An open bite is when your top and bottom teeth don’t slot into one other when your mouth is closed. The points of the teeth may meet with an open bite, and one of the primary treatment methods is to prescribe braces. 

Open bite is a type of malocclusion or “bad bite” along with overbite, underbite, and crossbite. The opposite of this is called occlusion and means your jaws are properly aligned.

At Gisborne Family Dental, we are committed to delivering quality, comprehensive dentistry with the utmost integrity and respect for our patients. We are your friendly Gisborne dentist. Book a consultation today if you believe you may have an open bite issue. 

Now, let’s take a closer look at what an open bite is, just how much an open bite can affect you and how to get it fixed, including if braces are up to the task. 

How Do I Know I Have An Open Bite?

An open bite can be caused by your teeth sticking out or from the shape of your jaw. 

One of the ways to know you have an open bite is that you can’t close your mouth fully, and your mouth always stays slightly ajar. Other signs are:

  • You find it hard to chew and swallow
  • Altered speech, including a lisp
  • It’s painful to bite or chew
  • Your teeth are sticking out or misaligned

An open bite can also cause problems like:

  • Gum and periodontal disease
  • Tooth decay 
  • Difficulties with sleep, including loud snoring
  • Speech difficulty
  • Head and ear aches, and so on

You can see that an open bite is not a problem to be taken lightly or ignored. Thankfully it can be treated. Before we look at the treatment of an open bite, let’s take a look at a few causes of an open bite.

What Causes An Open Bite?

An open bite can be caused by:

  • Genetics can play a part. 
  • Bad dental habits from a young age such as thumb or lower lip sucking and pushing your teeth with your tongue. This is why children who suck their thumb or lower lip should be corrected before their adult teeth grow.
  • Improperly positioned tongue.
  • Overcrowded teeth.
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis, and so on.

Even though an open bite is a common problem orthodontists treat, there are various methods for treating it depending on if it’s mild or severe. 

Do Braces Fix An Open Bite?

Yes, braces can fix an open bite, if the open bite is not too severe. There are different types of braces to choose from. You can go for the traditional metal braces or go for more aesthetic ceramic braces. Ceramic braces are designed to blend with the colour of your teeth, so it doesn’t look like you’re wearing braces. Ceramic braces are more expensive however.

There are also lingual braces which are placed at the back of the teeth instead of the front, again hiding the fact that you have braces at all. This type of brace is, however, not very common and is usually more expensive. It’s also not easy to fix and requires special equipment and training, which is why not many orthodontists offer this option.

Where an open bite is due to overcrowding of the teeth, some teeth may have to be extracted before the braces are administered. And where you have a severe case of an open bite, a Temporary Anchor Device (TAD) and mini screw with braces are used to fix it.

TADs act as an anchor to push or pull teeth to a specific position. The screw is sometimes placed between the teeth or at the roof of the mouth. Don’t worry; it’s not as painful as it sounds. Your orthodontist will numb the area, so there’s little to no discomfort during the procedure. 

It’s an easy and quick procedure that is very effective in correcting a severe open bite caused by intruding molars, for example.

With braces, it takes about 12 to 30 months to correct an open bite. 

We know that wearing braces for that long can be quite uncomfortable, especially when the braces are tightened as they must be from time to time. So to reduce any discomfort or pain, avoid hard or sticky foods, chewing gum, and bad habits like nail biting. Also, it is wise to follow the care instructions provided by your dentist.

Braces are very effective in treating an open bite. They are common, affordable, easy to maintain and reliable. 

Other treatments for fixing an open bite include Invisalign or oral surgery, but surgery is only for severe cases. 

You should get an open bite treated immediately as it can get worse. So, visit an experienced orthodontist today to get your open bite treated with braces.

How Much Will I Pay To Fix An Open Bite With Braces?

It costs between $1,500 to $10,000 to treat an open bite with braces depending on the severity of the open bite.

If you’re looking for orthodontic services or maybe your child has an open bite, there’s no better place to go than Gisborne Family Dental.

We are your fun yet professional, family-friendly dentists in Gisborne. Our dental services are top-notch and guaranteed to give you the desired result. For us, patients are number one, and we go out of our way to ensure you’re comfortable and relaxed from the moment you step into our doors and during treatment.

We have state-of-the-art facilities and highly skilled staff to attend to your dental care needs. And even with this, our services are pocket friendly with payment plans that will fit into your budget.

So, contact us today.