How To Fix Your Bite With Orthodontics

Are you completely happy with your smile? If not, Tilghman Orthodontics has offices in two fabulous locations: Salisbury and Berlin. Here’s how Dr. Tilghman and Dr. Schwartz can fix your bite with orthodontics.

Malocclusion: When Your Bite Isn’t Right

When you come into our office for treatment, you might hear Dr. Tilghman or Dr. Schwartz use the word “malocclusion.” What is that, and what does it mean? 

Malocclusion is a misalignment of the teeth and/or jaws that can cause a variety of problems, including difficulty biting, chewing, and speaking, as well as jaw pain and excessive wear on the teeth. 

There are several different types of malocclusion, including:

  • Overbite: When the upper front teeth overlap the lower front teeth excessively.
  • Underbite: When the lower front teeth overlap the upper front teeth excessively.
  • Crossbite: When the upper teeth do not align properly with the lower teeth.
  • Open bite: When the upper and lower front teeth do not touch when the back teeth are closed.
  • Crowding: When there is not enough room in the mouth for all teeth, causing them to overlap and become crooked.
  • Spacing: When there is too much room in the mouth, causing gaps between the teeth.


People often use the term “TMJ” interchangeably with “lockjaw,” but the correct term for lockjaw is temporomandibular joint dysfunction, abbreviated as TMJD or TMD. The temporomandibular joint is the joint that connects the lower jaw, or mandible, to the upper part of the skull. If you experience pain in this joint, you may feel it in your cheeks or around your ears. Do you ever notice a popping sensation in your jaw? That could also indicate TMJD. Thankfully, if you do suffer from TMJ, Tilghman Orthodontics can help you too.

How To Fix Your Bite With Orthodontics

Orthodontic Options For You

Now that you know the different types of malocclusion, let’s examine how orthodontics can help. Orthodontics is the branch of dentistry specializing in correcting malocclusion using various orthodontic appliances, such as braces, aligners, retainers, and the like. At Tilghman Orthodontics, we offer several treatments to fit your needs. Patients of all ages and lifestyles seek treatment with us. So no matter how you feel about your teeth, remember that you’re not alone. We’ve seen it before, and we know how to help. 

Metal Braces

Metal braces are the most traditional type of orthodontic treatment. They consist of metal brackets that are glued to the teeth and connected with wires and elastic bands. Metal braces are very effective at correcting even the most severe bad bites. Often, metal braces are the most affordable option. Though metal braces are still trendy, many patients prefer more discreet options.

Clear Braces

Clear braces are a great alternative to metal braces. They work the same way as conventional braces but are made of clear or tooth-colored materials that blend into your teeth. Features like this make them much less noticeable than metal braces. Clear braces are a reasonable option for patients who want the effectiveness of metal braces but don’t want the appearance of metal in their mouth.


Invisalign is a newer type of orthodontic treatment that uses clear, removable aligners to straighten the teeth. Invisalign is a popular choice among adults and teens because the aligners are virtually invisible and can be removed for eating and brushing. Invisalign is also very effective at correcting mild to moderate cases of malocclusion.

Treating TMJ

Orthodontic intervention at Tilghman Orthodontics can help with TMJ. Remember those malocclusions? Misaligned teeth can contribute to TMJ. Sometimes metal braces, clear braces, or Invisalign might help with TMJ. But since it involves joints and bones, Dr. Tilghman or Dr. Schwartz may need to look for other solutions. Mental exercises, like mindfulness meditation (or other stress management techniques), can help relieve pain. Also, consider cold and hot compresses and massages. In extreme cases, 

How We Work For You

Now that you know the different orthodontic treatments available, you might wonder how they work. All orthodontic treatments work by applying gentle pressure to the teeth to gradually move them into the correct position. The length of treatment varies depending on the severity of the malocclusion and the type of treatment used.

During your initial consultation at Tilghman Orthodontics, we will thoroughly examine your teeth and jaws to determine your best treatment plan. We will take x-rays, photographs, and impressions of your teeth to create a personalized treatment plan that addresses your specific needs.

Orthodontic treatment is not just for children and teenagers. Many adults choose to undergo orthodontic treatment later in life to achieve a healthy, functional bite and a more confident smile. At Tilghman Orthodontics, we offer orthodontic treatments for patients of all ages, and we can help you find a treatment that fits your lifestyle and budget.

How To Fix Your Bite With Orthodontics

Seek Treatment at Tilghman Orthodontics

Visit us here to schedule a free consultation. We have openings at both of our locations in Berlin and Salisbury. Dr. Tilghman and Dr. Schwartz can’t wait to meet you.