Shift Your Bite Into High Gear

November 2nd, 2018

WHEN UPPER AND LOWER DENTAL MIDLINES do not line up and the lower jaw moves to the side on closing, these are signs of a bite functional shift.

When The Upper Arch Is Too Small For The Lower...

When the upper arch is too narrow or too small for the lower jaw, the lower jaw is forced to move to the side when closing. The unwanted movement, called a functional shift, temporarily relieves discomfort by creating a maximum tooth biting surface for chewing. The unnecessary jaw movement can be eliminated by upper arch expansion and comprehensive orthodontic treatment.

The Imbalance Can Be Fixed

The upper jaw may also be too small for the face and the lower jaw. This is called maxillary deficiency. The backward position of the upper jaw can be corrected with Class III rubber bands, reverse pull headgear, or an upper jaw surgical advancement procedure.

This case was treated by board certified orthodontist Dr. Ann Marie Gorczyca of Gorczyca Orthodontics in Antioch, California.

If you have questions about midlines that don’t line up or a jaw functional shift, call us at 925-757-9000. Visit us at

Straight dental midlines are important. Eliminate your bite functional shift to get your smile into high gear.

Top image used under CC0 Public Domain license. Image cropped and modified from original.
The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

A Reverse Pull Headgear Can Help Prevent Surgery

September 15th, 2016

WHEN UPPER TEETH are behind lower teeth with front tooth crossbite, often there is small upper jaw. A true upper jaw deficiency can be detected early in growing children. As soon as the permanent six year molars come into the mouth, a small upper jaw can be treated by a reverse pull headgear. This type of growth modification treatment with a headgear is best completed by age 15.

Reverse Pull Headgear Can Help A Growing Child's Bite

A reverse pull headgear, also known as a Delaire-type facemask, offers growth stimulation at the maxillary (upper jaw) sutures allowing the upper jaw to be moved forward in a growing child. Headgear treatment is often accompanied with palatal upper jaw expansion, widening the palate to produce a more ideal bite.

Most children with maxillary deficiency, small upper jaw, also have a short face height as well. The slightly downward pull of the elastics of the reverse pull headgear will also help the lower jaw grow downward and backward improving the jaw relationship from a ClassIII bite to a ClassI bite as well as improve facial appearance.

Reverse pull headgears are worn only at home. Twelve to fourteen hours of wear per day is ideal for getting results as quickly as possible.

We'd Love To Answer Your Questions

If you have questions about the need for a reverse pull headgear, call us at Gorczyca Orthodontics in Antioch, California (925) 757-9000. Find us at To find an orthodontist near you, visit the American Association of Orthodontists at

Don't lose the opportunity to modify growth with a reverse pull headgear. Here's to your beautiful face and smile.

Expand Your Dental Horizons by Eliminating Crossbites

July 6th, 2016

WHEN PRESENT, they lead to excessive tooth wear and dark smiles. They cause you to bite your lips and cheeks. They even limit your jaw function. Any way you look at it, crossbites are not good for your dental health.

Crossbites Can Lead To Excessive Tooth Wear

When a front crossbite is present, the upper tooth appears "behind" the lower teeth. If untreated, front tooth crossbite leads to excessive tooth wear.

When a back crossbite is present, the upper tooth is "inside" the lower teeth. Back upper teeth are trapped or tipped towards the tongue. This abnormal tooth position causes your lower jaw to shift. Back crossbites lead to cheek biting, jaw shifting, and the appearance of black space in the corners of your smile.

There Are Different Options To Correct A Crossbite

Braces, Invisalign, or removable expansion appliances can fix crossbites by upper arch expansion.

Visit us at Gorczyca Orthodontics in Antioch, California (925) 757-9000 to find out how dental arch expansion can eliminate your crossbites. To find an orthodontist near you, visit the American Association of Orthodontists at

Sky's the limit with orthodontic possibilities. Eliminate your crossbites today for ideal dental function, comfort, happiness, and life.

"Like Father, Like Son" and Orthognathic Surgery

June 22nd, 2016

WE'VE ALL HEARD the proverb "Like father, like son" to describe the likelihood that a son will have traits like his father in adulthood. This is especially true when it comes to the genetics of jaw growth and need for orthognathic surgery.

Many young men ages 21 and older pursue correction of jaw imbalances during college or shortly after their college years. What frequently happens is Dad then follows with his own orthoganthic surgery. Now, it is "like son, like father."

Orthoganthic Surgery Can Improve Your Bite

When fathers see the beautiful results of their son's orthodontic/orthognathic surgery treatment, they start to think how nice it would be to have their own bite corrected.

Often, a jaw is advanced by orthognathic surgery. This not only corrects the bite, such as a crossbite, but also opens the airway helping to improve breathing and reduce sleep apnea.

A Corrected Bite Opens A Variety Of Options

Once a crossbite is corrected, it is now possible to have crowns and veneers done on the front teeth. Eating will be easier, and you will look gorgeous and feel great.

Orthognathic surgery is usually covered 100% by medical insurance with the exception of a small co-payment. Patients may stay overnight in the hospital and one to three weeks of work medical leave is taken. Patients are usually able to move their jaws after surgery and wear upper jaw lower jaw rubber bands while eating a soft diet for a few weeks of recovery.

If your apple hasn't fallen far from your tree and you would also benefit from orthognathic jaw surgery, call us at Gorczyca Orthodontics in Antioch, California 925-757-9000. Find us at

Board certified orthodontist Dr. Ann Marie Gorczyca and team have completed hundreds of successful orthognathic surgery cases with comfort. We will complete your orthodontic/orthognathic surgery treatment as gently and quickly as possible.

We know your child was a "chip of the old block." It's never too late to do a little "old block" reshaping.

Four Things Moms Need to Check in Their Four Year Old’s Bite

January 14th, 2016

WHEN YOUR FOUR-YEAR-OLD says “Cheese!” at her birthday party, take time to notice if her bite is right.

Most children see a pediatric dentist by age two. By age four, your child may be referred to an orthodontist for severe tooth and bite problems.

There are four childhood conditions treated by an orthodontist as early as age four.

1. Crowded Baby Teeth

Baby teeth should have spacing between them. Overlapped baby teeth are a sign of severe crowding. The permanent front teeth are larger than the baby teeth they replace and need adequate space.

2. Crossbite of Baby Teeth

Crossbite occurs when upper teeth fit inside the lower teeth. If your four year old is experiencing difficulty chewing or bites her cheeks, she may have a crossbite. A crossbite can cause grinding and wearing down of baby teeth. Long term, a crossbite will create an abnormal growth pattern.

3. Lower Jaw Shift with Baby Teeth

Baby teeth out of position can create interference tooth hitting and produce a lower jaw shift. Tooth interference with jaw shifting will wear down teeth and create an abnormal growth pattern.

4. Narrow Upper Jaw with Baby Teeth

A narrow upper jaw indicates narrow nasal passages. This can create open-mouth breathing and sleep problems. Lack of sleep can significantly contribute to difficulty learning at school.

Correction of these early bite problems is of great health benefit to your four year old child. Early treatment by an orthodontist will minimize the need for more extensive orthodontic treatment at a later age.

To Find An Orthodontist Near You...

To find an orthodontist near you, visit the American Association of Orthodontists at To find a pediatric dentist nearby, you can visit the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) at

This patient was treated by Orthodontist Dr. Ann Marie Gorczyca of Gorczyca Orthodontics, in Antioch, California. For a free consultation call (925) 757-9000.

Make sure your child’s bite is healthy when saying “Cheese!” and that she enjoys eating her birthday cake at age four, or any age.

If You Bite Your Cheek, You May Have A Crossbite

January 9th, 2015

OUCH! WHY DID I DO THAT?... If you occasionally bite your cheek by accident, you may have a posterior crossbite. A posterior crossbite occurs when the upper back teeth are inside the lower back teeth.

When posterior crossbite exists, the inside cheek does not drape out to the side properly. Instead, it can drape inward or get pushed toward the lower teeth during eating. The inside cheek then gets caught between back teeth accidentally when chewing. Ouch!

Crossbite Can Be Painful And Unhealthy

There are two types of posterior crossbites. Posterior crossbites can be all teeth on one side or a single tooth on one side.

Cheek biting is especially painful when second molars are in crossbite and they bite the cheek with a sudden heavy force.

Your Crossbite Can Be Treated By An Orthodontist

Posterior crosssites can be treated as early as age 7.

To find out if you have a posterior crossbite, visit an orthdontist near you. Contact the American Association of Orthodontists at

These crossbites were corrected by orthodontist Dr. Ann Marie Gorczyca of Antioch, Calfornia. Visit us at, or give us a call at (925) 757-9000.

Eliminate cheek biting forever. Enjoy dinner. Bon appetite!

Cross-Out Anterior Crossbite

December 3rd, 2014

ANTERIOR CROSSBITE of permanent front teeth is often caused by baby teeth not falling out by age 7.

The permanent front teeth come in behind the baby teeth if baby teeth do not fall out on time.

Anterior Crossbites Can Lead To Serious Problems

This double row of teeth can give kids a “shark tooth” appearance. If you see double teeth, your child needs baby tooth extraction.

Anterior crossbites can lead to front tooth wear, gum recession, or lower jaw shifting. These symptoms are serious and need to be treated by an orthodontist at age 7.

This early treatment of 12 permanent teeth is called Phase I Orthodontic Treatment.

Contact Us For More Information

For correction of an anterior crossbite in a seven year old, call us at Gorczyca Orthodontics (925) 757-9000 or visit us at

Help us cross out anterior crossbite. Give your child a healthy smile!

What Should You Expect From A Palatal Expander?

November 12th, 2014

WHEN YOU START your orthodontic treatment, we create a specialized plan just for you! We use many methods and tools to give you a unique, personalized, beautiful, well-balanced smile.

Teeth Crowding Is Often Solved With A Palatal Expander

Many orthodontic patients have crowded teeth—often caused by a narrow palate. Crowded teeth can be hard to clean and interrupt the symmetry and balance of your bite. Sometimes, we solve this problem with a palatal expander.

Palatal expander treatment is most effective when patients are young, before the growth plate in the roof of the mouth has fused (which often happens by age 14).

What Can You Expect From An Expander?

Expanders gently help your palate become wider, making room to straighten your teeth. Braced on each side of your mouth, it gently and gradually exerts pressure. Typically, there’s a small key that fits into the expander and is turned at regular intervals.

When you advance your newly fitted cemented expander, it is best at first to be seated. Take a hand mirror to see the arrow and hole in your expander. Remember to use the key front to back and then remove the key at the back of your mouth. Long handled keys are best. If you need help, lay down on the couch and have a parent help or return to your orthodontist for more instruction. Once you are a pro, you can advance your expander yourself while looking in the bathroom mirror.

How Will It Feel?

An expander may feel strange at first. Patients report feeling a little pressure each time the expander is adjusted, but that feeling goes away quickly. You may also find yourself speaking a little differently, or experiencing extra saliva flow as your mouth adjusts to the changes.

Palatal Expanders Are Most Often Used For Crossbites

Crossbites occur when upper teeth sit inside your lower teeth instead of outside. The presence of crossbites may cause you to bite the inside of your cheeks. This problem will go away once your crossbite is corrected.

The Benefits Of Palatal Expansion Are Numerous

Palatal expanders widen not only the roof of your mouth but also your nasal passages. An added benefit of palatal expansion is that it will improve breathing and help prevent sleep apnea. In old age, it will also help you not snore!

The most beautiful benefit of palatal expansion is that you will have a broad smile. In photos, you will show teeth all the way to the corners of your mouth and there will be no "black spaces". Your smile will light up the room.

If You Ever Have Questions About The Treatments We Recommend, Please Ask!

Regardless of the particular appliances and/or treatment plan we recommend for you, the bottom line is that you’re going to FEEL fantastic about the change in your appearance.

We want you to feel confident about your treatment, and excited about your future smile. If you ever have any questions about the process, please talk to us. We’d love to explain the steps that we’re recommending to you!

To find out more about palatal expansion, visit us at Gorczyca Orthodontics in Antioch, Calfornia. For a complimentary exam, please call (925) 757-9000 or visit us at

Consider orthodontic palatal expansion today. Your smile will be gorgeous!

Thanks for your trust in our practice!

More Topics
diplomate american board of orthodontics Edward H. Angle Society of Orthodontists advanced education in orthdontics
member american association of orthodontists seattle study club american dental association california dental association
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