(818) 980-5300 5445 Laurel Canyon Blvd.
Valley Village, CA   91607

Bite Problems and Braces

Problems with your bite, or the way your teeth and jaw fit together, can wreak havoc on your mouth. It can be painful, unattractive, and lead to other problems like tooth decay. A bad bite, or malocclusion, is one of the most common reasons that orthodontists fit patients with braces.

What does it mean to have a bad bite?
When your doctor says you have spacing or alignment problems, it’s likely that you have a bad bite. This includes crooked, crowded, or protruding teeth. A bad bite also includes having your upper and lower jaws meet improperly, even if your teeth look straight. Also, bite problems can be caused by teeth that are too close together or too far apart.

What causes bite problems?
The most common causes of bite problems are thumb-sucking, heredity, early tooth loss, and mouth trauma.

What are the benefits of correcting bad bites?
Braces can help with problems related to bite issues in a number of ways, including:

  • Appearance – correcting a bad bite creates a more appealing smile, and therefore also improves your self-esteem.
  • Tooth wear – an uneven bite can cause abnormal tooth wear, which sometimes leads to the need for crowns or veneers. Braces can correct this problem before your teeth have a chance to wear inappropriately.
  • Jaw problems – a misaligned bite can lead to painful conditions like temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder.
  • Teeth cleaning – it is difficult to clean crooked, crowded, protruding, and overlapping teeth. Properly aligned teeth can be more thoroughly cleaned, and therefore have less decay.

Contact our orthodontics dental office in Sherman Oaks, CA to schedule an appointment!

An Overview of Orthodontics

In most cases, you have probably either had braces, need braces, or know someone with braces. When you need orthodontic treatment, you often receive a great deal of information. Having a basic knowledge about the world of orthodontics will help you make educated decisions for yourself or a loved one.

What is orthodontics?
Simply put, orthodontics is the dental specialty focused on the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of dental or facial irregularities.

How is an orthodontist different from a dentist?
While all orthodontists are dentists, not all dentists are orthodontists. In addition to successfully completing dental school, orthodontists must also take another two to three years of advanced training.

Can I tell if braces are needed?
The best way to determine if you or a family member should seek orthodontic treatment is through an evaluation with an orthodontist. If you notice buck teeth, an overbite, under bite, or open bite, orthodontic treatment is a likely course of action.

What’s the difference between Phase I and Phase II?

With Phase I, or early interceptive treatment, patients are between 6 and 10 years old, and all their permanent teeth have not yet erupted. Certain problems are easier to treat when children are younger and they are still growing. Also called comprehensive treatment, Phase II happens once all permanent teeth come in and usually involves a full set of braces.

What are my treatment options?

That answer depends on your age and your specific case. Typically, younger children respond well to traditional metal braces. Older teens and adult patients often like less conspicuous choices. Ceramic brackets, clear aligners like Invisalign, and lingual braces can straighten your smile and allow you to maintain a professional image.

Find an Orthodontist in Sherman Oaks CA

When Should my Child See an Orthodontist?

Most orthodontists recommend that you take your child for their first visit around age seven. That may seem early since your child is still losing baby teeth, but many conditions can be identified by this age. Early treatment may be helpful in preventing worse problems later. Here are some things that an orthodontist will look for in your child, with the goal of making their smile as beautiful as possible in the end.

Tooth loss and eruption
Because teeth should usually be lost in a certain order, changes from this pattern may point to developmental issues. The same thing goes for tooth eruption, so your orthodontist will watch to make sure teeth are coming in appropriately. If there are more or less teeth than expected, your child may have issues with crowding, extra, or missing teeth. Your orthodontist might suggest removing a baby tooth early or holding an empty space where a tooth came out so that the rest of the teeth will fit correctly.

Crooked teeth are more likely to wear unevenly, and the gums may also be damaged. Even though teeth can be aligned later, it’s often best to begin correction before teeth and gums are harmed. Also, your child’s self-esteem may benefit by having teeth that aren’t so noticeably misaligned.

Spacing and crowding
It’s possible by age seven to determine if your child’s teeth are excessively crowded or spaced. Gaps can result from early tooth loss, undeveloped teeth, or small teeth. Crowding may require tooth extraction or arch expansion to make room for all of your child’s teeth.

The severity of bite issues can be reduced by orthodontic treatment at an age as young as seven. Even though permanent correction might not be achieved until growth is complete, there are actions that can be taken while your child is still growing. This is true for all kinds of bite problems, including overbites, underbites, and crossbites.

Protecting Orthodontia over the Holiday Season

November brings Thanksgiving, and December follows with Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanza. During the holidays, people gather with friends and family, enjoying fantastic meals and wonderful treats. Carmel apples, roasted nuts, toffee, and other sweets can wreak havoc on braces, retainers, and other orthodontia. To prevent broken or damaged appliances, consider these suggestions:

• Stay away from gooey caramels and crunchy nuts, which can break brackets or dislodge retainers.
• Choose soft treats like chocolate or pumpkin pie since they won’t harm your orthodontic appliances.
• Don’t chew ice as you finish a festive beverage. Not only can it damage your braces, but it can also crack or chip your teeth.
• If you are wearingInvisalign clear aligners, make sure to remove them before any holiday gatherings.
• After you return home, remember to carefully brush and floss teeth. Because having braces make it more difficult to keep teeth clean, take extra care during the holidays so that you won’t develop any new cavities.
• Try a whitening toothpaste to add a little sparkle to your smile.

Even when you are careful, accidents may still happen. If you knock a bracket off or loosen a wire, contact your orthodontist as soon as possible. Place wax over the area if the damaged appliance starts to irritate your mouth or gums. Most of the time, these situations can wait until the office opens again.

Giving you something to smile about at our Sherman Oaks, CA orthodontic office – Mehdi Fotovat, DDS.

Mehdi Fotovat, D.D.S.


5445 Laurel Canyon Blvd.

Valley Village, CA 91607

(818) 980-5300

Our practice is conveniently located on Laurel Canyon Blvd. between Burbank Blvd. and Chandler Blvd. in Valley Village. Free parking is available behind the building.

Our Hours

Tuesday: 8:00 am – 5:00 pm (closed for lunch 12-1:20)

Wednesday: 7:30 am – 5:30 pm (closed for lunch 12-1:30)

Thursday: 1:00 pm – 6:00 pm

Friday: 7:30 am – 3:30 pm (closed for lunch 12-12:30)