In a perfect world, we’d all be born with the promise of perfectly straight teeth and stunning smiles, but this is not the norm. According to Boston Children’s Hospital, an estimated 90% of children suffer from different types of teeth alignment issues, or malocclusion, with about 10-15% being severe enough to require intervention for medical reasons. Many patients will seek varying types of teeth align correction for cosmetic reasons as they move into adolescence.
'The place to start is by understanding teeth alignment types'
Whether you’re a parent looking to correct issues like overcrowding, overjet, overbite, crossbite, or anterior crossbite for children or you’ve long lived with malocclusion issues yourself and you’re ready to make a cosmetic change that improves your appearance and your confidence, the place to start is by understanding teeth alignment types. This way you can pinpoint your particular issues and seek suitable treatment options. Here’s what you need to know about different types of teeth alignment and associated problems.
All of us will eventually develop a set of 32 teeth, but not everyone has the same size teeth or the same size mouth, and this can lead to different types of teeth alignment problems. One of the most common is overcrowding, which occurs when there isn’t enough space in the mouth to accommodate teeth. When this happens, teeth begin to crowd each other and overlap.
As problematic teeth alignment types go, this is among the most commonly treated for adults. The good news is, there are a couple of treatment options to consider, depending on the severity of malocclusion.
Best Teeth Alignment for Overcrowding
There are two main types of teeth align treatment for crooked teeth caused by overcrowding. For preteens or teens experiencing overcrowding, orthodontic braces are generally considered the best option, as teeth will only continue to move as wisdom teeth develop, and this can be accounted for with braces.
Braces are also best for anyone with significant overcrowding issues that have resulted in severe malocclusion. For those with milder overcrowding, another option is the use of clear, removable invisible aligners, such as Candid aligners, a teeth aligners online brand considered one of the best invisible braces brand you can find online (but you can compare it with other brands by reading, our SmileDirectClub reviews, or our review of the best invisible braces brands)
Cost of Overcrowding Teeth Alignment
Another of the most common teeth alignment types is overbite, whereby the upper teeth significantly overlap the lower teeth. Slight overlap is normal, but when upper teeth sit too low, they may cause undue friction with lower teeth or even hit the gums.
Best Teeth Alignment for Overbite
Among different types of teeth alignment issues, overbite doesn’t tend to be the most severe, but it can certainly be problematic and for many patients, it’s also a cosmetic concern. The types of teeth align treatment that work best for overbite issues are orthodontic braces. While Invisalign is ideal for moving teeth, it is not generally suitable for correcting jaw position, which is a contributing factor in overbite issues.
Many adults and teens embarrassed by traditional orthodontic braces will be happy to hear there are other options available, including self-ligating braces that feature ceramic or clear brackets that are far less obtrusive than typical metal. Clips are used in place of elastic bands for reduced irritation and easier dental cleaning.
Another option for patients (particularly adults) that would rather hide their treatment is lingual braces, which attach to the inside surface of teeth (i.e. the tongue side). These are typically custom made to fit the inside, irregular teeth surfaces.
Cost of Overbite Teeth Alignment
Not to be confused with teeth alignment types like overbite , overjet occurs when the upper jaw protrudes far beyond the lower jaw horizontally, so that the upper teeth are pushed forward. Overbite, by contrast, has to do with a vertical overlap of the top and bottom teeth. Overjet is nearly as common as other types of teeth align problems like overbite.
Best Teeth Alignment for Overjet
As with different types of teeth alignment that affect jaw positioning, overjet will likely require orthodontic braces to treat, as opposed to invisible aligners.
Cost of Overjet Teeth Alignment
Overbite and overjet are teeth alignment types that affect the jaws from front to back, while crossbite affects side-to-side jaw alignment, with the upper teeth on one side biting down inside the lower teeth, and consequently, biting on the outside edge of lower teeth on the other side of the mouth.
Best Teeth Alignment for Crossbite
Like many different types of teeth alignment, this is best treated during childhood or adolescence, as it may involve not only adjusting teeth, but also the jaws and the palate. Orthodontic braces are one option, but palatal expanders may be prescribed as a supplemental or standalone treatment. Children may receive an expander that attaches to the teeth, while adults are more frequently fitted for removable expanders to be worn at night.
Cost of Crossbite Teeth Alignment
5# Anterior Crossbite
Also known as underbite, anterior crossbite is among the different types of teeth alignment that affect the position of the jaw, such that the lower front teeth overlap the upper front teeth, causing the lower jaw to protrude forward.
Best Teeth Alignment for Anterior Crossbite
As with other crossbite types of teeth align issues, anterior crossbite may require orthodontic braces, palatal expanders, or both to correct.