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How to Fix an Overbite

By November 7, 2022 December 29th, 2022 No Comments
a person eating grapes

Wondering how to fix an overbite? Or does a family member have this problem and needs a remedy? If yes, and you have teeth that overbite  to correct, this is the guide you should read.

I will discuss everything about overbite. This includes causes of an overbite, types of an overbite, and their treatment options.

What is an Overbite?

There are varieties of common problems that can affect your teeth and they include misaligned teeth which are also known as malocclusion, tooth enamel decay, impacted teeth, and abscess.

Overbite is a common tooth disorder and what causes it varies. It is also known as Malocclusion.  

It occurs when the upper front teeth overlap the bottom ones. According to the American Dental Association, nearly 30% of children and teens, whose teeth are still developing, have overbite problems.

Is it easy to solve this overbite or problems? Yes, you can fix overbites by using braces, use of Invisalign clear aligner, and surgery, just to name a few.  These are treatment options that have proven to be effective in correcting the overbites problem.

a person at the dental exam

Types of Overbites

There exist 2 types of overbites and include vertical overbite and Horizontal overbite.  With vertical overbites, the top teeth overlap the bottom teeth. The horizontal overbite is commonly called an overjet.

It occurs when the upper teeth protrude outwards.

How to Fix an Overbite-Causes and Corrections

Many children, teens, and adults suffer from this problem. It is one of the serious issues that will affect your desire to smile. Patients with this problem can also have difficulties chewing food.

The condition is characterized by the front upper teeth protruding over the lower teeth. It is also referred to as buck teeth. An overbite can be passed down through generations; in other words, it can be hereditary. This condition may be caused by habits such as sucking thumb etc.

It is worth noting that there are skeletal overbite and dental overbite.  Skeletal overbite is caused by misalignment of jaws while dental overbite happens when you have crooked teeth.

So, what are the causes of overbite?

  •         Jaw problems; Misalignment of an upper or lower jaw cause the skeletal type of overbite
  •         Habits like thumb sucking and tongue thrusting
  •         Chronic nail biting
  •         Chewing objects
  •         Grinding teeth causes a severe overbite
  •         Temporomandibular joint dysfunction
  •         Use of objects such as pacifiers causes damage to upper front teeth
  •         It can result from your genes

Jaw Problem

Skeletal overbite occurs when the lower jaw or upper jaw is not aligned properly. These types of overbites can be severe and are characterized by the lower jaw being too small to fit your upper jaw.

With this type, the jaw is the problem and not your teeth.  This needs to be corrected by orthodontics surgically since the use of braces, aligners cannot treat this problem.

A dental orthodontist will examine his or her patients’ jaws, even perform an x-ray to determine if the overbite is severe or not.  

a baby with pacifier in the mouth

Habits like Thumb Sucking

This is one of the major causes of an overbite. The habits like grinding teeth, nail-biting, tongue thrusting, thumb sucking, chewing objects such as pencils, and use of objects such as pacifiers will cause overbite.

Your parents were right when they warned you that thumb sucking, chewing on pencils will lead to a severe bite.  If you do this while permanent teeth are growing, it will cause the upper teeth to overlap the lower front teeth or bottom teeth.  

These habits put pressure on front teeth and this forces them to grow forward which can cause an overbite.

Sucking on a pacifier will also lead to an overbite. To avoid these teeth problems, make sure you educate your children about the effects of their habits.

Hereditary or Genetic Factors

Front teeth plus lower teeth emerge from gums. If you are born with an uneven lower jaw or upper jaw, this may cause overbite or issues with your teeth. You might notice that your brothers, sisters or your parents have the same problem.

If you were born this way, do not fret because many ways have been developed to fix an overbite.  Book an appointment with an orthodontist and he will give the best treatment plan for your overbite problem.

Many people choose to treat this type of overbite due to various reasons such as dental cosmetics.  If the problem is severe or has a deep bite, it can damage the tongue, gums, and jaws, and probably cause jaw pain.  Other issues brought about by deep bite include;

  •         Speech impediments
  •         Chewing deficiencies
  •         Alterations in the appearance of your face
  •         Pain when eating

How to Correct an Overbite

If you feel self-conscious about the alignment of your teeth, or have an overbite, you should treat it. Treatment will depend if you have a serious bite or not, and the stage of life that you are in.

Dentists advise not to fix overbites that are not severe. However, people may or should seek treatment:

  •         If you are not happy with the appearance of your teeth
  •         For cosmetic reasons-to enhance your appearance
  •         Patients have pain when chewing food
  •         From time to time you get bullied in school because of your dental problem
  •         Patients smile with their mouths closed
  •         The overbite makes speech difficult, just to name a few
a woman holding a thump over her lips and teeth

Overbite Correction for Kids

Overbite correction for children is easier because their jaws and teeth are still developing.  Book an appointment in a dentistry office so as to get the best dental treatment program for your kid.

X-rays can be taken to determine which jaw and teeth need to be corrected.  Here are some of the treatments to correct dental overbites in children:

  • Your kids may require braces to treat their overbites. Get one for your kid as it will also prevent gum disease, tooth decay, and of course correct misalignment of teeth.  
  • Remove baby teeth to allow permanent teeth to grow in a straight position
  • A dentist may recommend a treatment plan of clear aligners to treat your dental overbite problem. They straighten teeth by putting pressure on them. Invisalign is one of the clear aligners.
  • This is another dental overbite correction method. If a bite is too severe, an orthodontist may ask to perform surgery to correct the position of teeth or remove a tooth that is not aligned properly with the others. It is the best option if a child’s jaw appears misaligned

There are also other devices that are used to help position the jaw of a child such as retainers. Correct an overbite without surgery using this method and you can smile more. A retainer holds the teeth in place.

a smiling child wearing braces

Overbite Correction for Adults

Having trouble with overbite as an adult? Then I have some great news for you because there are many ways to fix an overbite despite your age. Correcting an overbite for adult patients may seem difficult but your family dentist or an orthodontist will definitely have a solution for you.

He or she will first examine both your upper and lower jaw with x rays then advise on the teeth to correct.  Some of the overbite correction solutions for adults include:

  • One of the popular ways of correcting overbites without surgery is using braces. You will love their results since they pull the teeth back to their intended position over time. Braces will help move just the tooth that is causing the problems.
  • Surgery; you will undergo an orthodontic procedure if you have a serious case of teeth overlapping or jaw pain. You will need to make an appointment in a dentistry office in order to be referred to a qualified orthodontic doctor.
  •  Invisalign clear aligners; get one if you need treatment for your upper or lower teeth problem. The use of aligners for overbite correction is effective since it will guide your teeth into their proper position. Aligners also use pressure to control tooth movement thereby treating overbites.

No drilling or surgery is involved.

a person holding aligners in their hand

Who should you see for Treatment?

For overbite correction, you will need to visit a dentist or an orthodontist. He will examine your upper and lower jaws to determine the best dental treatment for you.  

Some doctors may request you to undergo a certain orthodontic treatment procedure if you have pain chewing your food.

How long does it take to fix an Overbite?

The duration of overbite correction depends on factors such as age, the orthodontics treatments, and the severity of the case. It can take anywhere from 6 months to 24 months.

The treatment for patients with braces can take from 6 to 24 months. If it’s a skeletal problem, complicated orthodontics procedures are performed to treat the overbites problem.

Expect a slower outcome with this orthodontic treatment.

How difficult is Overbite Correction for Adults?

Like I mentioned before, overbite correction for adults can be somehow difficult because their jaws have fully developed hence their teeth cannot be easily manipulated.

However, with modern technology, innovative orthodontics treatments have been developed to treat the tooth problems of adults.

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