One of our favorite topics to cover in our Friday focus is orthodontic treatment for children. This week we’re going to be answering the question “What is an open bite?”.
An open bite is a dental disorder in which the front teeth, upper and lower, are pushed outwards to a degree that the teeth don’t touch each other, even if the mouth is closed.
An open bite not only has an effect on a person’s smile, it can also make it difficult to speak clearly, often leading to a speech impediment. An open bite can also result in a child not being able to tear food correctly because the top teeth alignment being too narrow. All of these problems can be addressed with orthodontic treatment.
What Causes an Open Bite?
Open bites can develop because the top teeth are too narrow, causing the tongue not to have enough room to function correctly. Orthodontics can help widen the area, making a sufficient amount of room for the tongue.
Typically, three factors play a role in open bite and other alignment issues. In some cases, the problem can be caused by an issue with the jawbone. Another situation that can cause children to develop an open bite is if they have a mixture of permanent and baby teeth. Fortunately, this problem usually corrects itself.
A personal habit referred to as tongue thrusting often results in an open bite as well. Tongue thrusting is when a child has the habit of pushing their tongue through the teeth while speaking or swallowing and it’s fairly common during the early childhood stages. The good news is that most kids outgrow it. Other things that increase the chances of a child developing an open bite include improper pacifier or bottle use and thumb sucking during their infant/toddler years.
If you’d like to find out more about what orthodontic treatments would be best for treating your child’s open bite problem, give us a call today for a complimentary consultation.
Ousama El-Hillal, referred to as Dr. O by patients, staff and friends is an Orthodontist at E&S Orthodontics. He founded E&S Orthodontics with Dr. Saavedra in 2004. He is driven to create Wide Beautiful Smiles Without Extractions.