Common Orthodontic Problems

Actual patients treated by Dr. Draper

Crowded Teeth

Crowding occurs when there isn’t enough space in the mouth for all of the teeth. It is the most common problem and why most people seek orthodontic treatment. Crowding gets worse over time, as one tooth pushes over the other leading to overlapping “crooked” teeth. Crowded teeth are harder to clean than straight teeth, which can lead to cavities and possible gum disease.

The degree of crowding can vary from mild to very severe. If caught by Dr. Draper before growth is complete crowding can often be corrected by expansion so as to avoid tooth removal.


In an underbite, the lower jaw outgrows the upper jaw resulting in a longer lower jaw than the upper jaw. This causes the lower teeth to protrude in front of the upper teeth. It is best for Dr. Draper to diagnose the problem early as intervention during early growth and development is the best treatment for underbite.


An overbite, or deep bite is when the front teeth cover the lower teeth excessively. An excessive overbite can lead to worn teeth and even may cause the bottom teeth to bite into the gum tissue in the roof of the mouth. Dr. Draper can recommend the proper treatment to correct an overbite in you or a family member.


The malocclusion known as spacing is too much room between the teeth. Spacing can occur if teeth are missing, small, or if the dental arch is wide. The most common complaint from patients with excessive spacing is cosmetic. If you or your child have concerns about spacing talk to Dr. Draper about proper treatment and retention.


The most common crossbite is when the back upper teeth fit into the inside of the lower back teeth. It can present on bothsides of the mouth or just one side. Early expansion of the upper jaw will correct most crossbites. A crossbite can also occur when one or two of the top front teeth are trapped behind the bottom teeth. Any crossbite should be evaluated by Dr. Draper so he can recommend proper treatment and timing. 

Overjet or Protruded Teeth

When the upper front teeth stick out too far forward, or the lower teeth don’t extend forward enough this is called protrusion. This condition may be caused by uneven jaw growth or by oral habits, such as thumb and finger sucking.

Open Bite

A common result of thumb sucking or tongue thrusting, an open bite is evident when you can’t touch any of your front teeth when your back teeth are in contact. An open bite is a cosmetic problem, but it can also cause chewing and speech problems.

The type of treatment recommended by Dr. Draper will be based upon the severity of the open bite and if the underlying problem is in the teeth, or the skeletal jaws.

Impacted Canines

The permanent upper canines are most often teeth which become impacted. It is common for the baby canines to be retained in the mouth when permanent canines become impacted. An early exam by Dr. Draper can help to recognize potential for impacted canines. If caught early enough Dr. Draper can recommend interceptive treatment which can lead to self correction of the problem.