‘Malocclusion’ (‘literally: “BAD BITE”) is the term that dentists use to describe crooked teeth and jaws that do not function together properly. While crooked teeth can cause an aesthetic concern to our patients, there are serious underlying consequences of having a bad bite
How can you tell if you need to have your crooked teeth corrected? Here are a seven signs that there is a problem with the teeth or jaws:
- Mouth Breathing. Do you or your child tend to breathe through your mouth instead of your nose? It could be because of an open bite or the way the teeth fit together. There could also be problems with the airway which need addressing. Common signs of mouth breathing include an open-mouth posture and chapped lips.
- Prolonged Thumb Sucking. Finger habits and pacifier use past a few years of age can cause lifelong anatomical changes, sleep problems, and teeth that stick out. Children with a thumb-sucking habit can ‘park’ their thumb behind the front teeth, causing them to protrude.
- Retained/Early Loss of Baby Teeth. If primary (baby) teeth are not falling out when expected, there could be problems like impacted adult teeth that need to be guided into place.
- Gaps in Your Smile. These areas can be embarrassing, but they may also trap food and be difficult to clean, contributing to the development of cavities.
- Top Teeth That Overlap Bottom Teeth. When your top front teeth cover more than 1/4 of the lower front teeth, it could cause a “gummy” smile and indicate problems in jaw development.
- Buck Teeth. Teeth that stick out or look crooked are at a heightened risk of accidents and injuries. They also cause problems with closing the lips together at rest.
- Crowding. Misaligned teeth may not meet together properly, leading to soft tissue trauma, an unsightly appearance, and food/plaque being trapped between teeth making them difficult to clean.
When to Schedule a Consultation for Yourself or Your Child
We recommend an orthodontic assessment on children once an issue is noticed, or at least beginning from age 9. Catching problems earlier enables us to address them through interceptive and less-invasive techniques. If you’re an adult, it’s not too late to do something to correct your bite. Contact McIntosh Dental in Auckland today to schedule an orthodontic consultation for just $95