Crowding of the teeth
Crowding of teeth is most common and most obvious orthodontic issue. Straightening the teeth not only puts the teeth in a healthier, more cleanable position, it creates a beautiful smile full of confidence!
Open bite - Front teeth don't touch
An open bite can be caused by prolonged thumb sucking, tongue posture/tongue thrust, or excessive vertical growth of the jaws. Correcting an open bite achieves a more even bite and allows patients to bite through thin foods such as lettuce.
A deep bite is when the upper and lower front teeth overlap each other excessively. Notice in the before picture that you can't see the lower front teeth at all. In this case, the lower front teeth bite into the upper palatal gum tissue behind the upper front teeth. This can cause gum problems such as severe recession. Excessive tooth wear of the front teeth is also a common consequence of having a deep bite.
Underbite - Lower front teeth in front of upper teeth
An underbite is when the lower front teeth bite forward of the upper front teeth. This can result from either abnormal growth of the upper and lower jaws or incorrect angulation of the front teeth. Underbites are usually best treated early when orthodontists can best modify this type of jaw growth.
Spacing of teeth
Spacing between the teeth can be unesthetic. Spaces are also areas that tend to collect food (food traps) which causes periodontal problems. Closing spaces eliminates food traps and creates a beautiful, confident smile.
Overjet - Protruding front teeth
While the technical term is overjet, most people refer to the upper front teeth biting too far forward of the lower teeth as overbite. An overbite can be the result of either improper jaw alignment and/or improper tooth angulations. Overbites are common and there are several different ways to correct an overbite depending on its severity.
Sometimes simple procedures can be performed to improve crowding even without braces. In this case, there was not enough space for all four of the permanent front teeth (the incisors) to come in. The width of the adjacent baby teeth was reduced and the permanent incisors came in all the way and aligned on their own.
Phase-One Early Interceptive Treatment
Not all issues that are best treated early are as obvious as this case. That is why the American Association of Orthodontists recommends an orthodontic exam around age seven. In this case, the child went from never smiling to a beaming, self-confident nine year old.