Young couple wearing braces smiling

What Is An Overbite? And How Can It Be Treated?

An overbite is primarily due to genetic causes, and it makes the front teeth appear as though they’re protruding over one’s jaw. If this dental condition is left untreated, it can cause several gum, tooth and jaw problems. The usual treatments for an overbite includes using corrective devices, but it may require surgery in some cases.

What Is An Overbite?

An overbite is a condition where the top front teeth protrude in front of one’s bottom front teeth. For some, this condition may be cosmetic, but it can also cause health problems such as tooth decay, gum disease, and jaw pain. Orthodontists treat overbites using corrective devices like braces and Invisalign.

Many people only have a slight overbite, so this condition is sometimes ignored. Also known as buck teeth, you can prevent children from having them by limiting pacifier use and thumb sucking. In some cases, minor conditions don’t cause noticeable issues, which is why some people may not opt to treat their overbite.

However, an overbite may lead to serious health issues for those with more severe conditions. They include the following:

  • Temporomandibular disorders (TMD)
  • Breathing challenges
  • Speech disorders
  • Pain when chewing
  • Cavities
  • Difficulty eating
  • Gum disease

How To Fix An Overbite

The correction procedures for an overbite will vary depending on the patient’s age. The treatment options for children may not always be suitable for older patients. In many instances, the treatment for a child will include preventive measures, especially if symptoms have been identified early.

Here are the treatment options for overbites in children:

  • Braces: dentists use braces to move teeth slowly into alignment.
  • Retainers: these tools are used to keep teeth aligned after your braces have done their part.
  • Tooth extraction: baby teeth that are causing overcrowding are removed to make room for permanent teeth. However, in some cases, even some adult teeth may also need to be extracted.
  • Palate expanders: these are growth modification devices that help reposition the jaw.

Here are treatment options for adults:

  • Tooth extraction: this procedure creates more room for other teeth to prevent overcrowding.
  • Braces: these tools move the affected teeth into place.
  • Surgery: dentists use surgical procedures to correct issues with jaw alignment.

An overbite can be prevented in some instances, which is preferred rather than having correction procedures. The only time when preventive measures can’t be used is when the overbite is caused by genetics. For a lot of children, you can prevent the occurrence of this dental condition by simply doing the following:

  1. Don’t let your child use sippy cups that are outfitted with spill-proof valves.
  2. Make sure to schedule dental visits for your children when they turn a year old.
  3. Limit the use of pacifiers when your child turns three.
  4. Stop children from thumbsucking, especially when they’ve passed infancy.

How To Fix An Overbite With Braces

Using braces or invisalign is the best way to correct an overbite for children and adults. What is the process of fixing an overbite with braces? It involves the fastening of metal brackets to a patient’s teeth. The brackets will then be connected using a wire, thus straightening the misaligned teeth.

Once braces have been fastened, the correction of an overbite begins. Orthodontists will later add rubber bands, coils, or springs to the braces, applying additional force to shift the patient’s jawline.

So, how long should one wear braces to correct an overbite? There is no specific time before an overbite can be fixed, as everyone’s treatment period will vary. However, your dentist may estimate the process to complete within six months or up to two years.

Is it worth it to get braces when you’re older? It is relatively common to see adults in their 30s to 40s who still want to get braces to align their teeth properly. You can get your teeth aligned at any age.

Invisalign is another option that you might want to discuss with your orthodontist. This procedure is similar to using braces, although less invasive. Patients wear clear retainers, which help align the teeth and need to be worn at least 22 hours a day. 

Expert Treatment For Overbites In Adults And Children

Correcting an overbite doesn’t need to be a difficult procedure. At Advanced Orthodontics, we offer you a full suite of treatment options that can fit any schedule and budget. In addition, we provide you with a uniquely caring experience, and we make sure that every visit to our orthodontic offices are fun and enjoyable for patients of all ages. Call or text (480) 357-4900 today for more information and schedule an appointment.

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