Importance of Straight Teeth

When tooth and jaw structure do not fit together properly, orthodontic treatment may be necessary. The most common problems are often referred to as malocclusions (or bad bites) and if left untreated can lead to pain, gum disease, premature wear of the teeth and speech difficulties. Children who do not receive corrective jaw therapy can be plagued by unsightly jaw misalignments that may require surgery later to correct.

Crooked and crowded teeth are hard to clean and maintain—resulting in tooth decay, loss and/or gum disease. Improper alignment also causes abnormal wear of tooth surfaces, inefficient chewing function, stress on gum tissue and the bone that supports the teeth or misalignment of the jaw joints—leading to chronic headaches and face or neck pain. In addition to general health and well being, straight teeth have a positive impact on your self image. And, how you feel about yourself and your appearance affects how other people feel about you.

The following are several examples of “bad bites” that can be corrected with orthodontic treatment.


This is caused by missing teeth, or a cosmetic issue. This generally occurs when the teeth are smaller than normal and/or the jaw(s) are bigger than normal. Spacing can also be caused by protrusive teeth, missing or impacted teeth, or abnormal tissue attachments to the gums. If teeth are missing or small, or the dental arch is very wide, space between the teeth can occur between teeth. The most common complaint from those that have excessive spacing is poor esthetic appearance.


The upper teeth actually extend too far forward or the lower teeth do not extend forward enough. This is one of the most common orthodontic problems. Commonly called buck teeth.


Crowding is the lack of space for all the teeth to fit normally within the jaws. Here, the upper teeth sit inside the lower teeth, which may cause excessive tooth stratification and misaligned jaw growth. The teeth may be rotated or displaced. Crowding occurs when there is disharmony in the tooth- to-jaw size relationship or when the teeth are larger than the available space. Crowding can be caused by early or late loss of primary teeth, improper eruption of teeth, or a genetic imbalance between jaw and tooth size.

Cross bite

This occurs when teeth have insufficient room to grow from the gum. Crowding can often be corrected by expansion. Crossbite is a misalignment can be between the front teeth or back teeth or both. A crossbite is often present in childhood and doesn’t correct itself as the patient ages. In a normal bite, the upper teeth sit a little outside the lower teeth at the front and back and on both sides of the mouth.


An overbite is a condition that occurs when your child’s upper front teeth extend out over the lower front teeth. Sometimes, this may cause the lower front teeth to bite into the roof of the mouth.

Under bite

The lower jaw extends out, causing the lower front teeth to sit in front of the upper front teeth. Several methods exist for correcting an underbite, from jaw surgery to a range of orthodontic appliances. If steps are taken while the patient is young, the right orthodontic appliance often resolves this problem. This demonstrates the importance of early orthodontic screening in children, which should be explored by the age of seven.

Open bite

The upper and lower front teeth do not overlap and may not come into contact, even when the mouth is closed.  This type of problem is typically caused by any action of the patient. The teeth become misaligned due to thumb-sucking or tongue-thrusting, especially when the patient is young and the jaw is still developing,.