Can Braces Fix an Underbite? Expert Insights and Solutions

Can Braces Fix an Underbite

Underbite can be a source of low esteem and discomfort in several individuals. This common dental issue not only affects the aesthetics of a smile but can also lead to functional problems such as difficulty chewing, speech challenges, and jaw pain. Fortunately, developments in orthodontics offer various solutions, with braces being one of the most effective and widely used treatments.

In this blog, we will explore whether braces can fix an underbite, and if yes, then what you can expect from the treatment process, helping you understand how to achieve a healthier, more confident smile.

What is an Underbite?

Misalignment of teeth can lead to the problem of having an underbite. Here, the lower front teeth of a patient extend past the alignment of the upper teeth, making the lower jaw appear more pushed forward. This makes it difficult for a patient of underbite to chew properly. While there are ways to treat an underbite, if it goes untreated, it may cause serious jaw injuries that require surgery in the future.

Can Braces Fix an Underbite?

Braces alone typically cannot correct an underbite. While braces are primarily used to straighten misaligned teeth and correct bite issues such as overbites, crossbites, and spacing problems, correcting an underbite often requires a comprehensive treatment plan that may involve other interventions, such as jaw surgery, functional appliances, or other orthodontic devices.

If you have an underbite, it’s best to consult with an orthodontist or a dentist who specializes in orthodontics to determine the most appropriate treatment plan for your specific situation. At Brite Orthodontics, we have a team of expert professionals trained to recommend the best course of action to correct the underbite effectively.

How Do Braces Work to Fix Underbite?

Do Braces Work to Fix Underbite

The braces treatment generally lasts in several phases to straighten and align teeth, as well as to correct bite issues, like underbite. Here’s how the braces treatment works:

Phase 1: Assessment and Planning

During the initial phase, the orthodontist conducts a thorough examination of the teeth, jaws, and overall oral health. X-rays, photographs, and impressions may be taken to create a detailed treatment plan.

Phase 2: Placement

The next phase involves the placement of the braces. This typically starts with the attachment of brackets to the teeth using dental adhesive. An archwire is then inserted into the brackets, and ligatures or rubber bands may be used to secure the wire in place.

Phase 3: Alignment

In this phase, the braces begin to exert gentle pressure on the teeth, causing them to gradually shift into the desired positions. Regular adjustments are made by the orthodontist to ensure that the teeth continue to move correctly.

Phase 4: Bite Issue Correction

If the patient has bite problems such as overbite, underbite, or crossbite, special adjustments may be made to the braces to correct these issues. This phase may require additional time and specific treatment approaches.

Phase 5: Refinement

Towards the end of the treatment, as the teeth near their desired positions, finer adjustments may be made to perfect the alignment. This may involve the use of different wires or additional appliances.

Phase 6: Retainers

This is the last phase of your braces treatment. Once the braces are removed, the retention phase begins. Retainers are custom-made appliances that are worn to maintain the new position of the teeth and prevent them from shifting back. Initially, retainers may be worn full-time and then gradually transitioned to nighttime wear.

How Long Does it Take for Braces to Work?

How long it takes for braces to work for you completely depends on the severity of your underbite case. While constant pressure is applied to your teeth, it does not mean that your teeth move positions every day. After an adjustment, you may experience some soreness in your teeth for a few days as you adapt to the new pressure. During the interim, the braces maintain the teeth in their intended position until the next visit.

For the treatment to be more comfortable and effective, braces align your teeth by moving them slowly and gradually. There is a reason why braces don’t move your teeth too fast, as that can be extremely painful for you and may even damage the bones and roots of your teeth.

However, every orthodontic case is unique. Some patients requiring only minor aesthetic adjustments might wear braces for just six months. Conversely, those with more complicated issues involving both their teeth and jaw might need to wear braces for up to three years.

Bottom Line

When diagnosed and treated early, braces can help fix an underbite. With the advancement in orthodontic equipment, there are several different types of braces available, each tailored to meet your unique needs. Whether you’re considering traditional metal braces, clear aligners, or other orthodontic treatments, consulting with an experienced orthodontist is crucial for developing a personalized treatment plan. Remember, addressing an underbite not only enhances your smile but also improves overall oral health and functionality.

Dr. Satish Pai, M.D.S

Dr. Satish Pai is an orthodontist and Ivy League trained dentist who has served as a faculty at Columbia University. He believes a perfect smile not only makes a person look great but feel great. As the founder of Putnam Orthodontics and a Partner at Brite Orthodontics, he is dedicated to providing the best orthodontic treatments to his patients. He also writes to educate people about everything orthodontics and the importance of correctly aligned teeth along with good oral health. In his free time, you can find him golfing, doing yoga or surfing, and spending time with his family.

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