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.