At some time or the other, we have all seen children with buck teeth being referred to as "mice" or "rabbits" by their friends. Many children suffer from a severe complex due to this problem.
However, it need not be so. The problem is easily correctable, more so if it corrected early, since the jaw structure is malleable and the facial bones have not fused yet.
Essentially, what happens is that children force their front teeth out due to prolonged use of pacifiers or thumb sucking. Over time, the teeth protrude out giving the typical look of buck teeth.
This condition is also called an open bite condition, especially if the deformation is large and separation occurs between individual teeth. At times, the condition is hereditary, but poor dental habits often make things worse.
Effect of Buck Teeth
Very often, if the open bite is prominent enough, the front teeth do not touch each other, even when the jaw is closed. This puts strain on the other teeth when biting or chewing. There may also be considerable chewing difficulty and digestion may well suffer.
If the deformation is large, there may be strain on the jaws and during breathing. Patients having prominent buck teeth often need to resort to mouth breathing and may suffer considerably on this account.
Treating Buck Teeth
The treatment is fairly straightforward and can be started at any time. Essentially it consists of using orthodontic braces to correct the alignment of the teeth.
While a number of systems of braces exist, they all involve a combination of wires, brackets and bands which slowly force the teeth to move to their correct location.
While there is definitely some discomfort associated with the use of braces and the treatment takes time, the results are often a complete metamorphosis of the face.
Modern orthodontics has made great advances in tooth and jaw restoration and can totally transform a person's looks as well as their function. It is a pity that many of us do not take advantage of the skills of orthodontists and, through the magic of braces, live more fulfilling lives.
For a complimentary examination appointment to see if you have a dental alignment problem and what treatment would be right for you, please contact us online or call 650-961-5047.
We'll answer any questions you may have, and give you a free written estimate regarding costs and insurance benefits before you leave.
©2006 Nahal Ashouri DDS MS
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