You know you want a gorgeous smile and perfect teeth, but what do perfect teeth really look like? Maybe you’ve been sent to an orthodontist because your dentist said your bite is off. But what does that mean? What constitutes an abnormal bite and what should a perfect one look like?
We’ve put together a guide to common bite problems, what the perfect bite looks like, and some great treatment options that can help you get the perfect teeth and smile you want.
An orthodontist like Dr. Laster does seven years post college education on not only the mechanics of a perfect bite but also the esthetics of a perfect smile.
How should the teeth fit not only with each other but also the patients facial structure?
Another very important aspect of a perfect smile is what the patient desires their smile to look like.
At Laster Orthodontics every treatment starts with a discussion of what we are trying to achieve. Whether you want to align crowded teeth or just have your smile look better in photographs; Dr. Laster can partner with you to achieve your goals.
Patients Referred to the Orthodontist Because Their Bite is Off
Have you been told that your bite is off? Maybe you’ve been sent to the orthodontist because your bite is abnormal. So what types of bite problems exist and keep you from having perfect teeth? Here are a few of the most common:
One of the most common types of bite issues in both adults and children is known as an overbite. This occurs when the top teeth are in front of and overlapping your bottom teeth. In many cases, the size and shape of the teeth or jaw can cause the overbite. If you have too much or too little space between your teeth, it may result in significant problems and even result in crowded teeth. If the overbite is severe, it may even result in irreparable damage to your teeth, such as tooth decay, gum disease, sleep apnea, headaches, problems chewing, jaw pain, worn enamel, difficulty speaking, or issues closing and/or opening your mouth.
Underbites occur when bottom teeth are in front of the top teeth and overlap them – the opposite of an overbite. While an underbite isn’t nearly as common as an overbite, it can range in severity and cause a variety of dental problems. Usually, underbites are caused by genetics, so there’s usually no way to prevent them from occurring.
Crossbites occur when top teeth – either the back or the front – fit inside of the bottom teeth. This may be caused by a jaw misalignment or it may just be a misalignment of the teeth. An anterior crossbite is when the front top teeth are behind the bottom front teeth. With posterior crossbite, it’s back top teeth that are inside of the back bottom teeth. Crossbite may only affect a single tooth, or whole groups of teeth could be affected. Some of the potential problems with crossbite if it’s not corrected include the jaw shifting to one side, wearing down of tooth enamel, or even lopsided growth of the jaw.
Perfect Teeth Have the Perfect Bite
Everyone’s teeth are different, and there’s no ‘normal’. However, there are some key features that dentists or orthodontists look at when evaluating your teeth. Here’s a look at what perfect teeth with a perfect bite should look like from multiple angles.
When you look at teeth from the front – think of looking at yourself in the mirror – a perfect bite will feature upper front teeth that are lined up parallel to your lower lip when you smile. When you close your bite, about half to two-thirds of the length of your bottom teeth should be easily visible. Overlapping too much would mean you have an overbite. Your upper arch of teeth should be a bit wider than your lower arch, and your upper teeth should all be sitting just outside of your lower teeth when you bite down.
View from Above
Also known as the arch view, this is what you see when you open your mouth wide and low up at the bottoms of the upper teeth or down at the tops of the lower teeth. When you look at teeth with this view, they should be even and aligned with a nice curve. For the perfect teeth, all teeth should touch without any space or overlapping between them.
When you look at your teeth from the side, the backs of the top front teeth need to be resting gently in front of your bottom teeth. If the edges of the top teeth are biting down directly down or behind the edges of the bottom incisors, this is an abnormal bite known as an underbite. Upper teeth should not stick out too far in front of the bottom incisors, and if they do, this is called excess overjet. When looking from the side, all of your upper teeth should fib between the lower teeth, much like gears fit together in a wheel.
Creating the Perfect Teeth
Even if you don’t have the perfect bite now, multiple treatment options exist to help you get the straight, perfect smile that you want. Here’s a look at some of the common treatments for straighter teeth. Achieving your perfect smile means designing a system that will produce the goals that we discuss for your particular situation. Dr. Laster has been in private practice for 16 years and has the expertise to come up with a great solution for any situation no matter how complex or simple. Dr. Laster is also the areas leading expert on clear aligner treatment and the only orthodontist that has designed his own (patent pending) clear aligner system. LPS clear aligners have shown better results than any other clear aligner in preliminary tests.
Aligners have become a popular treatment for patients with crooked teeth and bite problems because they’re so much easier to use and adapt to for most patients. They’re clear, so no one knows you’re wearing them, and they can be taken out for short periods.
- Laster Perfect Smile – A new option in clear aligners is our own Laster Perfect Smile, a clear aligner system that was developed by Dr. Laster. It uses highly advanced plastics and extremely precise software to get a faster, more precise change to your smile than offered by other aligner systems. Originally created to provide patients with a more affordable aligner solution, they’ve now been developed to the point that they are producing more perfect smiles than any other aligner product. We have basically worked to make everything about the clear aligner experience more customized and overall better than big aligner companies can provide.
- Mail order aligners under no circumstances do we recommend the use of mail order aligners (like Smile Direct Club). We have seen many instances where these have caused detrimental effects to the patients oral health. Aligner treatment is ideally supervised by an orthodontist or in simple cases a dentist may supervise. These are cheap, poorly made, and for many reasons a very bad idea.
Braces, often thought of as the more traditional treatment for a perfect bite and straight teeth, are also available, including these options:
- Braces for Adults – Since many adults deal with bone loss and some tooth loss by the time they come in for braces, it’s essential to have a thorough evaluation before moving forward. However, braces for adults have the potential to be very successful. At Laster Orthodontics many of our adult patients opt for traditional braces with clear brackets. This gives us the precision of braces with a more esthetic look.
- Braces for Children – Braces are also an orthodontic treatment option for children, and early treatment is essential for excellent results, particularly in children who have limited space for their adult teeth to grow in or irregular dental arches. Early orthodontic treatment and single-phase orthodontic treatment options are both available. Many of our pre-teen and adolescent patients at Laster Orthodontics opt for traditional braces and enjoy changing the colors of their rings each month.
- Two Phase – Two-phase orthodontic treatment involves doing some interceptive orthodontic treatment when the patient is in the 7-11 age range, typically. The interceptive treatment is typically needed for more complex bite problems or significant crowding of the teeth. By doing some early work it make their problems less complex and sometimes can create enough space the extractions aren’t needed. An evaluation at age 8 or 9 is a great idea for any patient to see if doing an early phase of treatment would be beneficial. For many patients this early phase isn’t necessary and all the work can be done during adolescence, but for others doing an early phase makes a huge difference in creating a perfect smile.
Schedule a Free Consultation
Everyone individual’s needs are unique when it comes to achieving the perfect teeth and bite. To find out what types of bite problems you may be facing and the best treatment options for your needs, schedule your free consultation with Laster Orthodontics today.
At Laster Orthodontics, we help families develop healthy, life-changing smiles using customized treatments, cutting-edge technologies, and caring relationships. Our individualized treatment plans help our patients achieve their perfect smile in the quickest, most painless way possible by utilizing a wide range of options from traditional braces to propel accelerated treatment to Dr. Laster's in-house aligner program, Laster Perfect Smile. With three locations throughout the Triangle Area, we create life-changing smiles every day.