With the help of an orthodontist, even the most troubling orthodontic conditions do not have to permanently ruin your smile. One of the most common conditions that these professionals treat is an underbite. If you have one, you may feel embarrassed about smiling. You may even have pain and discomfort. But you do not have to worry because with your orthodontist’s help, you can correct this concern.
An underbite: What it is and does
An orthodontist will address many challenges that patients have. Underbites are among the most frequent complaints that people bring to orthodontic offices. This condition occurs when a person’s lower teeth extend farther than the upper teeth. Some underbites are minor and barely noticeable. Others, though, make the jaw protrude outwardly so much that it can make the person feel self-conscious.
There are a few ways in which an underbite can happen. Genetics can be a factor; the size and shape of a person’s face can be an inherited trait. Injuries can also cause an underbite. More commonly, habits in childhood such as thumb-sucking and using a binky can cause a person to have an underbite.
Metal braces are often the first treatment that an orthodontist will consider to fix underbites. The brackets and wires will put pressure on the teeth to move them to the correct places. Braces will also realign the jaw correctly, pulling the lower jaw inwardly. The patient will have adjustments every few weeks. As an alternative, the patient may prefer ceramic braces. These do not stand out as much, as the brackets are the same color as the teeth.
This apparatus can correct misalignments such as underbites. The orthodontist may recommend this treatment in more severe cases. The facemask rests on the forehead and chin, with elastics attaching to the upper jaw and the apparatus. The patient should wear the device for 15 to 16 hours a day. Orthodontists usually use this treatment for young patients, though teenagers can benefit too.
Similar to facemask therapy is the use of elastics. This treatment will realign the jaw by pulling it forward. The orthodontist anchors plates to the skull and attaches the elastics to them. The patient puts on the elastics inside the mouth. The elastics then pull the upper jaw forward to correct the underbite.
In the most serious cases, surgery may be necessary. This process moves the jaw so that the upper and low portions line up correctly. The orthodontist would work with a surgeon to perform this procedure. This option is not meant for younger patients but should be for adolescents and adults.
Your orthodontist can fix your underbite
If you do not like the way your underbite affects your smile, help is available. You do not have to feel embarrassed or have pain and discomfort. With braces, elastics, a facemask, or surgery, you can enjoy properly aligned teeth. Make an appointment with the orthodontics office today so that you can get on the road to feeling and looking good.
Request an appointment or call Richard R. Gallagher DDS MSD MSE PhD Inc. at 408-500-0810 for an appointment in our Gilroy office.
An orthodontist can help to tackle any orthodontic issues your child develops as their teeth erupt. The American Association of Orthodontists advises parents to take their children for their first bite evaluation by the time they reach seven. At this stage, their teeth and jaw should be developed enough to spot orthodontic issues.Detecting and treating…
An orthodontist typically recommends parents start to encourage their children to not suck their thumb at a young age to avoid potential alignment concerns with their teeth or concerns such as “buck teeth". This guide offers insights into why thumb-sucking after a certain age is discouraged by orthodontists.The following is an informative guide on the…
The orthodontist plays an important role in the teeth straightening process for patients. Their part consists of ensuring successful treatment, making necessary adjustments to the treatment plan, checking and detecting signs of oral health concerns, and helping with teeth straightening aftercare.Teeth straightening is not as simple a process as it may seem. Without the help…