Orthodontics

2024 Trends in Orthodontics: Addressing Malocclusion and Crooked Teeth

Malocclusion Problems

Dealing with malocclusion problems or crooked teeth? Wondering which treatment is the best? Let’s see what Dr. Mir’s opinion is.

We received many questions through social media and our website asking about the best course of treatment for malocclusion. Therefore, we decided to share these questions with Dr. Mir and ask for his answers.

What’s Malocclusion and Is the Same as Crooked Teeth?

In short, malocclusion problems are a dental condition where the teeth don’t align properly when the jaws are closed. Crooked teeth can be a symptom of malocclusion, but not all malocclusion cases necessarily involve crooked teeth.

While the main cause of malocclusion is hereditary, it can affect people of all ages, from children to adults.

In cases of heredity, malocclusion typically occurs when there is a difference in size between the upper and lower jaw, or between the jaw and teeth.

Malocclusion is also known as a “bad bite,” and it can occur due to various reasons:

  1. Crowded Teeth: Teeth can become overcrowded or overlap if they are large compared to the size of your mouth, leading to malocclusion.
  2. Crooked Teeth: Crooked or rotated teeth can also cause malocclusion.
  3. Jaw Misalignment: Sometimes, malocclusion occurs due to a lack of alignment between your upper and lower jaw.

 

The symptoms of malocclusion:

  • Noticeable overbite, where the upper front teeth extend too far forward.
  • Underbites, where the lower front teeth are placed too far ahead of the upper front teeth.

Do malocclusion problems need treatment?

Malocclusion is usually a cosmetic issue, but severe cases require orthodontic treatment or even surgery. If untreated, it can impact your ability to speak and chew properly, and it can even affect your mental health.

We continue our discussion with Dr. Mir with the following questions:

  • What are the main treatment options for malocclusion?
  • Is it common to have malocclusion?
  • How can we prevent malocclusion?

Before answering these questions, let’s delve into the main causes of malocclusion.

The Main Causes of

  1. Genetics: Overall, the shape and size of your jawbone is heredity. It means if one or both parents have this issue, you probably experience it as well.
  2. Early Childhood Habits: Certain habits during childhood, like thumb sucking or prolonged pacifier use, can affect the development of the jaws and teeth. This may lead to teeth crooked or malocclusion.
  3. Tooth Loss: Losing teeth prematurely due to an accident, decay, or other dental issues can disrupt the alignment of the remaining teeth.
  4. Jaw Development: The other main reason for malocclusion is irregular growth patterns of the jawbones during childhood and adolescence. It means if the upper and lower jaw don’t grow at the same rate, it can ultimately lead to malocclusion.
  5. Dental Conditions: Certain dental conditions, such as cleft lip and palate, as well as mouth tumors can interfere normal alignment of the teeth and jaw.
  6. Poor Oral Habits: Poor oral hygiene practices can have a big role in the development of crooked teeth and malocclusion.

Now, it’s time to back to our questions:

What are the Main Treatment Options for Malocclusion Problems?

Our solutions for malocclusion at York Orthodontics include:

Braces

Braces are one of the effective solutions for various types of malocclusion problems, including overbites, underbites, crossbites, and spacing issues. Braces bond to the teeth and effectively shift them into the proper position.

traditional metal braces for treatment misalignmnets issues

Clear Aligners

Clear aligners, such as Invisalign, are another solution for teeth straightening. They’re custom-made plastic trays that fit over the teeth and gradually move them into alignment. When it comes to effectiveness, clear aligners can be a good approach only for mild to moderate dental issues.

Invisalign

Retainers

After completion of your orthodontic journey, you need to use retainers to maintain teeth straightness. Neglecting to wear them can cause teeth to shift back into their original position.

Surgical Intervention

However, it is important to note that at York Orthodontics, we do not typically perform orthodontic surgery. We may only advise our patients to undergo the surgery when their case is particularly severe.

Is It Common to Have Malocclusion?

Yes, malocclusion is a common issue, and its severity varies. It can be caused by a variety of factors, such as thumb sucking, dental injuries, premature loss of baby teeth, genetics, and so on.

The common treatment is to use braces or aligners, and, for severe cases, orthodontic surgery may be advised.

How Can We Prevent Malocclusion?

  • Encourage children not to suck their thumbs.
  • Limit the use of pacifiers and bottles in young children.
  • Wear a mouthguard when playing sports.
  • Use a night guard in the case of teeth-grinding.
  • Stop bad oral habits, such as tongue thrusting or mouth breathing.
  • Replace missing teeth with dental implants or dental bridges.
  • Address conditions that cause jaw anomalies.
  • Visit dental professionals for regular check-ups.

Thanks Dr. Mir, what is your last suggestion or advice in this issue?

As mentioned earlier, malocclusion is primarily a cosmetic issue in most cases. However, in severe cases, it requires proper treatment, as leaving it untreated can lead to various complications. If you feel that malocclusion is affecting your self-esteem, orthodontic treatment may be necessary.

At York Orthodontics, we believe that everyone, regardless of income level, deserves access to quality orthodontic services. To make your orthodontic journey more affordable, we offer a range of flexible payment options.

If you or a loved one is in need of orthodontic treatment, please feel free to contact us and schedule your FREE appointment.