Many patients turn to Invisalign treatment to help straighten their smiles. But did you know that Invisalign has emerged in the industry as a breakthrough technology that can also remedy different bite issues? When you think of Invisalign, it is often associated with correcting misaligned or crooked teeth. But Invisalign clear braces can also help fix overbites, underbites, crossbites, and open bites.
An overbite is a form of malocclusion, or bad bite, in which the upper teeth extend vertically over the lower teeth when the mouth is closed. The upper teeth should overlap the lower teeth by a small margin when the mouth is closed. An overbite is a common orthodontic issue and should be evaluated and treated to prevent any form of pain and excessive wear on the teeth. Jaw misalignment can contribute to other misalignment issues, including overcrowded teeth. Overcrowded or crooked teeth are more difficult to brush and floss and can potentially lead to future dental concerns, including tooth decay, cavities, and gum disease.
An advantage of Invisalign treatment to correct an overbite is that the aligners can straighten the teeth and realign the jaw simultaneously. Invisalign clear braces can shift protruding teeth back, and attachments can be used, such as Invisalign rubber bands, to guide and move the teeth to their desired position.
An underbite is when the bottom teeth sit in front of the top teeth when the mouth is closed. Typically, this occurs when the lower jaw grows at a faster speed than the upper jaw. A young patient with an underbite should see an orthodontist at an early age for an evaluation. It is easier to treat jaw-related issues while the jaws are still developing.
If an underbite is not severe, Invisalign clear braces and elastic attachments can help shift the smile and bite. However, if a patient has a more severe underbite, it may need to be corrected with traditional orthodontics, such as metal braces.
A crossbite is another form of malocclusion where the upper teeth fit inside of the lower teeth. According to the Canadian Association of Orthodontics, this can occur from genetics, delayed loss of baby teeth or abnormal eruption of permanent teeth, or even prolonged actions such as thumb sucking. Crossbites could potentially lead to excessive wear on the teeth and chipping, and its also possible to cause the gums to recede away from the teeth.
Similar to other bite issues, crossbites are best addressed at a young age while the jaws and face are still developing. But for adult or teen patients looking to correct their bite, Invisalign clear braces can help gradually move the improperly positioned teeth to the optimal position.
When the top and bottom teeth do not touch when the mouth is closed, it is called an open bite. An open bite can be caused by genetics or developed during childhood or adult years because of poor oral health routines.
Besides a gap between the upper and lower front teeth, symptoms of an open bite can include difficulty closing the mouth, challenges with chewing, improper tooth alignment, distortion of the chin and jawline, speech issues, TMJ problems, and gum and bone loss. Traditional metal braces were most commonly used to correct an open bite, but Invisalign clear braces are now considered a less invasive and popular treatment option.
Depending on the scope of the bite, it is important to discuss potential treatment options with a trained orthodontic specialist who is well-educated on methods that would be best suited for your specific needs.