Adult Braces

Continuing in our series on orthodontic problems to watch out for in adults, this week we’re taking a look at underbites, overbites and crossbites — and why they’re problematic.

underbites, overbites, crossbites

Read on to find out more about crossbites, overbites and underbites. Image courtesy of the American Association of Orthodontists.

The Differences Between Underbites, Overbites and Crossbites

Even if your teeth are straight, you can still have jaw and teeth alignment problems, called malocclusions.  Malocclusions fall into three categories.


Underbites are known in orthodontics as Class III bites, and they are categorized by the lower teeth protruding in front of the upper front teeth. They are caused by problems with jaw growth: either undergrowth of the upper jaw, overgrowth of the lower jaw, or sometimes both.


Overbites are known as Class II bites, and they are categorized by the upper front teeth landing significantly ahead of the lower front teeth.  They are caused by genetics, bad habits such as thumb-sucking, or overdevelopment of the bone supporting the teeth.


Crossbites are a little less standard than the definitions of overbites and underbites.  In short, crossbites happen when the upper and lower jaws are both misaligned.  Typically, one tooth or a group of teeth in the upper arch will bite inside the lower teeth in either the front or on the sides of the mouth.

Problems Caused by Underbites, Overbites and Crossbites

Any type of malocclusion can lead to excessive wearing down of your teeth over time, as well as jaw pain and problems chewing.  They can also lead to gum disease and eventually tooth loss.

Treat Bite Problems at Elrod Ortho

Don’t put off having your bite problems diagnosed and putting a plan in place to fix them.  Dr. Elrod has been practicing orthodontics for more than 30 years and loves helping kids, teens and adults gain confidence in their smiles.  If you’re ready to learn more, give us a call at 816-373-6006, or visit Elrod Orthodontics on facebook!

Many people go through life with less than perfectly straight teeth, but there are certain orthodontic problems to watch out for that can lead to more serious problems down the road.  One of those things is gaps between teeth, or diastema.

Gaps Between Teeth: Not Just a Cosmetic Issue

While a number of people, including celebrities like Madonna, have learned to love the small gap between their teeth, gaps aren’t always something that should be embraced.

Madonna's tooth gap

Fixing the gaps between your teeth is about more than cosmetics.

Gaps between teeth can cause the following types of problems:

  • Gaps can cause teeth to shift and become loose because the dental arch is not secure.
  • There is more gum line exposed, which can lead to increased incidence of gum disease because there are more places for bacteria to breed.
  • Poor alignment can result in temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder or teeth grinding at night.

Gaps Caused by Genetics and Behavior

Many people are predisposed to gaps between their teeth thanks to their genetics.  Sometimes teeth are missing or undersized.  Other times, the piece of tissue connecting the upper lip to the gum above the two front teeth, called the labial frenum, is oversized.

Behaviors can also lead to gaps between teeth, such as tongue thrusting (an incorrect swallowing reflex), thumb sucking, or gum disease.

Orthodontic Care Can Fix Problems Before They Happen

While you may not have experienced any problems related to the gaps between your teeth, it’s important to know that most of the issues we outlined above are progressive problems.  They don’t just suddenly pop up over night; they appear over the course of years of wear and tear on your teeth and gums.  Getting orthodontic care before the big problems start can save you time, money and pain.

Orthodontic Care for All Ages at Elrod Ortho

Dr. Elrod has been practicing orthodontics for more than 30 years and loves helping kids, teens and adults gain confidence in their smiles.  If you’re ready to learn more, give us a call at 816-373-6006, or visit Elrod Orthodontics on facebook!

We’ve talked about how adults can benefit from braces, too, but there are certain orthodontic problems that we see commonly in adults for which braces are the best solution.  One of the ones we see most often in adults is crowding.


If your teeth look similar to this, you can benefit from adult orthodontic treatment. Image courtesy of the American Association of Orthodontics.

Crowded Teeth Can Be Easy to Hide

Many adults have relatively straight top teeth but over-crowded and sometimes crooked bottom teeth.  Because the bottom teeth are not as visible, many folks reach adulthood without ever worrying about them.  In other cases, both top and bottom teeth are crowded, but the resources weren’t there growing up to have the problems fixed.

Crowded Teeth Cause Problems

But crowded teeth aren’t simply an aesthetic issue.  Improperly spaced teeth can cause the following problems:

  • Increased tooth decay, cavities and gum disease
  • Strain on teeth, jaws and muscles
  • Increased risk of breaking a tooth
  • Inability to chew properly

The Causes of Crowded Teeth

Crooked teeth are usually caused by simple genetics.  Other causes include early loss of teeth, both baby and adult, poor dental work, gum disease, facial injury, and mouth or jaw tumors.  Crooked teeth can also be exacerbated by childhood thumb sucking, or using a pacifier or bottle beyond the age of three.

Straight Teeth Improve Quality of Life

No matter what the cause or when the problem is diagnosed, both adults and children can benefit from orthodontic treatment.  Increased dental function, better ability to keep up dental hygiene, and the confidence that comes with a smile full of straight, properly spaced teeth are just a few of the good things that come with braces.

Orthodontic Care for All Ages at Elrod Ortho

Dr. Elrod has been practicing orthodontics for more than 30 years and loves helping kids, teens and adults gain confidence in their smiles.  If you’re ready to learn more, give us a call at 816-373-6006, or visit Elrod Orthodontics on facebook!

Faith Hill may be best known for her music, but she also has a beautiful smile.  But she didn’t always feel confident about it.
Faith Hill in Braces

Even celebrities like Faith Hill feel more confident with braces!

As a child, she wore braces to straighten her teeth and help her gain confidence in her smile.  Orthodontic care for children can also help with bite problems and prevent speech difficulties — both important whether you make your living singing or not.

High Fashion Braces

When she showed up earlier this year at the Grammys wearing braces, the braces — and her smile — quickly became a hot topic.
While Hill chose to go with a more discrete set of clear braces (or ceramic braces, which are available at Elrod Ortho in case you were wondering!), she was happy to talk about them.

Good Orthodontic Care a Necessity — Even For Celebrities

When asked about her new fashion accessory by radio station KNIX, she explained, “I forgot to wear my retainer,” she said, explaining that her teeth had shifted.  She further added, “Kids, wear your retainer!”
It’s possible for your teeth to shift once your braces are removed if you don’t wear your retainer consistently and according to your orthodontist’s instructions, and celebrities are no exception to that rule.  So Faith’s advice is perfect for all our younger patients out there as well as our adults!
It’s understandable that someone on magazine covers, album covers and TV shows would want to look and feel their best when they smile, but it’s important to remember that anyone can benefit from more confidence from his or her smile.
Orthodontic Care for All Ages at Elrod Ortho
Dr. Elrod has been practicing orthodontics for more than 30 years and loves helping both teens and adults gain confidence in their smiles.  If you’re ready to learn more, give us a call at 816-373-6006, or visit Elrod Orthodontics on facebook!


Dr. Elrod is a board certified orthodontist and has been practicing orthodontics for over 35 years.  Cosmetic alignment has been an interesting and challenging part of patient treatment over the years and is becoming more and more popular.  There have been some unusual options, like braces behind the teeth and even gold braces. The options he has grown to trust and use routinely are cosmetic braces that blend with your enamel and the Invisalign product.

Invisalign is a great product and proves to be an almost invisible way to have your teeth straightened.  However, there are several limitations to this product since it is made of a plastic material.


Dr. Elrod offers a free new patient consultation to see if you are a candidate for this creative and inviting type of treatment.

We Can Give you a a Free Consultation

The consultation includes:

  • Full set of diagnostic photographs of your teeth and facial features
  • Tour of our office
  • Thorough exam by Dr Elrod
  • Detailed outline of treatment options
  • Estimation of treatment time
  • Financial quote for treatment selected
  • Insurance information
  • Payment options
  • Professional letter including photographs to your General Dentist, sharing the plans of treatment as proposed.


Dr. Elrod has been practicing orthodontics for more than 35 years and loves helping kids, teens and adults gain confidence by improving their smiles.  If you’re ready to learn more, give us a call at816-373-6006, or visit Elrod Orthodontics on facebook!

Please give our office a call  if you are interested in adding your smile to:

 Smiles with Style



With The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 release on November 15th, the fan base at Elrod Orthodontics wanted to do a little detective work on the bright smile of Mr. Edward Cullen. We have heard rumors about Robert Pattinson having orthodontic work done, but wanted to find out the truth.

Robert Pattinson

Twilight star, Robert Pattinson didn’t finish his orthodontic treatment, which has given him more toothy problems than he started with! (Photo Courtesy of Gage Skidmore/Flickr)

Making the Cast

Pattinson’s teeth transformation began before the filming of the first movie. The directors of Twilight wanted Pattinson’s smile to be perfected before the film was shot and thus asked him to have orthodontic work done. Pattinson openly admits that he thought his smile was fine before the film, but in Hollywood perfection is everything!

The Toothy Twilight Zone

What type of braces did the British star sport? The plan was to have Pattinson wear Invisalign aligners. But during the process, Pattinson decided that he didn’t want to continue with the orthodontic work and quit using the aligners. This, unfortunately for Pattinson, lead him to encounter major relapse to his teeth later down the road. An experience he now regrets.

How to Avoid Regrets

While you may not notice Pattinson’s toothy dilemma up close and personal in Breaking Dawn Part 2, there are several things we can learn from Pattinson’s decision and regrets.

Own It

If you or your parents are considering braces for you, make sure it is something you are willing to commit to. Braces do take a lot of work, but the results are well worth it in the end. Also remember you are not alone. There are thousands of other pre-teens, teens and adults who wear braces, and wear them proudly!

Follow Through

The great news is that braces do not last forever! And if you are committed to following your orthodontist’s directions, then your smile will be well worth it in the end!

Results are the Key

Once you go through your full treatment you will be amazed at the difference your braces have made! Having a beautiful smile can transform not only the way you look, but can also do wonders for your self-esteem! And, we bet that when it is all said and done, you will know that all the time you put in was well worth the finished product, a beautiful smile!

Unfortunately for Pattinson things did not turn out how he hoped or planned. He did not “own his braces” and he did not follow through on his treatment, leaving him with poor results and worse problems in the end.

This week when you are at the midnight showing of Breaking Dawn 2 and you are wanting that bag of popcorn you know you shouldn’t eat, just remember that your efforts will generate great rewards when your braces come off!

Today we’re featuring one of our amazing team members in our “Elrod Orthodontics Staff Spotlight.” Meet Deanna (Dee) James, the Scheduling Coordinator at Elrod Orthodontics. Dee has a bright smile and loves greeting and interacting with all of Dr. Elrod’s patients!

Dee James @ Elrod Orthodontics

Dee James

Dee James @ Elrod Orthodontics

Name: Deanna (Dee) James

What is your role at Elrod Orthodontics? I am the scheduling coordinator.

How long have you worked in orthodontics? Almost 29 years. I have been working at Elrod Orthodontics for over 19 of those years!

What type of schooling or certification did you receive? No certification is required for my job, but I’ve had experience in every area of the orthodontic office before working at Elrod Orthodontics, including working chair side and up front in the reception area.

What do you like about working at Elrod Orthodontics? I love seeing the kids mature and gain self-confidence as their smile improves.

Have you ever had orthodontic work done? Yes, I’ve had full treatment as an adult before working for Dr. Elrod. I wore braces for two years, seven months and 29 days to be exact!

What is your favorite braces band color? Purple

What is the best part about working with the staff at Elrod Orthodontics? The camaraderie is the best part about working at Elrod Orthodontics. The women here are my extended family. We love each other and are a team!

Do you have any funny stories to share from the office? One year we went to Austin, TX for some computer training. There was a pool and hot tub on the roof of our hotel. We spent an evening in the hot tub which turned my blonde hair green! The hotel had to send me to their beauty shop to get it out. That Christmas I anonymously received a set of frog button covers and a poem entitled “A Froggy Night in Austin.” To this day no one has ever admitted writing that poem!!

What are you known for at the office? My ability to spell. Everyone seems to come to me if they need help spelling and Lori has nicknamed me Miss Speller.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,024 other followers