Dr. King will continue to monitor your progress every 6 months at no charge to you! At Jupiter Orthodontics, we promise high-quality treatments with the greatest level of attention to each and every patient.

When you request your free orthodontic exam with Dr. King, you’re taking the first step toward achieving a beautiful, healthy smile! We provide affordable orthodontics in Jupiter, FL. Reach out to us today to discuss your options with clear braces, adult orthodontics or braces for kids!  Dr. King and the entire Jupiter Orthodontics team are proud to serve the Jupiter, Palm Beach Gardens, and Hobe Sound, FL communities.

5 Signs You Need Orthodontics

young friends, school, happy, Invisalign, happy smile, Jupiter Orthodontics

Orthodontic treatments serve a cosmetic purpose as well as a major functional purpose. The right orthodontic treatment can improve your functionality, increase your self-confidence and quite literally change your life!

How do you know if you can benefit from orthodontics? Here are 5 signs that you should begin treatment!

1. You breathe through your mouth
One telltale sign that you need orthodontic treatment is mouth-breathing. Mouth-breathing has everything to do with the openness of the airways, relative to the width of the jaw. When the jaw is considerably narrow, the airways are blocked or obstructed and it’s difficult to breathe easily through the nose. Mouth-breathing can lead to sleep apnea, which can be life-threatening if it goes untreated! To improve your breathing, Dr. King will create a customized treatment plan to expand your jaw and open your airways.

2. You hide your smile
If you ever hide your smile or feel self-conscious when you grin, it’s time to begin orthodontic treatment! If your teeth are crooked, gapped, crowded or you have a visibly poor bite, we have the orthodontic treatments to give you the confident smile you deserve. It’s never too late to recreate your smile, and the right orthodontic treatment will leave you with a smile that you want to share.

3. Your top and bottom teeth don’t meet evenly
Do you find it difficult or uncomfortable to chew food? This can indicate a poor bite condition. When your top teeth don’t meet your bottom teeth evenly, this can affect your jaw function, your airways and even your posture! Poor bite conditions include overbites, underbites, open bites and crossbites. If you notice your top teeth jutting over your bottom teeth, your bottom teeth extending beyond your top teeth, or you experience difficulty chewing, Dr. King can create a personalized treatment plan that brings your jaw into perfect alignment to improve its functionality.

4. You have a speech impediment
If you have a lisp or speech impediment, this may be attributed to your orthodontic condition. A malocclusion, or poor bite condition, makes it difficult to bring your top and bottom teeth together evenly to pronounce certain sounds, like ‘s’ and ‘z’. If there are any unintended openings between the teeth while the tongue is trying to enunciate, this will create a lisp. These open spaces often occur in openbites and overjets. Through orthodontic treatment, Dr. King can expand the jaw and realign the top teeth with the bottom for proper speech ability.

5. Your child’s teeth are growing out of alignment
Children should visit the orthodontist by age 7. During this time, baby teeth are falling out and permanent teeth are erupting through the gums. This is the perfect time to consider orthodontic treatment, before the adult teeth stabilize. Once the adult teeth stabilize, they may reveal a problematic condition that affects functionality or appearance. Dr. King is highly trained in detecting problematic orthodontic conditions before they fully emerge. By assessing the alignment of your child’s teeth during his or her malleable years, we can intervene before the condition affects the quality of your child’s life. When your child completes his or her free initial consultation with Dr. King, this does not mean he will recommend that your child begins orthodontic treatment immediately. Unlike many other orthodontists, Dr. King will determine the optimal period for your child to begin treatment, and he will continue to monitor your child’s progress for months or years to follow at no cost to you!

No matter how severe you or your child’s orthodontic condition, Dr. King will create a personalized treatment plan that brings you to your ideal smile. If you notice any of these 5 telltale signs throughout the day or night, give us a call to discuss how orthodontics can benefit you.

We provide adult orthodontics, braces for kids, clear braces and more to the Jupiter, Florida community. Request your free exam with Dr. King to get started today!

Why to go to an orthodontist instead of an at-home clear aligners company?

young woman, smiling, white straight teeth, Invisalign, Jupiter Orthodontics

As at-home clear aligners increase in popularity, it’s natural to wonder whether in-person orthodontic care or at-home orthodontic care is the better decision for you or your child.

You may believe “at-home” has a comfortable ring to it, but when it comes to you or your child’s precious smile, do you really want to leave room for error?

Take this quick quiz to understand why in-person orthodontic treatment is the right decision for you!

1. Initial Exam
You decided on Invisalign® clear aligners as your treatment. Now, let’s begin. For your initial exam, do you choose Option A or Option B?

Option A: At-home clear aligners

You took the questionable route and chose at-home orthodontics. For your initial exam, you receive an impression kit in the mail. You bite into the impression mold of thick “goop”, your hands shake and you aren’t quite sure if you’re doing it correctly. You send your molds back through the mail and await the arrival of your clear aligners.

Option B: Clear aligners from the orthodontist

You played it smart and scheduled your free exam with us. You meet Dr. King, who asks you what your goals are with treatment. Dr. King then completes a thorough exam of your teeth and bite. He takes x-rays of your condition and shows you diagnostic photos of previous success stories. Dr. King discusses your treatment options with you and suggests the most efficient and effective treatment to fit your lifestyle. He thoroughly explains your chosen treatment and proceeds to take impressions of your teeth and bite, using the iTero Digital Impression system. Your dental molds show immediate results, without the use of “goopy” impression materials. Dr. King crafts a treatment plan, personalized to your current condition and your unique orthodontic goals. He explains every aspect of your custom treatment plan and answers every question you have. Now, with an extensive understanding of what’s to come, you await the arrival of your clear aligners.

2. Your initial exam is complete!

Now it’s time to receive your aligners and begin treatment. If you chose:

Option A: At-home clear aligners

You receive your clear aligners in the mail. You place a set in your mouth, and they feel slightly off-kilter. You can feel that your bottom teeth are dramatically compressed in the bottom aligner, and your top aligner is fitting loosely. You place them in and begin treatment, but you have a few questions, so you resort to searching Google for answers. You continue referring to Google with questions throughout your treatment. Four months have passed, and you snap a picture of your teeth to compare with a picture of your teeth from the beginning of treatment. You don’t notice a difference, but you assume it’ll take a little longer to see results. So you continue treatment and await the results.

Option B: Clear aligners from the orthodontist

You receive your clear aligners from Dr. King. You place a set in your mouth, and they fit snuggly with just enough pressure exerted on your teeth. Dr. King gives you detailed instructions with your clear aligners, and you ask questions to ease every concern. You leave our office with your new orthodontic treatment and a comfortable, comprehensive understanding of your treatment plan. You visit our office regularly, every couple of months, so Dr. King can monitor your progress and order your next few sets of aligners. You visit Dr. King or call the office as often as you’d like with any questions or concerns. (You’re sure to address the hard hitting questions, like “Can I drink wine with Invisalign”?) Four months into your treatment, you compare a picture of your ‘before’ teeth with a picture of your current progress, and you notice a dramatic difference! You’re ecstatic with your current smile, and you can’t wait for the final results.

3. Your treatment is over!

How do you like your new smile?

Option A: At-home clear aligners

Your smile looks different than it did at the beginning of your treatment. You realize you were misinformed on the amount of hours to wear your aligners each day, so your treatment progressed at a slow pace. Your bottom teeth are crowding each other. Your top teeth don’t fall into perfect alignment with your bottom teeth, and it feels awkward to chew food. You realize that you must’ve taken inaccurate molds of your teeth at the beginning of your treatment. (Remember your shaky hands?) Looking at your results in the mirror, you decide that your at-home orthodontic venture was not worth the money or time. You call Jupiter Orthodontics to schedule your free orthodontic exam, and your treatment period starts back at square one.

Option B: Clear aligners from the orthodontist

You love your new teeth! Your smile reveals perfectly aligned teeth on the top and bottom rows. Your previous condition has vanished, and your top and bottom teeth align comfortably with a healthy bite. Your new smile exceeds your expectations, and you can’t wait to maintain it during the retention phase. You walk out of Jupiter Orthodontics with a confident smile that you can’t stop sharing. Your in-person orthodontic treatment was a success.

The risks in at-home orthodontic care should not be ignored!

In this scenario, at-home orthodontic care resulted in an ineffective treatment that required in-person orthodontic care in the end to reverse damage. (At-home orthodontic care can lead to even greater damage than this scenario!) When you choose in-person orthodontic care with an orthodontist, you’re choosing a path that will save you a considerable amount of time and money.

At Jupiter Orthodontics, we want you to experience a confident smile without damaging your teeth or gums. If you’re seeking an orthodontist in Jupiter, we would love to meet you! Please feel free to reach out to us or schedule your free exam with Dr. King today.  Jupiter Orthodontics is proud to serve the Jupiter, Palm Beach Gardens, and Hobe Sound, FL communities.

5 Ways to Prepare Your Child for Braces

Black woman and child smiling, laughing, Jupiter Orthodontics, braces, 5 ways to prepare your child for braces

1. First things first: Tell your child how exciting braces are!

They’ll quickly realize how exciting braces are, of course, but it doesn’t hurt to raise a little excitement before your child begins treatment. If your child chooses traditional braces, show them all of the rubber band color combinations they can play around with! Show them how they can switch up their style a bit to match their colorful (or not-so-colorful) braces. That’s one of the great things about metal braces; your child gets to choose which colors they want for their smile! If your child prefers an Invisalign treatment, discuss the freedom they have with their aligners and all the activities they can confidently commit to with an invisible treatment.

2. Discuss what your child can expect with braces!

To combat any of your child’s worries or fears about braces, tell them what they can expect before, during and after their treatment. With a clear understanding of what’s to come, your child will not feel surprised or concerned throughout treatment. Mentally prepare your child for the initial soreness and food restriction they may experience with braces. Help your child understand what will happen at his or her initial exam with Dr. King, what will happen when their braces are placed on, and how they can expect to feel once they leave our office with a new set of braces.

3. Give your child a choice in his or her treatment!

One of the most effective ways to get your child on-board with braces (and practically anything else) is by giving them the choice. Help your child understand every treatment option available to them (Invisalign, ceramic braces, traditional braces, lingual braces, Invisalign for Teens) and allow them to have a say in which treatment they begin. (Obviously mom, dad and Dr. King know best when it comes to orthodontic treatment, but it may help your child feel more comfortable if they’re apart of the decision making process.) Listen to your child’s concerns about each treatment, as well as, their desires and preferences, so you can arrive at a decision that excites the whole family!

4. Prepare your child with orthodontic wax and Tylenol!

You are your child have discussed the expectations with braces, so he or she already understands the initial soreness that may occur during the first couple weeks of treatment. Have orthodontic aids, like orthodontic wax and Tylenol®, on hand in case your child experiences friction from the brackets or soreness from the initial placement of braces. Send your child to school with their own pack of orthodontic wax in case a bracket irritates the cheek or a wire pops loose during the school day. Allow your child the recommended doses of Tylenol to keep the soreness at bay. As long as your child has precautionary aids, he or she has greater control over their experience with treatment.

5. Fill the fridge with soft foods for your child!

It’s no secret that your child may have to alter his or her diet for the first couple weeks of treatment. Teeth and gums become sore when braces are first secured in place. Your child may experience some soreness with each wire tightening as well, so it’s important to keep soft foods in the fridge. Allow your child to pick their favorite soft foods (within reason) to eat while their mouth is sore. Suggest meals with pasta, bread, soft veggies, soup, applesauce or soft lunch meats. Once the initial soreness is over, your child is free to eat a wider variety of foods. With traditional braces, your child should continue to avoid hard or sticky foods even after the soreness is gone. With removable Invisalign clear aligners, your child can eat whatever he or she pleases! Your child will remove their aligners each time they eat, so there is no food restriction with Invisalign.

No matter the form of braces you and your child decide on, it’s important to prepare your child before he or she begins treatment.

The most effective way to alleviate concerns and fears is to educate and prepare your child.

Help them understand what they can expect, what they can eat, what they can do to relieve discomfort, and most of all get them excited about their treatment! Show them a visual of how wonderful their teeth will look once their braces are removed. If your child can visualize the beautiful end results, their excitement for braces will grow exponentially!

If you or your child is seeking orthodontics, Jupiter has you covered. It can be tough to find quality adult braces or braces for kids in the area. At Jupiter Orthodontics, we provide the highest quality of orthodontic treatment for our local communities.

Give us a call or schedule your free exam with Dr. King today!

WHY SHOULD I CARE ABOUT MY BITE?

young girl in orthodontist chair, waiting for exam, Jupiter Orthodontics

Many people find themselves saying, “I just want straight teeth. I don’t care if I have an improper bite.” Their motivating desire is to have straighter teeth, not to improve their bite.

While straightening teeth is extremely important, your bite alignment is equally as important!

People who have adapted to an improper bite over time have no reference for a healthy bite. They may think their bite is normal, yet they’re unknowingly experiencing the harmful effects of an improper bite.

Improve Your Quality of Life

Straight teeth are an important component to a healthy bite, as teeth must be excellently aligned for an excellent bite condition. You can’t achieve the bite you need without excellent tooth alignment!

With a proper bite, you will notice:

  • A more proportionate facial balance and attractiveness with balanced jaw positions and lip position
  • An expanded airway, which makes breathing, eating and sleeping significantly easier
  • Healthy teeth and gums protected from damage and diseases

Understanding Bite Relationships

Dental occlusion, which is a person’s bite, refers to the relationship and alignment of the lower and upper teeth when the mouth is closed. Occlusion basically describes how the teeth fit together.

A malocclusion is an incorrect bite relationship or an irregular alignment of teeth giving the characteristic of spacing or crowding. At least 70% of the population has a malocclusion! Although most people experience an improper bite, it’s not “normal”, and it disables you from living your best quality of life.

Malocclusions can contribute to three types of problems:

  • Esthetic/Psychological: Evidence shows that a malocclusion and unhealthy alignment are associated with a negative social status, while a healthy occlusion and alignment are associated with a positive social status.
    • Employment: An esthetically attractive person has a better chance of being perceived as qualified by employers.
    • Self-Esteem: Your dental and orthodontic structures directly affect your appearance. The more attractive your teeth and bite are, the higher your social status is perceived, which causes you to have a greater self-esteem.
  • Functional: Living with a malocclusion increases your potential for developing problems during your daily functions, namely chewing, swallowing and speaking. With an improper bite, you’ll likely experience pain and discomfort around the temporomandibular joints, or the two joints that connect the jaw to the skull. A malocclusion can also damage the periodontal tissues and the teeth over time by deterioration.
  • Injury/Pathology: Protruding upper teeth are at a greater risk of being injured from a trauma. In fact, “the risk of trauma to the upper incisors is as high as ⅓ in children with untreated incisor protrusion” (1). Poor alignment and crowded teeth also complicate hygiene and increase the risk of developing cavities and gum disease.

The Bottom Line

A malocclusion, or improper bite or tooth relationships, can significantly affect your quality of life without you even realizing it. A healthy bite will help you breathe easier, speak easier, sleep easier, focus easier and encourage a positive self-esteem.

Investing in orthodontic treatment to achieve a better bite and a more pleasing smile will pay off for a lifetime, in more ways than one!

If you’re ready to schedule your complimentary consultation with Dr. King, request your appointment here!

If you have any questions regarding bites or how you can achieve your healthiest smile yet, don’t hesitate to contact us or ask us a question.

Sources:
1. Proffit WR, Fields HW, Sarver DM. Contemporary orthodontics. 4th ed. St. Louis, Mo.: Mosby Elsevier; 2007:751.