Correcting an Open Bite

Have you recently noticed differences in the way your teeth fit together? Have you developed a speech impediment? If it seems like unusual changes are taking place with the positioning of your teeth, this could mean you’re developing an open bite. Fortunately, your dentist in Columbia, SC, has solutions.

What Is an Open Bite?

When your upper and lower teeth no longer fit snugly together, your dentist may diagnose an open bite. While this may not sound too serious, it can be quite inconvenient. Depending upon where the teeth no longer meet, biting and chewing your favorite foods may become a chore. You may no longer be able to easily eat a sandwich or enjoy a juicy steak without effort. This type of malocclusion may also affect your speech, because you’re no longer able to pronounce certain words clearly.

What Causes an Open Bite?

Several conditions may cause you to develop an open bite. These include empty spaces left behind by lost or extracted teeth and dental trauma. In young children, thumb sucking or tongue thrusting may lead to open bite. A temporomandibular joint disorder may cause this condition, too, and so may genetics.

What Are the Treatment Options for Open Bite?

Your dentist has several solutions for treating an open bite, and they’re happy to sit down with you to discuss your options. These may include placing braces or clear aligners on your teeth to move them back into the correct position or surgery to reposition your jaw. Sometimes, behavior modifications classes are helpful, too, if your open bite stems from a bad habit such as thrusting your tongue against your teeth.

Help for Open Bite in Columbia, SC

If you need more information on the diagnosis and treatment of open bite or other malocclusions in Columbia, SC, we invite you to contact Tompkins Orthodontics today. Our experienced and professional dental team routinely treats problems such as open bite. We’re happy to sit down with you to discuss the most effective ways to improve your smile and to straighten and realign your teeth. Contact us today for more information and to schedule an initial consultation and diagnostic tests.

3 Beautiful Solutions for Crowded Teeth

If you’re struggling with teeth that are too crowded, it can impact the way you look and the way you feel about your smile. There are several factors that may contribute to overly crowded teeth, including the eruption of wisdom teeth or the eruption of permanent teeth that are larger than normal. Fortunately, crowded teeth are a common malady, and good solutions are available. Your dentist in Columbia, SC, can give you more information on how to fix crowded teeth, including three common treatments designed to dazzle.

1. Clear Aligners

Clear aligners include a series of plastic trays that are customized specifically to fit your teeth. Each tray moves teeth more into alignment, until they’re evenly spaced and no longer appear crowded. Clear aligners, such as Invisalign®, are popular because they’re nearly invisible, unlike traditional metal braces. More adults feel comfortable wearing clear aligners for this reason.

2. Lingual Braces

Lingual braces work much like traditional metal braces, except the brackets and wires are attached to the back of your teeth instead of to the front. This makes them more discreet and less likely to show when you smile. Lingual braces are nearly invisible to anyone looking, yet they’re great solutions for straightening overcrowded teeth.

3. Cosmetic Recontouring

Cosmetic recontouring is also known as tooth reshaping, and it works exactly like it sounds. Your dental professional removes a bit of the enamel of your tooth to change its shape and size. Recontouring may be a solution if your teeth are only mildly overcrowded. By making one or more of the teeth smaller, the surrounding teeth have more room to spread out. This, in turn, straightens your teeth and improves the appearance of your smile.

Teeth-Straightening in Columbia, SC

If you’re worried overcrowded teeth are affecting the quality of your smile, Tompkins Orthodontics, with two locations in Columbia, is ready to help. Call today to speak with one of our friendly representatives. We’re always ready to schedule a convenient time for you to come in for an initial consultation. And we’re happy to discuss overcrowded teeth and the many beautiful solutions we offer.