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Common Treatments

From gaps between the teeth to an overbite, we’re covering the common orthodontic concerns we treat at Bird Smiles.

Every smile is unique.

But these are the most common problems we see at our Tenleytown practice:


Spacing is when there are spaces, or gaps, between two or more teeth. Spacing can be due to genetics, tooth loss or oral habits like thumb sucking.

Why does it need to be fixed?

Food and plaque tend to get caught in the gaps between teeth, which makes you susceptible to tooth decay and gum disease. Spacing may also cause jawbone loss and related oral health issues.

Crowding Treatment


When the jaw is too small to fit all of the teeth, crowding occurs. In an effort to squeeze in, teeth can overlap, twist or get blocked out of line. Crowded teeth are often genetic, though the early or late loss of baby teeth can also be a culprit.

Why does it need to be fixed?

Crowding makes it harder to effectively brush and floss, increasing your risk of tooth decay and gum disease. It can also cause uneven wear of the enamel since the upper and lower teeth will come into contact with one another abnormally.

Overjet Treatment


When the front teeth protrude or stick out too far over the bottom teeth, we refer to it as overjet teeth. Overjet teeth can be genetic or caused by prolonged pacifier use, thumbsucking or tongue thrust.

Why does it need to be fixed?

Protruding front teeth are more likely to be damaged. Overjet can also cause excessive enamel wear and jaw pain.

Overbite Treatment


Overbite is the degree that the top front teeth vertically overlap the bottom teeth. Some degree of overbite is a good thing, but if the top teeth cover too much of the bottom teeth, it’s known as an excessive overbite, or deep bite. In severe cases, the bottom teeth may even bite into the roof of the mouth. An excessive overbite can be caused by genetics, teeth grinding and clenching (bruxism), or even aging.

Why does it need to be fixed?

If not treated, an overbite increases your risk of tooth decay and gum disease and can cause excessive enamel wear, difficulties chewing, and jaw and temporomandibular (TMJ) pain.

Underbite Treatment


When the lower teeth sit in front of the upper teeth, it’s called an underbite. Most underbites are genetic and caused by the upper and lower jaw growing at different rates.

Why does it need to be fixed?

An underbite can make chewing and speaking difficult, interfere with breathing, and cause jaw and TMJ pain. Having an underbite diagnosed and treated early is important. In many cases, starting treatment in childhood is ideal and will help the patient avoid the need for corrective jaw surgery in adulthood.

Crossbite Treatment


With a crossbite, some of the top teeth are positioned behind the bottom teeth. If the front teeth are involved, we call it an anterior crossbite. If the back teeth are in crossbite, it’s called a posterior crossbite. Crossbites may be due to genetics, trauma or oral habits like thumbsucking.

Why does it need to be fixed?

While not every crossbite requires early intervention, some do, because patients often compensate by shifting their jaw to the side. This can lead to permanent changes in their facial structure. An untreated crossbite may also cause excessive wear of the enamel, difficulty chewing and jaw pain.

Openbite Treatment

Open Bite

A patient is said to have an open bite when the upper and lower teeth don’t meet when the jaw is closed. An open bite is usually caused by an abnormal swallowing pattern, thumbsucking or prolonged pacifier use.

Why does it need to be fixed?

Having an open bite makes it really hard to bite into food and chew properly. It can also impact speech and cause headaches, jaw pain and the breakdown of the teeth that take on more of the chewing forces.

Schedule your complimentary consultation today!

Every beautiful, confident smile we create starts with a consultation. Schedule an exam for you or your child at our boutique orthodontic practice today! We are conveniently located in Tenleytown, DC with easy access to the Tenleytown-AU metro station, bus stops and street parking.