What Is An Ideal Bite?
When you are checking your child’s teeth for growth issues or malocclusions, something you should have an orthodontist check is how their bite lays. While malocclusions can be a cosmetic problem that causes people to lose confidence and self-esteem, it can also have serious implications on their dental facial growth. Malocclusions like crooked teeth can be difficult to take care of which can lead to tooth loss or decay if left untreated. Keep reading to learn more about how an ideal bite should fit together and how early orthodontic treatment can help.
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 bite, 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. With an ideal bite, 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.
The Foundation of an Ideal Bite
As far as how the ideal 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, but is equally important in your dental facial growth. As orthodontists, 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 nice and uniform together like bricks in a wall.
Canine and Premolar Teeth
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 this is so important 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. The canine and premolar teeth are crucial in creating an ideal bite.
When we look at our family members and then at ourselves in trying to figure out what might orthodontic issues we may have, we can look for certain telltale signs. 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 may also notice crowding of the teeth where either the lower or upper front teeth don’t have enough space to properly grow in a straight and symmetrical pattern. These are just some of the things that you can look for on your younger kids when trying to determine if they have an ideal bite, or if you should have them checked out by an orthodontist for any potential dental facial growth concerns.
Schedule a Free Consultation With Our Buffalo Orthodontists Today!
If you have any questions about how an ideal bite should fit together, please call our WNY orthodontists today for a free consultation. Don’t wait until the problem presents itself, treating children that haven’t quite hit their teen years makes it much easier to avoid more complicated and costly treatment in the future. Certain orthodontic conditions can be treated as early as 7 or 8 years old. Although they may not be able to be totally corrected at that time, early orthodontic treatment can drastically reduce the amount of treatment that a child needs to undergo during their teen years.
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At Orthodontists Associates of Western New York, our reputation as a leader in orthodontic care is based on one thing… Making a Healthy and Beautiful Smile