Have you heard of the term “malocclusion,” but you aren’t sure what it is? Perhaps your dentist has diagnosed you or your child with this problem, and you want to learn more about it. To help you out, we’ve outlined what malocclusion is, and what you can do to treat it.
Malocclusion basically means your teeth aren’t aligned properly because of a problem with your bite, which is how the lower and upper teeth fit together when you close your mouth. Even though most people won’t have a bite that’s absolutely perfect, a normal bite will allow the upper front teeth to rest a little beyond the lower chompers, and the top molars will fit into the grooves of the lower molars.
What’s the big deal if the teeth don’t line up right? Well, when your bite isn’t aligned correctly, your pearly whites can be affected, causing them to protrude or grow in crooked. In that case, you might not be satisfied with the way your smile looks. Beyond that, however, malocclusion might also result in tooth damage and tooth loss. And in severe cases, this type of misalignment might even make it hard to speak or chew. Now that’s serious!
When malocclusion is minor, treatment to correct it might not be necessary. That’s good news!
In cases when treatment is necessary, orthodontics, such as braces or Invisalign, may be recommended for both kids and adults. Before using braces or aligners, some teeth might need to be extracted, particularly when there’s a problem with overcrowded chompers.
Children with malocclusion might also benefit from something known as growth modification. This involves using a device to make the jaw move into the correct position prior to using braces that will shift the teeth and help fix the bite.
In severe cases, surgery might be needed to correct problems with the jaw. For example, a surgery might be used to make the jaw shorter or longer.
Malocclusion can affect the look of your smile, so it can take a toll on your confidence. Thankfully, there are treatment options available that will help realign your jaw and teeth, so you don’t have to live with this condition.
Worried about affording the treatments to fix malocclusion if you or one of your children has been diagnosed with it? Don’t worry, there’s a simple solution! Signing up for a dental plan that covers orthodontics can help you save a lot of money, and allow you to get the high-quality care that you deserve.
Whether or not you’re experiencing any symptoms of malocclusion, your dentist can determine if you have it by examining your mouth. This is yet another reason why it’s so important to take your kids to the dentist, and why you should continue seeing the dentist regularly as an adult too. Once again, having the right dental insurance can help you get the care you need, and the lovely smile you desire, without breaking the bank.