How to Fix Open Bite Naturally in Adults

Malocclusions happen when teeth don’t align correctly from front to back. Typically, our front upper teeth overlap the lower teeth a little bit.
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Open Bite: How to Fix an Open Bite Naturally in Adults (Before & After)
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What is an Open Bite?

Malocclusions happen when teeth don’t align correctly from front to back. Typically, our front upper teeth overlap the lower teeth a little bit (the edge of the upper incisors overlaps the lower incisors by ⅓) . In the case of an open bite, a type of malocclusion, the front upper and lower teeth don’t align. Even when the mouth is closed they’re not touching, thus, creating a visible gap between the top and bottom teeth.

Two types of open bites:

Anterior open bite

  • When the front teeth don’t touch, but the back teeth are aligned. It’s a more common type.
Anterior open bite
Anterior open bite

Posterior open bite

When the back teeth don’t connect yet the front teeth fit together.

Nowadays, few people have a flawless bite, even with all the existing methods to fix it. Sometimes the issue is so slight and doesn't bring any discomfort, people prefer to ignore it. Yet, an open bite issue can cause enough inconveniences, so it’s better to consider fixing it. 

Posterior open bite
Posterior open bite

Signs of Open Bite

A slight open bite might be unnoticeable for other people, but quite obvious for the person having it. While more serious cases of an open bite are visually noticeable. 

There are a few general signs of an open bite:

  • Upper and lower teeth don’t contact, even with a closed mouth
  • Troubled and painful chewing and/or swallowing
  • Speech impediments (like lisping)
  • Less pronounced chin and jawline
  • Inability to bite with front teeth
  • Unappealing smile

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Open Bite Causes

Open bite often initiates in childhood, due to certain habits. It’s crucial to notice it as early as possible to begin treatment. There are a few main causes of an open bite.

Excessive sucking habits (thumb, pacifier, lips)

The sucking habit is normal for babies, it’s an instinct. Yet if not eliminated by the age of 2-3, it becomes a harmful habit. Sucking a thumb or a pacifier creates unnecessary pressure on the front teeth, leading to misalignment. The good news is treatment is easier in childhood. 

When the teeth haven’t changed to permanent, there’s a great chance to enter adolescence with a normal bite. So, the key is to wean a child from excessive sucking habits earlier to avoid an open bite.



If skeletal issues occur, the root of the problem might be jaw development. Sometimes jaws are growing apart, instead of growing parallel to each other. Another genetic issue is when teeth don’t erupt fully and grow in an open bite. 

Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ)

The temporomandibular joint connects the lower jaw with the skull, enabling speaking, eating, and moving the jaws. Sometimes, due to stress, traumas, teeth grinding, etc, TMJ disorders occur. It causes chronic jaw pain, and in an attempt to place the jaw comfortably, people may push the teeth forward with the tongue. Thus, causing an open bite. 

Jaw injury

Any kind of trauma that affects the jaws can trigger malocclusion, including an open bite. That’s why jaw misalignments should be treated immediately, to avoid problems with teeth alignment and bite. 

Poor tongue posture

Bad tongue posture and associated habits also contribute to malocclusions like an open bite. For example, mouth breathing almost inevitably leads to malocclusion, due to a recessed maxilla and narrowed jaws. When your tongue is in an improper position constantly, it affects the teeth' alignment and causes bite issues. 

Correct and incorrect tongue posture
Correct and incorrect tongue posture

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Tongue Thrust Causes an Open Bite

Tongue thrusting means pushing your tongue against the front teeth. According to Pedrazzi on PubMed, tongue thrust is involved in almost all open bite cases. Moreover, the tongue is the “progenitor of open bites”. When thrusting, it creates more and more space between the top and bottom teeth. If not treated sooner, tongue thrust can lead to a severe case of an open bite that takes a long time to correct. Excessive tongue thrusting may also create gaps between the teeth. 

Tongue thrusting
Tongue thrusting

Why You Should Fix an Open Bite

An open bite is not just about face aesthetics, but also about health. The earlier you start fixing an open bite, the sooner you’ll be thankful for doing it.

There are a few main reasons why you should fix an open bite.

  • General facial aesthetics. An open bite inevitably changes facial features, and not for the best. Some people take an open bite as their special thing, yet others may feel ashamed even to smile.
  • Speech correction. With the front teeth sticking out, speech impediments are common thing. When the tongue pushes the teeth forward, it often leads to lisping. It is very uncomfortable, especially when you communicate with people a lot. 
  • Tooth wear. Any malocclusion accelerates tooth wear, and an open bite is no exception. When the back teeth touch and the front don’t, various dental problems occur. Fracturing and thinning of the tooth enamel is common. 
  • Normalizing chewing. An open bite doesn’t allow proper chewing or biting, as the teeth don’t touch. Therefore, treating malocclusion is necessary for normal food consumption.

How to Fix Open Bite in Adults

Orthodontic open bite treatment methods include:

Braces for open bite

Braces are a traditional and proven effective way to treat malocclusions. You can pick braces material (metal, ceramic) and your orthodontist makes up a treatment plan. The treatment period depends on the severity of the open bite case. With adults, it usually takes a bit more time, since the skeletal tissue is already developed. 

Braces for open bite

Clear Aligners (Invisalign) for open bite

Invisalign is a popular brand creating modern braces alternatives. Clear aligners like Invisalign  come in a form of transparent aligners that are almost invisible when wearing. For those who feel uncomfortable wearing braces, Invisalign is a perfect option. They’ve proved to be as effective in treating bite issues, and aesthetically appealing at the same time. 

Invisalign Clear Aligners for open bite
Invisalign Clear Aligners for open bite


Screws are usually applied with braces. An orthodontist drills these metal appliances into the jaw and puts rubber bands on them. The other part of the rubber band is attached to the braces. Thus, the bands force the teeth to move down and back, slowly closing an open bite. 

Screws for open bite
Screws for open bite

Retainers for open bite

As you may guess from the name, retainers are appliances that retain the teeth and bite in the proper position. They are attached after braces or aligners to make sure the open bite doesn’t come back and the teeth are in place. 

Retainers can be:

  • permanent (attached to the interior of the dental arch);
  • removable (in the form of a metal wire with a silicone or plastic base; people put them up to the hard palate and wear them for some time during the day)
Retainers for open bite
Retainers for open bite

Open bite jaw surgery

An open bite jaw surgery is applied when other methods aren’t likely to be effective enough. It happens with severe open bite cases. An oral surgeon performs surgery, then after recovery, an orthodontist proceeds with treatment. 

Tongue spurs for open bite

Tongue spurs are appliances designed to eliminate the habit of tongue thrusting. Spurs come in form of little metal appliances, attached to the back side of the top front teeth. They make tongue thrusting that causes open bites, uncomfortable. The spurs don’t hurt, but prevent from pushing the tongue onto the teeth. 

Tongue spurs for open bite

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How to Fix Open Bite Naturally

One of the great ways to fix an open bite naturally is behavior change, i.e. altering your oral habits. The earlier, the better, so if you notice your kid (2+ years old) sucking a thumb, a pacifier, or tongue thrusting, it’s time to get rid of these habits. It’s best to start forming the right habits since childhood. 

Natural ways to fix an open bite, and other types of malocclusions are more preventative than curing. Complex cases of open bite demand professional treatment, yet proper oral habits will make this path smoother. 

First of all, it’s crucial to eliminate the triggering habits of an open bite:

  • Tongue thrusting
  • Bad tongue posture
  • Thumb-sucking

Then it’s great to implement healthy habits to improve an open bite issue.

  • Fix your tongue posture. A proper tongue posture plays an important role in creating a better face structure. Your tongue should rest pressed up to your hard palate. This positioning is beneficial for face shape, respiration, and dental health. It helps to expand the maxilla and move it forward, giving more space for the teeth to sit straight. 
Fix your tongue posture
Fix your tongue posture

  • Get rid of tongue thrust. Since tongue thrusting is a weighty condition for an open bite, it’s crucial to eliminate it. While tongue spurs are good for this, they aren’t at-home remedies. You could try using mewing appliances for tongue thrust to help eliminate this habit. 
  • Correct breathing. Many people with bite problems are mouth breathers, and might not even know it’s an issue. While nose breathing is beneficial even for face proportions, let alone teeth and bite. 

Open Bite: Before and After

If you have an open bite and still hesitate to treat it, let the results of others inspire you. Many people and doctors share the successful results of an open bite treatment. They show even the most severe open bite cases can be corrected.

Take a look at impressive before&after shots of an open bite treatment.

Open bite: before and after from
Open bite: before and after from

Open bite: before and after from
Open bite: before and after from

Open bite: before and after from
Open bite: before and after from

Open bite: before and after from
Open bite: before and after from

Open bite: before and after from
Open bite: before and after from

Open bite: before and after from
Open bite: before and after from

List of resources:


The information provided in this article is intended for educational and informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice or a substitute for professional guidance. Mewing and other techniques mentioned on this website may not be suitable for everyone, and individual results may vary. We strongly recommend that you consult with a qualified healthcare professional, such as an orthodontist, dentist, or myofunctional therapist, before starting any new oral or facial exercises, particularly if you have existing dental, orthodontic, or health concerns.
Written by
Victoria Punda
April 18, 2023