Open bite refers to the large gap between the upper and lower anterior teeth so that the upper teeth do not reach the lower teeth. Normally, the maxillary teeth should cover 2 to 3 mm of the mandibular teeth. This malocclusion (or open bit) may arise from bad habits such as finger or pacifier sucking and so on. Despite the probable role of inheritance in the occurrence of open bite, this malformation occurs mainly due to bad sucking habits and physical pressure on that area, which eventually results in a gap between these two teeth rows.
The effect of this habit on soft and hard tissues is dependent on its duration and intensity, which may cause delay in the growth of some of maxillary and mandibular anterior teeth and thereby open bite. This malformation may be resolved if the sucking habit is quitted before eruption of the permanent teeth (before 5 years old). The simplest treatment method for quitting this habit is direct conversation between the child and the dentist in the absence of parents. As another type of intervention, remembrance is suitable for children who want to quit this habit but need help. One of the simplest methods for this purpose is to apply a waterproof adhesive bandage on the finger. Orthodontic treatment may be required if patients continue their bad oral habits.
Spaced anterior teeth
The gap between the upper and lower anterior teeth not only results in an unpleasant appearance, but also leads to trouble in eating, breaking seeds and speaking, so that patients cannot properly pronounce certain letters such as “s,” “sh,” and “zh”. Other complications of this disorder include posterior teeth abrasion, gum and temporomandibular joint (TMJ) problems and an unpleasant appearance. Early treatment (before puberty) is crucial for resolving open bite, so that immature patients can be easily treated with removable and fixed orthodontic appliances. This malformation can be treated initially with removable appliances with a tongue guard behind the anterior teeth.
In the absence of necessary cooperation for using removable appliances, open bite can be treated with fixed orthodontic appliances with a tongue guard behind the anterior teeth; this treatment is suitable for growing patients. If a patient refers a dentist after the end of growth, orthodontic treatment may be required along with orthognatic surgery. In this case, the patient should undergo fixed presurgical orthodontics before surgery and postsurgical orthodontics after surgery.