What is the ideal bite?

What is the ideal bite?

Dec 1, 2016

The ideal smile is desired by every person, but few people realise the importance of an ideal bite. You may be surprised to know how many people fail to realize that they have a problem with their bite. It’s not until they develop a problem or are informed by an orthodontist about it, do they understand that their bite is off? So, what really is an ideal bite? An ideal bite may be described as a bite where the teeth of the upper jaw come in contact with those of the lower one at the same time when the mouth is closed. At the same time, the top teeth should only cover half of the lower ones at max.

Common Orthodontic Problems

Many people suffer from common orthodontic problems that can affect the appearance and functionality of their smile.

One of the most common issues is malocclusion, which refers to misalignment of the teeth and jaws. Malocclusion can result in an overbite, underbite, crossbite, or open bite, all of which can cause discomfort and affect your ability to chew and speak properly.

Overcrowding is another, where there is not enough space in the mouth for all the teeth to fit properly. This can lead to crooked or overlapping teeth, making it difficult to clean them thoroughly and increasing the risk of tooth decay and gum disease.

Orthodontic treatment is designed to address these issues and bring your teeth into proper alignment. By applying gentle pressure to the teeth and jaws, orthodontic appliances gradually move them into their correct positions, giving you a straight, healthy smile.

Types of Bites

There are a number of different types of abnormal bites that may be developed due to certain habits in young children or due to other dental manipulations. Here we describe the most common abnormal bites that a person can have.

    • A Deep bite
      It is where the upper incisors cover the lower teeth too much when your mouth is closed.

    • An Open bite
      Is where the upper teeth just do not overlap with lower ones enough.

    • A Cross bite
      Is a type of bite where the teeth cross over one another because the arch isn’t perfect.

    • An Overbite
      Is where the upper teeth stick out in front of the lower ones.

How do we develop poor bites?

There are multiple causes of these abnormal bites. Some can be caused due to damage to the teeth or have been affected by trauma impacting jaw development. It’s common to have misalignments after a dental procedure, but not treating that condition can lead to long-term problems for you. Sometimes, a common treatment like a dental filling or a root canal may shift your tooth into a misaligned position that disturbs your whole bite.

Another reason can be inflammation. The jaw joints are susceptible to being inflamed, and any such process can lead to severe pain and inability to open or close the mouth. Also, some people have bad habits like grinding their teeth which can lead to bite defects.

A bite defect, although initially not of significance, can cause problems in the long run. They can cause discomfort on closing your teeth and can be cosmetically deforming. Also, any abnormal bite that makes a particular tooth touch the lower jaw first, will result in extra sensitivity and pain in that tooth. Besides this, an abnormal bite may cause severe wear of your teeth by constantly grinding against each other. This will make your enamel wear down at a much faster rate than normal to expose your teeth to harmful carious bacteria.

Understanding the Ideal Bite

The ideal bite, also known as occlusion, refers to the way your upper and lower teeth come together when you bite down. In an ideal bite, the upper teeth slightly overlap the lower teeth, with the molars fitting together snugly.

A proper bite ensures that the forces generated during chewing are distributed evenly across the teeth, minimising the risk of excessive wear or damage. It also allows for efficient biting and chewing, ensuring that you can break down food properly before swallowing.

When the bite is misaligned, it can lead to various issues, including difficulty chewing, jaw pain, and increased risk of tooth decay. Orthodontic treatment aims to correct these bite problems by moving the teeth and jaws into their optimal positions.

How Orthodontics Treatment Work

Orthodontic treatment works by applying controlled forces to the teeth and jaws, gradually moving them into their desired positions. The specific treatment plan will depend on the severity of your orthodontic issues and your individual needs.

The most common orthodontic appliances used are braces and aligners. Traditional braces consist of metal brackets that are bonded to the teeth and connected by wires and elastic bands. These components work together to exert pressure on the teeth, guiding them into alignment over time.

Aligners, on the other hand, are a more discreet alternative to braces. They are custom-made, clear plastic trays that fit snugly over the teeth. Each set of aligners is worn for a specific period before being replaced by the next set in the series. Over time, the aligners gradually shift the teeth into their desired positions.

In some cases, orthodontic treatment may also involve the use of additional appliances, such as headgear, palatal expanders, or retainers. These devices help address specific orthodontic issues and ensure optimal results.

Benefits of Orthodontic Treatment

Orthodontic treatment offers numerous benefits beyond just improving the appearance of your smile. One major advantage is improved oral health. When your teeth are properly aligned, it becomes easier to brush and floss effectively, reducing the risk of plaque buildup and gum disease. Additionally, straight teeth are less prone to wear and tear, as they distribute the forces of biting and chewing more evenly.

Orthodontic treatment can also have a positive impact on your overall well-being. When you feel confident about your smile, you are more likely to engage in social interactions and express yourself freely. This can lead to improved self-esteem and a greater sense of happiness and fulfillment.

Furthermore, orthodontic treatment can address functional issues such as difficulty biting or chewing, speech problems, and jaw pain. By correcting the alignment of your teeth and jaws, orthodontics can alleviate these discomforts, improving your quality of life.

Choosing the Right Orthodontist

Choosing the right orthodontist is crucial to the success of your orthodontic treatment. Orthodontic treatment can span several months or even years, so it’s important to find an orthodontist you feel comfortable with and trust.

Check orthodontic practices and read reviews from previous patients. Look for an orthodontist with extensive experience who specialises in the specific treatment option you are considering and has a track record of successful outcomes.

Be careful of dentists offering orthodontic treatment as they are not specialists in orthodontics, and you will not get the result you want.

Perfect Smile and a Perfect Bite

There are several ways that an orthodontist can assess a bad bite and treat it. Once the cause is identified, the orthodontist can improve the cosmetic appearance as well as the function by correcting the problematic tooth or teeth by manipulating your teeth and jaw.

These procedures can help relieve the pain and discomfort during eating, talking or just closing your mouth, in general.  Overall, we do know the importance of having the perfect smile, it’s time we get that perfect bite too!