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A Patient’s Guide to Malocclusion

One in five people has some form of malocclusion or irregular contact between their upper and lower teeth. Occlusion, or the proper alignment of teeth, is not always naturally achieved. Ideally, the jaws align so that the upper teeth fit slightly over the lower teeth and the positioning of every tooth fits into the grooves of its partner. Teeth that do not fit together correctly are harder to keep clean, consequently putting patients at greater risk for tooth decay and gum disease, among other issues associated with malocclusion.

Before deciding on a treatment plan, it is helpful for patients to be informed of the different categories and types of malocclusion.

The 3 Categories of Malocclusion

  1. Class 1 is the most common category of malocclusion. There is a normal bite with slight overlap or slightly abnormal spacing, rotation, or crowding.
  2. Class 2 or retrognathism is an overbite with severe overlap of the upper and lower jaw and poor molar correlation.
  3. Class 3 or prognathism is an underbite in which the lower jaw protrudes, causing an overlap of the lower and upper jaw.

The 10 Different Types of Malocclusion

  1. Crowding is the most common malocclusion. A lack of space can lead to crooked teeth and overlap. Crowding can affect a few teeth or every tooth.
  2. Overjet is a horizontal extension of the top teeth over the bottom teeth. It differs from overbite. Exposed, protruding teeth are susceptible to damage and may cause problems with speech and/or eating.
  3. Overbite is the overlapping of the upper teeth with the lower teeth. Slight overlap is actually ideal, but an extended overlap necessitates treatment.
  4. Crossbite occurs when the upper teeth bite inside the lower teeth on one or both sides of the jaw, affecting the front or back teeth.
  5. Anterior Crossbite refers to underbite or the overlapping of the bottom teeth with the upper teeth.
  6. Spacing between two or more teeth may occur as a result of smaller teeth, missing teeth, a tongue thrust, or thumb sucking.
  7. Diastema is spacing between only two teeth, typically the top front teeth.
  8. Impaction occurs when a tooth is unable to descend and erupt past the gum line due to an obstruction. Crowding can lead to a tooth being impacted.
  9. Hypodontia is simply a missing tooth, resulting from improper development or blunt trauma.
  10. Open Bite occurs when there is no overlap between the upper and lower teeth. Tongue thrust or thumb sucking are the most common causes of open bite.

 

With advancements in orthodontics, treatment options for malocclusions are more convenient than ever before. Clear aligner therapy can address every type of malocclusion, and Dr. Joel Butterworth specializes in customizing a treatment plan that works efficiently and effectively. We look forward to scheduling an appointment to discuss your specific needs: 540-899-7791.

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Baby Teeth: A Typical Timeline

It’s one of the big milestones in the first year of your baby’s life — that exciting day when their first baby teeth begin to break through! Sometime between the ages of four and seven months (on average), your baby’s first teeth should begin to appear. You’ve probably been expecting them for a while since your baby has likely been especially “drooly” and fussy as his/her teeth push through his gums. The first to come through are typically the lower central incisors, familiarly known as a baby’s bottom front teeth.  And boy, you didn’t think it was possible, but he/she looks cuter than ever!

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Crooked Teeth: Causes and Treatments

Why do some people end up with a mouth full of straight, even teeth, and some end up with crooked teeth or teeth that protrude and cross over each other? Does it have to do with genetics? Childhood nutrition?

The truth is, there are several reasons that some people end up with teeth that are crooked, overlapping or protruding (overbites/underbites). Sometimes, genetics are to blame, but there are many other causes as well.

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How to Prevent Yellow Teeth

Wondering how to prevent yellow teeth? Teeth can turn yellow for a variety of reasons but luckily, there are several ways to maintain that sparkling white smile. Here are some tips on how to prevent yellow teeth.

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Waterflossing vs. Traditional Flossing: What’s the Difference?

Water Flossing vs. Traditional Flossing

Benefits of Water Flossing

Studies show that water flossing does remove almost all, 99%, of plaque from the surface of teeth with a three-second application from a classic jet tip. Three other major benefits discovered about water flossing over regular string flossing are: reduction of bleeding of the gums, reduction of gingivitis, and deeper penetration of the gum pockets by the water flossers.

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What is Deep Teeth Cleaning?

What is the difference between deep teeth cleaning and a regular cleaning? A typical dental cleaning usually includes: scaling teeth surfaces followed by a thorough polishing. Here is an overview of deep teeth cleaning is and the benefits of this process.

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Why Do I Have Aching Teeth?

Have you ever distracted yourself from thinking about aching muscles after a good workout or other uncomfortable physical sensations? If so, you know aching teeth rarely fall into that category. No matter how hard you try to distract yourself, it feels impossible to think about anything else! What often makes them even worse, are the thoughts you have about going to the dentist. Will you need drilling, a new filling, or even a root canal?

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Smiles With A Heart – Free Dental Care

Each year Fredericksburg Smile Center holds their SMILES WITH A HEART benefit. This year the benefit will take place on April 28, 2017 at 2330 Plank Road – Gateway Village – in Fredericksburg, Virginia. This benefit will provide free dental care for underprivileged patients in our community. The benefit has averaged over $75,000/year in free care in one day, producing over a half million dollars in free care back to the community.

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Why Your Heart Loves Your Family Dentist

So, you’ve taken all the appropriate measures to ensure your heart is healthy, but did you know having a healthy mouth can contribute to your healthy heart as well?  So taking that trip to the family dentist is about more than just your teeth. Having unhealthy gums and teeth could potentially lead to heart disease.  

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