What causes an open bite?
An open bite occurs when the upper and lower front teeth do not touch when biting down. This open space between the upper and lower front teeth causes all the chewing pressure to be placed on the back teeth. This excessive biting pressure and rubbing together of the back teeth makes chewing less efficient and may contribute to significant tooth wear and jaw joint problems.
Open Bite and Oral Development
An open bite can be caused by a genetic skeletal problem but is more commonly caused by sucking habits during the early development of the teeth and jaw. Children who suck their thumb or participate in tongue thrusting for a prolonged period of time may develop an open bite. Children who suck their fingers should be encouraged to stop while their smile is still forming. Ceasing the sucking habit early can allow the jaw to continue growing and may reduce the need for extensive orthodontic treatment and prevent speech delays.
When the underlying cause of an open bite is tongue thrusting, children may require an orthodontic device to keep the tongue in proper alignment between the teeth. Dr. Hendrix will recommend the most appropriate option for your child’s needs.
Hendrix Orthodontics provides comprehensive treatment for a full range of orthodontic concerns affecting children and adult patients. Dr. Hendrix works one-on-one with his patients to build tailored treatment plans that address underlying functional issues in order to support a stable, comfortable and healthy bite.