A bite that does not meet properly (a malocclusion) can be inherited, or some types may be acquired. Some causes of malocclusion include missing or extra teeth, crowded teeth or misaligned jaws. Accidents or developmental issues, such as finger or thumb sucking over an extended period of time, may cause an improper bite or malocclusion.
Crooked teeth, overbites and underbites are best corrected with braces during adolescence while the facial bones are still growing. Orthodontic problems are best diagnosed during the comprehensive oral evaluation at the dentist. xrays of the mouth and head are required along with photos of the face and teeth. Plaster models are made.
More options are available now as far as the type of aligners available. While traditional braces are still very prevalent, invisalign has become very popular. These are clear trays that are worn every 2 weeks and than replaced with a new set . Each set of aligners has built in movements that reposition the teeth towards a certain goal. The goal is displayed at the beginning of treatment. These aligners are normally worn over the course of 18 months, but treatments may be shorter depending on the malocclusion. The trays are removable and should not be worn when eating or drinking anything other than water.