Recognizing and Treating Orthodontic Issues

Here at Smiles of Palmetto Bay, we hear from patients of all ages who have questions about orthodontic treatment and how it could benefit their smiles. Some want to know if they should be seeing an orthodontist as often as they would a dentist, while others wonder if treatment is necessary at all. There are many factors our doctors take into consideration when it comes to recognizing and treating orthodontic issues. 

The first step in this process is an initial consultation where we can examine your teeth There are several common issues Dr. Martinez and Dr. Ross will be looking for during this initial visit. It can be helpful to have a basic understanding of these oral issues and how they can affect your smile—and how we can correct them! Keep reading below to learn more.

Crowded teeth

Healthy teeth and gums are an essential component of good oral health. However, if you have crooked or misaligned teeth, it can be a challenge to brush and floss effectively. This increases the chance of them developing tooth decay and cavities. Customized treatment with Smiles of Palmetto Bay can move the teeth into better positions in small increments over time, giving you a smile that is easier to care for. It can also lessen facial tension and relieve difficulties with chewing and speech! 

Missing teeth

Gaps between the teeth can exist because congenitally missing teeth never grew in, or they may be created when permanent teeth are lost due to injury or disease. If you have missing teeth for any reason, Dr. Martinez or Dr. Ross can use braces to move the existing teeth into the proper positions. We can then place a bonded bridge where the missing teeth would normally be. This method allows us to achieve an evenly-spaced smile that looks good cosmetically and also functions the way it should!

Recognizing and Treating Orthodontic Issues

Gapped teeth

Gapped teeth are common, especially in children, and can happen for a variety of reasons. Whether it’s due to genetics or bad oral habits like thumb sucking and extended pacifier use, we can create a personalized treatment plan to help close gaps in your or your child’s smile.  

Open bite

With an open bite, the upper and lower rows of the front teeth don’t touch or close when smiling or chewing. Many open bites come from extended thumb sucking in childhood, which can cause the teeth to grow into a noticeably rounded formation.

Our doctors will usually treat an open bite with a combination of braces and an orthodontic appliance known as a “crib.” This device prevents the tongue from putting pressure against the anterior teeth when swallowing, which trains it to swallow correctly. This will align your smile, allowing you to close your teeth and smile or chew with ease! 

Deep overbite

Sometimes the lower teeth recede so far behind the upper teeth that they bite into the roof of the mouth and the upper front teeth overlap the lower front teeth. This is known as a deep overbite. Out of all the bite disorders, a deep overbite is the most detrimental to the teeth and health of the jaw joints. It can also negatively affect face shape and appearance.

Treatment for a deep overbite with Smiles of Palmetto Bay may require orthodontic treatment paired with restorative dentistry, although orthodontics alone can sometimes be enough to correct it, depending on how severe the case is. Correcting a deep bite misalignment like this will restore the full functionality of your teeth and greatly improve the appearance of your smile!


An underbite occurs when the bottom teeth protrude in front of the upper teeth. This type of bite misalignment can cause pain at the jaw joint and the angled pressure can wear down some of the teeth. We offer a few treatment options in our Palmetto Bay office for patients who have an underbite, including:

  • an upper jaw expander, which can be widened nightly until treatment is complete
  • a reverse-pull face mask, which wraps around the head and attaches to metal bands on the back upper teeth to pull the upper jaw forward
  • traditional braces to adjust the misaligned teeth

Treatments like these will not only help relieve any pain and discomfort caused by the underbite, they’ll also make it easier for your child to smile, eat, and breathe more effectively. 


An overjet is when the top front teeth protrude far beyond the bottom front teeth. This is often referred to as “buck teeth.” Treatment for this issue is most effective when diagnosed early, as this gives us the chance to guide tooth eruption to our advantage. Your age and specific needs will determine the approach our doctors take, but the options will usually include:

  • bite correction devices
  • traditional braces
  • removable orthodontic appliances
  • tooth removal
  • surgery

Whatever treatment ends up being the best option for you, you’ll be left with a beautiful and balanced smile.

Recognizing and Treating Orthodontic Issues

Get a lifetime of healthy smiles with Smiles of Palmetto Bay

You deserve orthodontic care that’s personalized to your unique smile! After your initial evaluation, Dr. Martinez and Dr. Ross will create a customized treatment plan based on your specific needs, lifestyle, and goals. Our talented team is committed to providing every patient with a rewarding and stress-free experience, and we work hard to ensure your whole family feels comfortable in our Palmetto Bay office from the moment you arrive until your last appointment! 

If you have been wondering if orthodontics could benefit you or your family member, we’d love to meet you and take a look at your smiles! Get in touch today to schedule a FREE consultation with Dr. Martinez or Dr. Ross. We have what it takes to give your child the best start towards a lifetime of healthy smiles.