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Let’s play orthodontic trivia!

Did you know that baby teeth can prevent adult teeth from coming in properly?

Did you know that deep bite, overbite, and closed bite are all basically the same thing?

Did you know some orthodontic appliances are designed to make your jaw wider to help when teeth are crowded?

It’s true! Did you know it also takes about 10 years to become an orthodontist? That’s a full decade of school that includes a bachelor’s degree, four years of dental school and another two years of postdoctoral study!

We polled our doctors and their decades of expertise to uncover the most common problems they see on a day-to-day basis. Not only did they agree on the most frequent issues, but our great staff also revealed a handful of knowledge nuggets that we wanted to share.

Did you know your smile can change gradually over time? That’s right, your teeth are set in bone, not in stone! While jawbones seem solid to us, they are actually living tissue in a constant state of change. Bone cells break down and are eventually replaced. The whole process is driven by daily habits such as chewing, swallowing and speaking.

Speaking of oral habits, did you know that juvenile thumb sucking or abnormal chewing can actually cause teeth to become misaligned? You can learn interesting stuff from smart people!



Ok, let’s check off a medical term here: malocclusion. This is a fancy term for misaligned teeth. Crossbite is a type of misalignment where the upper teeth fit inside the lower teeth. It can be caused by genetics, delayed baby tooth loss, or even prolonged habits like thumb sucking or abnormal swallowing. These bad habits can cause damaging pressure that pushes teeth out of place or distorts the jawbone.


Deep bite, Overbite, or Closed bite

Each of the terms basically describe the same problem: excessive overlap of the upper teeth when the mouth is closed. This is most commonly caused by a smaller or shorter lower jaw. Sometimes this issue also leads to overcrowding of the lower teeth or other problems in the mouth.


Open bite

Ready for some more scientific terms? There are two basic types of open bite: anterior and posterior. Anterior means something is near the front, and posterior means something is toward the end.

An anterior open bite happens when the back teeth close together, but the upper and lower front teeth do not. This causes a gap toward the front of the mouth. A posterior bite is the opposite problem. It means that the front teeth meet when closed, but the back teeth do not. This may cause a gap in the back of the mouth.



A famous yellow cartoon character that lives in a pineapple under the sea may want to talk to an orthodontist soon. A free consultation at Birmingham Orthodontics may reveal his signature look is the result of an upper jaw being too far forward. It may have also been caused by the lower jaw being too far back, or the top teeth growing in at an angle. Any combination of these issues can cause the front teeth to stick out.



Sometimes there is just too much space between teeth. This can be caused by missing teeth, oversized jaws, undersized teeth, or a combination of all of the above.



Underbite is an easily recognizable issue where the lower teeth actually sit in front of the upper teeth when the mouth is closed.


Free Consultation

If you or your child have any of the above issues, now is the time to schedule a free consultation to determine the best course of treatment. Your first consultation with an orthodontist is completely free! A little preparation goes a long way to get the most out of your first appointment . After scheduling your visit, be sure to fill out our new patient forms . You’ll also want to bring your driver’s license and insurance information. Check below for a quick list of questions to ask your insurance provider about your policies. If you don’t have insurance, that’s no problem! Only about 25% of our patients have orthodontics coverage.

During your first visit, we’ll cover all of your treatment options. We’ll also talk through any financial questions you may have.

At Birmingham Orthodontics, our mission is simple: we create smiles. Not only do we straighten the crooked grin, fix the bite, and adjust the jaw, we brighten yearbooks, and instill confidence. We also believe in our staff. Our culture of continuous learning drives us to host monthly training sessions for each team and bring in leading industry consultants to help keep us ahead of the curve. Contact us for a free consultation, or with any questions you might have.

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