Overbite is one of the most common and easily correctable orthodontic problems that can occur. This condition is characterized by a protrusion of the upper teeth, which usually covers the lower front teeth. In some cases, the lower jaw can be pushed back or forward when chewing or speaking. Fortunately, you don’t have to wear braces for years to fix your overbite. Here is how to fix an overbite without braces!
What is an Overbite?
An overbite is a common form of malocclusion or misalignment of the teeth and jaws. An overbite occurs when the top row of teeth extends too far over the bottom row. In many cases, overbites can be fixed by wearing braces or other orthodontic devices.
However, in some cases, there are alternatives to traditional braces that may help fix your overbite, such as the use of clear aligners, having surgery to correct the problem, etc.
What Causes an Overbite?
If you think you may have an overbite, it’s important to understand what causes it and what your treatment options are.
Thumb Sucking and Tongue Thrust
Most commonly, overbites are caused by infant oral habits such as thumb sucking and tongue thrusting. If a child sucks her thumb for too long or excessively, her jaw may align incorrectly. Tongue thrusting occurs when a child pushes his tongue against his teeth while swallowing or talking. These habits can result in an overbite if they aren’t corrected early enough in life.
Nail Biting and Chewing on Objects
Other oral habits that can cause an overbite includes nail-biting, chewing on objects like pens or pencils, and repeatedly biting one’s lips or cheek. If your child displays any of these habits, you should consider breaking him off as soon as possible to avoid damage to his oral health.
Overbites often run in families, so if you have a parent or grandparent with an overbite, it’s more likely that you’ll have one as well.
With jaw problems, the upper jaw has developed too far forward, or the lower jaw has not developed far enough forward in relationship to one another. This is called a skeletal Class II malocclusion, and it is usually inherited.
Why You Should Correct Your Overbite
Prevent Decay of Teeth
Overbites can also affect your teeth by causing them to decay more quickly than normal. The pressure on the teeth from an overbite can lead to tooth decay and other dental issues.
Prevent Stress and Wear On the Teeth
Most people have some degree of wear on their teeth because of normal use. However, for those with an overbite, this wear may become excessive overtime. Left untreated, it could lead to tooth loss or other oral health problems. In addition, an overbite causes more stress on the jaw joint when you chew.
This stress can eventually cause TMJ disorders or other problems leading to chronic jaw pain.
Prevent Problems with Chewing
If you have an overbite, you may find it difficult to bite and chew food correctly. This can lead to digestive issues and poor nutrition if left uncorrected. It can also make it difficult to eat certain foods such as corn on the cob or apples, which could limit your diet unnecessarily.
Can Overbite Be Fixed?
Overbites are very common in children and young adults, with over 80% of children having some degree of malocclusion.
Overbites usually correct themselves as the child grows through their teenage years, but if an overbite does not correct itself, it may need treatment to avoid further complications. Some people have an aesthetic dislike of their overbite and opt for treatment despite there being no complications.
Seek Orthodontic Treatment
You need to visit an orthodontist as soon as possible if you have an overbite. The doctor will assess your situation and decide whether or not you need braces or other treatments to correct your bite.
The most common form of treatment for overbites is braces or orthodontic surgery. However, there are other options available such as transparent aligners.
Use of Invisible Aligners
Aligners are clear plastic things that straighten your teeth without braces. The best candidates for aligners are people with mild to moderate misalignment of the upper and lower teeth.
Worn for about 2 Weeks
They use 3D computer imaging technology to create a series of custom-molded aligners. Each aligner is worn for about two weeks before moving on to the next one in the series. Each aligner is slightly different and moves your teeth incrementally.
This process continues until you achieve your desired results. Once the treatment is complete, you will need to wear a retainer at night. A retainer is a thin, plastic mouthpiece that prevents teeth from shifting. Retainers are often used after orthodontic procedures, after wearing braces or an expander, to ensure that teeth stay in place.
If you are wondering can an overbite be fixed, then aligners may be the answer you’ve been looking for.
How Invisible Aligners Work
The aligner system is made up of a series of invisible, removable aligners that you change every two weeks for the next set of aligners. Each aligner is individually manufactured for your teeth and your teeth only. As you replace each aligner, your teeth will move little by little, week by week, until they have straightened to the final position your dentist or orthodontist has prescribed.
Upper and Lower Teeth Correction with Clear Plastic Aligner
Aligners are used to correct overbite by gently moving the upper teeth back and the lower teeth forward until they line up properly. The length of treatment will depend on the severity of your overbite, but it typically takes one year or less to see results.
The cost of aligners treatment is similar to orthodontic braces, but that’s where the similarity ends. This is how they differ from braces treatment:
- The clear aligners are removable and virtually invisible, so you can straighten your teeth without anyone knowing
- It’s much more comfortable than metal braces because you don’t have the poking wires or bands that can cause sores in the mouth.
- You can eat and drink what you want while in treatment, plus brushing and flossing are less of a hassle.
- The best part about the whole process is that it’s done in less time than traditional braces.
- The system is covered by many insurance providers in the same way that traditional braces are. Your dentist can help you determine if you’re a good candidate for aligners.
It is worth noting that this type of overbite correction cannot correct skeletal overbite or skeletal problems.
Jaw Surgery to Correct Severe Overbite
For many people, a severe overbite can be corrected without surgery. Clear aligners or other orthodontic treatments can straighten teeth by moving the upper teeth and lower teeth into position over time.
However, for people with more serious overbite issues, surgical dental treatment is the only solution. Jaw surgery will reposition the upper and lower jaw.
When to Consider Jaw Surgery
In most cases, an experienced dentist will recommend orthodontic treatment before considering jaw surgery. However, there are several reasons why orthodontics alone might not fully correct the problem. These include:
- A significant difference between the size of the upper and lower jaw
- Skeletal irregularities that prevent teeth from aligning properly
- The lower jaw is recessed too far behind the upper jaw
After receiving a recommendation for jaw surgery or if you are curious about how your severe overbite can be corrected with jaw surgery, consult with your dentist or oral surgeon.
They will be able to advise you on whether this type of procedure is right for you based on your specific mouth structure and desired results.
It’s Done under Anesthesia
Jaw surgery to correct a skeletal overbite is a major procedure. It’s done under general anesthesia, so you’ll be asleep during the whole thing. It usually takes at least four hours and requires an overnight stay in the hospital.
The goal of surgical treatment is to improve both function and appearance by bringing balance to the jaws and teeth so that they work together properly and comfortably.
Before your surgery, you’ll need to make preparations for your recovery. You’ll also need to schedule time off work or school. Most people heal within six weeks, but it can take up to 12 weeks before you feel like yourself again.
The only options to fix overbite without braces would be to undergo orthognathic surgery or to use Invisible Aligners. These treatments will fix upper teeth on the upper jaw plus bottom teeth.
Some people just don’t like the idea of having surgery at all, so they prefer Invisible aligners. This is because, with aligners, they don’t need to visit the dentist every month; instead, they will just change the aligners at home whenever necessary.
Also, aligners don’t cause pain because they don’t rub against your gums like traditional braces do when you chew food or brush your teeth.
While clear aligners are a great option for many patients, they do have some limitations. In some cases, they cannot be used to correct a severe vertical and horizontal overbite. Some patients may also be unable to wear them due to medical reasons hence will prefer jaw surgery.