What is an Overbite?
Overbite, also known as malocclusion, is caused when the upper set of teeth does not align with the lower set of teeth because of protrusion. To put it more simply, when the upper set of teeth overlaps the lower one, it is a sign of overbite.
What Causes an Overbite?
- Heredity or genetics
- In toddlers and infants, habits such as thumb-sucking, overuse of a bottle, and consistent use of pacifiers
- In teens and adults, biting nails, chewing on pens and pencils, etc.
- Grinding teeth
- Not getting the smile repaired in a timely manner after losing one or more teeth
- Maxillary protrusion due to tongue-thrusting habits
- Temporomandibular joint dysfunction
What are the Types of Overbite?
There are two main categories of overbites – skeletal and dental. Let’s discuss them.
In a skeletal overbite, the lower jaw is quite smaller than the upper jaw which pushes the teeth in the upper row forward.
In a dental overbite, your upper jaw may be aligned with your lower jaw; it may be the poor alignment of teeth that pushes the lower jaw back resulting in an overbite.
How to Fix an Overbite?
Step 1 : Braces are attached to the teeth to straighten and align the teeth. You can also opt for overbite braces if your orthodontist suggests the same.
Step 2 : Once the teeth are aligned, elastic bands are fitted on the brackets to slowly shift the jaw in its correct position through constant pressure. Make sure the bands are removed before drinking, eating, and brushing teeth.
Step 3 : The final stage involves wearing a retainer to keep the teeth in the correct position. And though the overbite correction period varies from patient to patient, correcting severe overbite cases through braces takes a minimum of 2 years.
Invisalign is an alternative for braces ideal for people who are not comfortable with braces changing their appearance. Invisalign treatment for overbite correction uses a series of clear trays that are responsible for gradually molding the patient’s teeth to correct their position. As time goes on, the patient switches to different trays as the orthodontist suggests eventually correcting the overbite completely. Though Invisalign is more expensive than traditional braces, they are preferred for their invisibility and shorter overbite correction time which may be a year depending on how severe the overbite case is.
Some overbite cases are the result of a misaligned jaw bone and require surgery for smile correction. However, overbite surgery is ideal for adults since children may not require undergoing one. Children’s teeth and bones are still developing which is why it is easier to move them into position using Invisalign or braces.
Tooth extraction to fix overbite works well if the problem is due to overcrowded teeth. By removing one or more teeth, the rest of the teeth can move into their normal position. And when the teeth start retaining their normal position, the jaw also aligns normally.
Overbite - Before & After
Why is Overbite Correction Necessary?
People may be easily convinced to overlook the problem of overbite. However, overbite correction is important because:
- Overbite negatively affects your appearance.
- Bad bite often results in teeth misalignment.
- It can lead to jaw pain and tooth wear.
- It increases the risk of teeth breakage in case of a blow to the mouth.
- Overbite also results in speech problems.
At Brite Orthodontics, we pay special attention to fixing bite problems because we understand how patients can be sensitive about their smiles.