Type of Malocclusions

Know Your Bite

Using the Motion 3D Appliance, your orthodontist will be able to treat any bite.

When you’re considering orthodontic treatment, you usually think mainly about straightening your teeth. And that makes sense. Straight teeth are essential to a brilliant smile.

But fixing your bite is just as important and doing it first makes treatment simpler and dramatically faster! Here are some of the usual bite and teeth challenges (orthodontists call them malocclusions) patients see when they examine their teeth.

What Type of Bite Do You Have?

Overbite is where the top teeth sit too far down over the lower teeth vertically (if pronounced, sometimes called a deep bite). While there should be some overlap of the upper teeth down over the lower teeth, a severe overbite can even cause the front teeth to bite into the lower gums. An overbite can cause problems with eating and speech.


Overjet is where the top teeth extend past (or stick out over) the bottom teeth horizontally. Sometimes people call this “buck teeth.” Protruding teeth can risk damage and cause problems with eating and speech.


Underbite is where the lower teeth (or lower jaw) sit forward of the upper teeth. It can also be where the upper teeth (or jaw) sit too far back. An underbite can make the lower jaw and teeth seem too prominent and can cause problems with eating, speech, jaw joints (pain, clicking and popping), breathing and sleeping.


Crossbite is where a tooth (or teeth) crosses in front of or behind its opposite teeth in the other jaw.

Open bite

Open bite is where there is open space between the top and bottom teeth and when the back teeth bite together. This opening can be in the front of the teeth (called an anterior open bite) and/or between the teeth on the side (called a lateral open bite). An open bite can cause problems with eating, speech, jaw joints (pain, clicking and popping), breathing and sleeping.


Mix of Baby and Adult Teeth or Mixed Dentition is the normal stage of development where some baby teeth (deciduous or primary teeth) have loosened and fallen out while the adult teeth (or permanent teeth) gradually erupt into the space left. Tooth transition usually starts around the age of 6 and ends around the age of 12 or 13.


Crowding occurs when there isn’t enough room in the arch for all the teeth to fit properly. This results in teeth overlapping one another or sitting high or low in the gums. Crowded teeth are difficult to keep clean and can lead to decay and an increased chance of gum disease.


Spacing is where there are gaps between the teeth. This can result from missing teeth or teeth being too small to fill up the arch. Teeth are meant to touch at specific points. Spacing can allow teeth to drift and rotate.

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