Many patients require orthodontic treatment to correct problems with their bite. There are many different kinds of bite problems, and the type of treatment that our team recommends will depend on your unique situation. An overbite occurs when the upper jaw and teeth severely overlap with the lower jaw. When the lower teeth extend further than the upper jaw, this is called an underbite. Patients who have a crossbite have jaws that meet slightly to the left or the right of one another.
Why correct bite misalignment?
An uneven bite can cause many problems that are important to address early, including
- Jaw pain
- Poor oral health (damaged enamel, tooth decay, bad breath, or tooth loss) due to misalignment and difficulty brushing or flossing
- Gum disease
- Speech issues
- Facial pain
- TMJ pain
Advances in orthodontic appliances have made correcting bite problems easier than ever before. The best news is that we can complete treatment without using uncomfortable headgear!
Small adjustments to the bite can often be made using simple elastic bands in combination with braces to guide the jaw into the new alignment. Intraoral appliances are often used to correct more severe bite problems, including the fixed Herbst appliance and the mandibular anterior repositioning appliance (MARA). Your orthodontist will determine the treatment best suited for you at your initial consultation.
The basic concept between the Herbst appliance and MARA is similar. The orthodontist places the appliance on the molars, linking the upper and lower jaws with a metal connector piece. The device then guides the patient to close their mouth. With the appliance in place, the patient cannot close the mouth unless he or she positions the jaw into the new alignment. Both the Herbst appliance and the MARA allow orthodontists to make gradual adjustments in the bite.
Because the Herbst appliance and the MARA are not removable, they ensure consistent use. For some patients, this can even speed up the correction process and often results in better treatment outcomes.
Correcting Bite Problems at HLS Orthodontics
If your child has a bite problem or has trouble closing his or her mouth and chewing foods thoroughly, orthodontic treatment may be able to correct the problem. At HLS Orthodontics, Dr. André Haerian, Dr. Jennifer Ludwig and Dr. Sarah Hansen are experts in a wide variety of bite correction techniques, including the use of Herbst appliances and MARA. If you or your child suffers from an overbite, underbite, or crossbite, we encourage you to contact one of our offices in Sylvania, Maumee, or Lambertville for an appointment.