Terms to Know

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When teeth overlap due to lack of space.

Open Bite

When teeth don’t touch as they should. This may be due to their skeletal relationship or an unfavorable habit, such as thumb sucking.

Overbite (or deep bite)

Orthodontists measure the amount of vertical overlap between the top and bottom teeth. This is termed “overbite” and there are a variety of classifications: mild, moderate, and severe.


The horizontal relationship between the top and bottom anterior teeth is called “overjet.” Excess overjet can be due to the lower jaw growing slower than the top jaw. Left untreated, these bites have been proven to be at higher risk of trauma.

Canine Substitution

When a patient is missing two of their front teeth, called lateral incisors, we can camouflage the teeth next door to mimic them. This is called “canine substitution” and can eliminate the need for pricey implants in the future.

Anterior Crossbite

When the bottom teeth trap the upper teeth, this is called a crossbite. Left untreated, it can cause improper jaw growth, excessive tooth wear, and damage to the jaw joint. If caught early, orthodontic intervention can eliminate the need for surgical correction later in life.


Excess spacing can be due to many things such as teeth being too small or the tongue being to large. An orthodontist can close the space but it is very important to wear retainers after, otherwise the spaces will reopen.

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