What’s an Open Bite?


What’s an open bite?

We mostly see open bites in kids because of various habits mainly when they continue to put their thumbs in their mouth, continued pacifier use after 2-3 years old, or tongue thrusting forward.

When kids are young, they grow a lot quicker, including their upper and lower jaws, and their teeth alignment. Most baby teeth have come in by 3 years old, but if the pacifier or thumbsucking continue, or tongue thrusting, they prevent the front baby teeth from overlapping properly. As a result an open bite forms.

Photo of an open bite

From Journal of Clinical Orthodontics:

    • The issue with an open bite can be:

    • changes in jaw development – upper jaw becomes narrower
    • misalignment of teeth and crowding
    • encourages mouthbreathing
    • changes in nasal development

The easiest way to prevent this from happening is to stop this habit early on – gently remove the hand or pacifier early on.

Please speak to your pediatrician or child psychologist, on how to prevent these habits early. There are dental appliances which may help if other options are not effective.

Most of the time if the habit is stopped early, then there is time for everything to correct on their own.

Hope you find this information helpful!

Dr. Pham

Arbo Dental Care Team

Dentist in Bradford, ON