Overbites are a common dental condition that happens when the teeth don’t properly match up. They’re commonly found in children and studies show that some childhood habits, like sucking a pacifier or a thumb can cause an overbite.
Overbites can also develop in adults who lose their back teeth. Some people are just prone to developing an overbite because of a wide pallet or the size of their mouth.
Not matter why you have an overbite; it can be a distracting dental issue. The good news is that overbites can be treated with braces.
Typically, there are a couple of different options when it comes to solving your overbite, from a retainer to a full set of braces. Depending on the kind of overbite you have and its severity, you may have a number of options, that we can discuss with you. Our aim is to help you find the best solution to suit your pocket and help you achieve a straight and beautiful smile.
How to Tell If You Have an Overbite
It’s easy to tell whether or not you have an overbite – all you need is a mirror and your smile. Relax your mouth and allow your teeth to naturally close. Try not to force them together. Then, use a hand mirror or stand close to a mirror and smile as widely as you can, allowing your lips to spread away from the teeth.
Take a close look. If you notice that your upper teeth extend over your lower teeth by more than 3mm, you have a skew bite alignment, and therefore you have an overbite. If you’re still unsure, or you need to examine your child’s teeth, you should book an appointment with us as soon as possible. The good news is that it is never too late to fix an overbite. Yet, the earlier you treat it, the better for your confidence and your overall oral health.
Overbites Can Cause Problems
While a mild overbite isn’t a big deal, it is a condition that requires braces treatment from an experienced orthodontist. Left untreated, your overbite might lead to problems with tooth decay, eating, speech difficulties and even breathing.
Solving Your Overbite Woes
If you’re worried about an overbite, the first step is to book an appointment with us. We’ll conduct a complete examination and prepare a plan of action to treat your overbite with braces.
Correcting an overbite can take time, and it’s usually quicker and easier in children since their jawbone is still in the developing stages.
For older patients, the first step towards correcting your smile involves fitting a brace to straighten your teeth. Once your teeth are straight, treatment moves on to moving the upper teeth backward and the lower teeth forward to correct your overbite. Treatments can take up to two years depending on the severity of your overbite.
Early intervention for overbites is important for young children as it reduces the likelihood of lengthy treatment plans. Young children may only need braces fitted to steer their jaws in the right direction. Besides an orthodontic appliance, this may involve other treatment methods.
How Braces Can Fix an Overbite
Braces are an effective orthodontic treatment for most types of overbites. When we assess your bite, we use x-rays to determine the type of overbite you have and the relationship between your jaw and your teeth. We can then attach the braces to the top and lower arches of your teeth.
The archwires work to align and straighten your teeth. During the second phase, we may use small rubber bands to slowly shift your jawline into a straighter position. We fit the bands on the brackets from front to back or from top to bottom to move your jaw and teeth. You can remove the bands before you eat, drink and brush your teeth and then replace them. It’s important to wear your bands at all times as they apply constant pressure to help align your smile.
Finally, once the braces are removed, you’ll receive a retainer or use a permanent wire to help keep your teeth in their new position.
Are There Other Options?
Some patients may prefer a more concealed option, like lingual or ceramic braces. Invisalign aligners are also an option for less severe overbites. We will help you decide which treatment is best for your particular case.
When to Start Your Treatment
When it comes to an overbite, the earlier you start treatment, the better. If you find you’re clenching your jaw or grinding your teeth, you are already doing damage to your teeth. Overbites can make cleaning your teeth properly difficult, too, and this puts you at a greater risk of gum disease and tooth decay.
Living with jaw pain, migraines and regular headaches as a result of an overbite can also impact your day to day life. For some people, these issues improve as soon as they get braces and their jaw moves into place.
How Long It Takes to Fix an Overbite
Deep overbites can take a long time to solve with braces. What’s more, the overbite isn’t always the only problem. You’re more likely to have overcrowding or crooked teeth, which means there are several problems that we need to fix.
Everybody is different, but if you have a severe overbite, you may need to wear braces for at least 2 years. You’ll then need to wear a retainer, at first all day and night and then just at night.
Will Braces on Their Own Solve an Overbite?
Children and teenagers have the advantage of a developing jaw to help the braces move into a straighter position, so they’re less likely to need surgery. Early treatment for children may include braces and a palate expander to help increase jaw size.
If you have a severe skeletal overbite along with problems with your jaw, you may need surgery to reposition your jaw. We use braces in conjunction with treatments like tooth extractions and surgery to help you achieve your dream smile.
If you’d like to fix your overbite, it’s time to book an appointment with the team at Geoffrey Wexler Orthodontist.