You’ve probably heard of an overbite, but do you know what it is? More importantly, do you know how to fix it?
An overbite is one of the most common orthodontic issues in children and adults, according to the American Association of Orthodontics (AAO). Nearly everyone has some type of overbite. When it’s more prominent than it should be — more than 1mm in front of the lower teeth — it becomes an issue that may need treatment.
What exactly is an overbite, and how do you fix it? Freeman Orthodontics has the answers!
What Is an Overbite?
An overbite is a form of jaw misalignment. It’s called “malocclusion” if you want to get fancy. In English, it means your upper and lower jaws don’t line up correctly when your jaw is at rest.
There are two types of these malocclusions:
- A “Class 1” neutroclusion is when the front teeth rest 1-3mm in front of the lower teeth, but the back molars generally line up.
- A “Class 2” distoclusion is considered “extreme.” The front teeth are more than 3mm in front of the lower teeth. The back upper molars may also be forward from where they should line up with the back lower molars. A distoclusion is sometimes called an overjet, a deep bite, or “buck teeth.”
How Did I Get an Overbite?
If overbites are such a big deal, is it possible to prevent them? It depends on how you got the overbite. In a few cases, it is possible. Most of the time, however, it isn’t.
Overbites are caused by:
- Grinding teeth
- Thumb sucking
- TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction)
- Teeth crowding or spacing
Most of the time, overbites are related to genetics or simply how the mouth or jaw develops, so prevention is difficult. But they can be reduced by eliminating bad habits such as thumb-sucking. Children should stop sucking pacifiers or thumbs by age 3 to keep overbites from developing or getting worse. Be sure the child also doesn’t get into the habit of pressing their tongue against their teeth. Over time, that can move the teeth forward, as well.
For the rest, the best solution is to see an orthodontist as soon as possible. The AAO recommends an orthodontist evaluate children by age 7.
Why Should I Fix My Overbite?
If nearly everyone has an overbite, why do you need to fix yours? If the overbite isn’t severe, it may not need to be fixed. A slight, natural overbite that doesn’t cause other dental issues may be acceptable on its own. Otherwise, an overbite now can lead to bigger problems later.
What sort of problems? Here are a few:
- Jaw pain
- Tooth wear
- Tooth decay
- Problems chewing
- Sleep issues such as sleep apnea
Ouch, right? The good news is, you can avoid these with orthodontic treatment. The sooner you repair your overbite, the better the chances of keeping these problems from happening.
Freeman Orthodontics offers no-obligation evaluations for new patients, so you can determine whether you should fix your overbite. We’re here to help!
How Do I Fix an Overbite?
What happens if you do need to fix that overbite? Good news! Overbite correction isn’t as hard as you may think. Freeman Orthodontics has several treatment options available.
You can try traditional metal braces or move up to clear ceramic braces. If you don’t want your appliances to be noticed, then Invisalign or Spark clear aligners may be what you prefer. We also offer InBrace, which straightens the teeth from behind rather than in front like braces.
How do you figure out which one is right for you? That’s where we come in! If you’re in San Jose, CA, or The Bay area, start with a virtual consultation, and we’ll contact you for an in-person evaluation.
After examining your mouth, we’ll lay out your best options. We want to be sure you make the most informed decision possible. We’ll help you decide on a treatment plan, and we can even provide financing options to make your treatment affordable to you!
We’re here to answer any questions you have. Your oral health is important to you, and that makes it important to us!