Bite Anatomy 101: How An Average Bite Looks

What determines a normal bite? How can issues with bites be corrected? Our Whitby Orthodontists, Dr. Singer and Dr. Shaprio will review these topics today.

What is an ideal bite?

An ideal bite, or normal bite, is when the upper teeth slightly overlap the lower teeth and the points of the molars fit the grooves of the opposing molars. This alignment allows the teeth to function properly and be balanced, and supports facial symmetry, healthy breathing, chewing, swallowing, and digestion. A misaligned bite can cause pain and lead to uneven wear on the teeth.

If you are concerned about the alignment of your bite, it is recommended to consult an orthodontist for an evaluation and treatment recommendations.

You likely have an ideal bite if yours is:


Are your teeth aligned and are your upper and lower jaw lines symmetrical? If so, you probably have a healthy bite. All it takes is one tooth to be out of alignment to cause oral health issues for your whole mouth. We need a strong bite to chew properly, and chewing can be tough on our jaw and teeth. If your teeth are already misaligned, your jaw and teeth will take the force when you chew – not the food.


If you’re experiencing pain in your jaw or the muscles around it, it could be a sign that your bite is misaligned. A healthy bite should not cause discomfort or pain, so it’s important to seek out an orthodontist if you’re experiencing issues. They can assess your bite and determine if orthodontic treatment is necessary to correct any misalignments and alleviate pain. It’s important to address any issues with your bite as soon as possible to avoid further discomfort and potential damage to your teeth and jaw.

Working with Your Tongue

If your bite is misaligned, it could be affecting more than just your teeth. The tongue is an important part of chewing and speaking, and a misaligned bite may cause your teeth to cut or nick the sides of your tongue. This can lead to sores that are more prone to infection. To maintain good oral health, it’s important to correct any misalignment in your bite.

What is a bad bite?

A bad bite, also known as malocclusion, is a condition in which the teeth do not align correctly when the jaws are closed. This can be caused by a variety of factors, including genetics, injury, or developmental issues. There are several different types of malocclusion, including overbite, underbite, crossbite, and open bite. Symptoms of a bad bite may include difficulty chewing, speaking, or biting, tooth pain, and jaw pain. It is important to seek treatment for a bad bite as it can cause long-term oral health problems if left untreated.

Normal Bite vs. Overbite & Other Issues

Bad bites can be categorized into four different types:


This occurs when the upper front teeth overlap the lower front teeth too much, causing the lower teeth to bite into the gum tissue.


This occurs when the upper and lower teeth do not align properly when the mouth is closed.


This occurs when the lower front teeth overlap the upper front teeth, causing the upper teeth to bite into the gum tissue.

Open Bite

This occurs when there is a gap between the upper and lower teeth when the mouth is closed.

Is overbite normal?

An overbite is a type of malocclusion, which refers to an improper bite or misalignment of the teeth. It is not considered normal, but it is a common orthodontic issue that can often be corrected with treatment. An overbite occurs when the top front teeth overlap the bottom front teeth too much.

This can cause problems with the way the teeth fit together and can lead to issues with chewing, speaking, and maintaining good oral hygiene. It is important to address an overbite as soon as possible, as it can lead to more serious problems if left untreated.

How can orthodontics correct my bite?

To determine whether your bite needs correction, consult an orthodontist. Orthodontists are the only specialists who can repair the alignment of your teeth, jaw, and face. At Taunton Orthodontics, we believe a healthy bite doesn’t just support more functional teeth—it can contribute to greater general health and increased well-being. By assessing each patient’s issues and taking an integrated approach to orthodontic treatment, our orthodontists focus on dentofacial balance, growth patterns, and airway issues as contributors to whole-body health.

We offer comprehensive services for all ages—from children to teens and adults—and aim to avoid extractions or invasive surgery when possible through an orthodontic intervention. Through orthodontic intervention, we can correct misaligned bites with braces that help realign teeth and jaw joints and support healthy jaw muscle function.

Are you concerned about the alignment of your teeth and jaw, and want to find out if orthodontic treatment is right for you? Taunton Orthodontics can help answer your questions and assess your needs during a consultation.

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