How Bites Should Fit Together
When you are checking your child’s teeth for any issues, something you should tell an orthodontist about is how their bite lays. Here is what you should know about how bites should fit together.
One of the first things I do with new patients is describe exactly how a bite should fit together. That allows me to compare their situation to the ideal, which is always our goal and objective for every patient. What I do is show the patient how I want to see a bite fitting together. That allows people to assess themselves and their family members to get an idea of what might be wrong with their bite. Ideally, I want to see the upper jaw accept the lower jaw like a doorframe accepts a door. All of the upper teeth should bite on the outside of the lower teeth. When biting all the way down, we should see the full length of the lower front teeth. You shouldn’t bite too deep over those lower front teeth or have an opening in the front.
How Bites Should Fit Together | Foundation
As far as how the bite should fit together on the sides, this is the foundation of our bite. Just like the foundation of a house, this side fit is the most important part of the bite. It’s the part nobody sees in the mirror when they smile. We want to see the front cusp of the upper molar fit into the groove of the lower molar. That way, all the teeth should fit like bricks in a wall.
How Bites Should Fit Together | Canine and Premolar
The most important relationship in the mouth is the fit of the upper canine tooth between the lower canine and the lower first premolar. The reason is that, when you shift your jaw from side to side as you chew your food – or when you’re clenching or grinding at night, as about 90% of people do – you’re gliding off of those teeth and helping to protect your jaw joint. So, not only are the fit and look of the teeth important from an esthetic point of view, they’re also important from a functional point of view.
How Bites Should Fit Together | Overjet
When we look at our family members and then at ourselves in trying to figure out what might be going on, we can look for certain issues. Bites where the upper jaw is biting on the inside of the lower jaw are called posterior crossbites. We can also look for something called an overjet, in which the upper jaw overlaps the lower jaw, and leaves a gap, or an underbite which is a bite that’s off in the opposite direction. We might notice crowding where either the lower or upper front teeth don’t have enough space to be straight. Those are the things that you can look for on your younger kids.
If you have any questions about how bites should fit together, please call our WNY orthodontists today to get a free consultation.