A lot of people think the only issue to fix with orthodontic treatment is the straightness of their teeth. However, this is only one component. Even people who have straight teeth might still need orthodontic treatment. Along with crowding and spacing, orthodontic treatment like braces and Invisalign are also necessary to help correct bite issues. It is important to ensure the top and bottom jaws line up correctly. There are different types of bite issues which include an overbite, underbite, open bite, and crossbite.

An overbite is when the top teeth overlap the bottom teeth causing malocclusion. This is called a Class II bite. It is not just a cosmetic issue but can lead to medical problems in adulthood. Overbites are very common and are present in 70% of children, according to the American Dental Association. Overbites can be hereditary or caused by jawbones that are misaligned, or jawbones that do not develop or grow evenly. Overbites are best corrected earlier in life. It is easier to correct while a child is still growing to correct jaw growth and position (around age 11-13 years old).

Overbite and Class II bite of the teeth
Overbite VCO Orthodontics Arlington, VA

An underbite is when the lower teeth are in front of the upper teeth. This is called a Class III bite. This occurs typically when the lower jaw grows more than the upper jaw.

Underbite and class III bite of the teeth
Underbite VCO Orthodontics, Arlington VA

An open bite is when there is a gap between the front teeth, so they do not touch. Open bites can be caused by thumb or pacifier sucking, tongue thrusting, or influenced by genetics.

Open bite of teeth. VCO Orthodontics, Arlington VA
Open Bite, VCO Orthodontics, Arlington VA

A crossbite is when the upper teeth fit inside of the lower teeth. This misalignment can affect a single tooth or groups of teeth, involving the front teeth (anterior crossbite), back teeth (posterior), or both. The most common way of treating a crossbite is the use of a palatal expander, which is best done around age 7 years old.

Crossbite bite and narrow palate. Spacer. VCO Orthodontics, Arlington VA
Crossbite bite in child VCO Orthodontics, Arlington VA

Bite issues can lead to enamel wear, tooth chipping or fracturing, and gum or bone loss over time if not corrected. The tension from misaligned teeth can also lead to jaw pain and even headaches. The teeth are not in an ideal position, and it is important to have the bite corrected. All of these bite issues can be fixed with braces and Invisalign.

As an adult, it is more difficult to correct bite issues completely. It is possible to get improvement, but sometimes to fully correct the bite in adults, or in more severe cases, jaw surgery is necessary since it is a jaw and skeletal issue. Even as a child, if cases are more severe, jaw surgery is the only option to fully correct the bite.

It is necessary to see an orthodontist to evaluate your bite to ensure it is in a healthy, stable position. If you are unsure of your bite and whether braces or Invisalign would work for you, book a free consultation today at VCO Orthodontics in Arlington so we can check out your bite!

At VCO Orthodontics in Arlington, Virginia, we make Invisalign treatment as easy as possible by staying

up to date with the latest technology. Instead of those yucky, gooey impressions, we use an iTero

intraoral scanner.

This technology allows us to take accurate 3D digital images of your mouth and eliminates the need for

impressions. It can deliver a digital impression that is more accurate than the regular impression. There

is no radiation involved and is completely safe. The scanner digitally captures the structure of the teeth and gums using the latest optical technology. It allows us to see your teeth up close and personal for Invisalign!

The iTero intraoral scanner is a machine with a small, wand-like device attached to it. The scanner wand is compact and hand-held, which helps reduce the risk of gagging and is more comfortable. The mouth is scanned with a

radiation-free laser in as little as 3 minutes. The wand moves around a patient’s mouth and captures thousands of frames per second, which are pieced together to create a 3D visualization of the patient’s mouth. The lower arch, upper arch, and the patient’s bite are all scanned to create the digital impression. The 3D scans are sent digitally, allowing for quicker manufacturing and faster turn around

time for Invisalign.

We use the most updated technology to give our patients the best possible outcome with their Invisalign treatment. Along with Invisalign treatment, our intraoral scanner is also be used to make retainers and nightguards. Say goodbye to impressions, and hello to scanners!

Invisalign is an orthodontic treatment option to straighten out teeth using a series of custom made clear aligners, specifically for you. Invisalign trays are less noticeable than braces and can be taken on and off. The Invisalign trays have movements built in that slowly move your teeth into the ideal position over time. Invisalign aligners are designed to move each tooth individually so if you have veneers or crowns, Invisalign treatment is still an option. Dr. Markova, at VCO Orthodontics in Arlington, will be happy to evaluate your individual needs.

Moss times attachments are necessary to place different pressure points on your teeth. Attachments are small, tooth-colored composite bumps that are bonded to certain teeth, which allow the aligners to fit snugly on the teeth in order to move them toward the ideal position. Attachments are placed by Dr. Markova and have different configurations for different movement positions. In order to see the Invisalign attachments, someone would have to be standing about 1 foot away from your mouth. They are really quite invisible!

Buttons are another small auxiliary that can be added into your treatment as well. These can be tooth colored or metal depending what tooth it is placed on. The buttons act as an anchor to attach rubber bands to. Rubber band wear helps bring your bite together and can help align your midlines.

Invisalign treatment does not impact your day-to-day significantly. The only differences are Invisalign trays need to be worn at least 22 hours a day in order for them to be effective. Since the trays can be taken out, there are no limits to what you can eat or drink (just be careful with things like coffee or curry that can stain or discolor the attachments!). The ability to take them out also allows for normal brushing and flossing. Since the Invisalign trays are clear, most people may not know you even have them. Your speech might be affected initially, with a slight lisp, but after a couple days, your tongue will adjust to the trays and there should be no issue with speaking normally. It is also normal for you to experience a little bit of discomfort or pressure the first few days of a new tray.

To create the custom Invisalign aligners, we take an initial, 3D digital scan of your teeth using our iTero scanner. Throughout treatment, refinement scans with our iTero scanner are necessary to make additional trays to continue the process of moving your teeth into the ideal position. Refinement scans allow us to order a new set of aligners that fit ideally for the best tooth movements. After you have reached the ideal smile, you will be finished with treatment. However, the work is not done yet! You will be given a set of retainers that will need to be worn for the rest of your life if you don't want your teeth to shift. The amount of wear time changes over time and differs from each person.

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