In dentistry with the denomination of open bite we mean a lack of contact between the teeth, which does nit allow the correct closing of the mouth. It can be linked to a particular skeletal conformation or to bad habits acquired from early childhood. When it occurs, it must be absolutely corrected as soon as possible with an orthodontic approach. This is precisely the type of therapeutic path that we usually undertake at Mercuri Orthodontie to solve this problem.
So let's try to better explain what an open bite is, the causes, consequences and how we correct it.
What is the open bite and what are the causes
The open bite is a fairly widespread malocclusion, in which some teeth of the upper arch and those of the lower arch do not touch. An unnatural space therefore remains, which causes various disturbances. Hence, an altered development of the oral cavity occurs.
Based on the part of the mouth affected there are 3 types of open bite:
- Anterior open bite: affects the incisors that do not overlap as they should naturally.
- Posterior open bite: the front teeth are positioned correctly and the back teeth are contactless.
- Lateral open bite: the lack of closure affects the teeth on the right or left side.
There are several causes of this type of malocclusion. There may be some wrong habits acquired during childhood. Anterior open bite typically occurs in children who have overused the pacifier or finger in their mouth. In fact, this vice can prevent the teeth from growing in the normal position. However, if you do not intervene in a timely manner, this defect can stabilize, becoming more difficult to correct. In the most serious situations, surgery can also be performed.
The factors underlying the open bite may be the basis of a particular skeletal conformation, linked to heredity. Even in this case it is however essential to correct this anomaly, by contacting the specialist.
The anterior open bite also has a significant aesthetic impact on the person, as the teeth are protruding and the lips cannot close properly. In addition to the appearance linked to the beauty of the face and smile in general, the various types of open bite also have other important consequences on a functional level. In fact, you may have problems with swallowing; chewing; phonation and language problems; postural disorders etc.
How we correct the open bite
It is essential to intervene as soon as possible to correct the problem of the open bite. The best solution to solve this anomaly is orthodontics. Usually on the basis of the problem present in the patient we study a specific solution.
Precisely because each therapy is personalized, we will establish the duration and type of device to be used from time to time. Regarding the timing, the age factor is decisive. In the case of a developing patient, it is easier to correct the open bite problem than in an adult. Usually orthodontic therapies lead to an optimal resolution of the problem in progress, especially if we intervene on children.
Generally with young patients we do not immediately use the fixed appliance, but we proceed with interceptive orthodontics first. The classic fixed device will be bonded at a later stage.
Among the appliances used there are also clear aligners, which are particularly appreciated by adults because they have less impact on aesthetics. In fact, it is necessary to approach and observe carefully to become aware of its presence.
If the open bite is due to incorrect behaviors present in childhood, prevention is possible. For this reason, we advise parents to ensure that their children abandon the habit of using a pacifier for no more than 3 years. The sucking of the pacifier can in fact also cause the problem of the narrow palate, which determines an incorrect swallowing.
Another way to prevent it is to have the children undergo the first orthodontic visit in order to quickly identify the presence of malocclusions. Usually it would be preferable to make this visit even at the age of 2/3 but in any case no later than 7 years. Thanks to careful observation of the patient's mouth, we will be able to establish whether there is more or less an open bite or other kinds of ailments.
We therefore advise not to neglect the care of children's teeth as they lead the way to permanent ones, and are the basis of their well-being and health.