How to Correct an Overbite
Overbite or malocclusion is a dental disorder where the upper set of your teeth and jaw don’t align with the lower set of your teeth and jaw. We at Iqaluit Dental Clinic recommend you fix an overbite as early as possible to avoid serious health problems in the future. Generally, the symptoms of an overbite develop during childhood. In most cases, a mild overbite is not of grave concern.
However, a deep overbite, if left untreated, can lead to problems with chewing, tooth wear, jaw pain, jaw discomfort, speech problems, teeth breakage on impact, negatively affect your appearance, and many other issues. Let’s read how an overbite develops and what treatment options you can consider for fixing an overbite.
How does an overbite develop?
An overbite is the most common dental disorder in children, and it is unclear why some children develop it at a young age and others don’t. It has been observed that children will likely require orthodontic treatment if their parents need the same. Thus, we can conclude that genetics play a crucial role in the development of an overbite.
However, it can also happen due to environmental factors. For instance, toddlers and infants may develop an overbite if they have a habit of excessive thumb-sucking or overuse their pacifiers or bottles. That is why it is crucial to encourage a child to stop such practices past the age of five.
Teenagers and adults can develop an overbite if they consistently chew on their fingernails, bite pens and pencils, and more. Tongue-thrusting habits and not going on a follow-up treatment after losing teeth result in the development of an overbite.
Here are a few treatments options for fixing an overbite
The treatment option for an overbite will depend on the severity and the type of overbite, such as a dental or skeletal overbite. A skeletal overbite happens due to a smaller lower jaw which pushes the teeth against the teeth of the more prominent upper jaw. Dental overbite occurs as a result of the poor alignment of the teeth.
Now, let’s look at the popular treatment options for an overbite below:
1. Dental braces – In most cases, they are the most effective and most accessible option for treating overbite problems since it also helps to realign your teeth and fix crooked teeth and jaw position no matter the age. That is why it is also the most common method to correct overbites.
In the first stage, your orthodontist will determine the type of overbite using an x-ray and understand how your teeth and jaws are affected. Then, you will have overbite braces attached to the top and lower arches of your teeth, where the archwire will help to align and straighten the teeth.
The treatment’s second stage involves using tiny rubber bands known as elastics that are fitted on the brackets from front to back or top to bottom. This helps to slowly shift the jawline into its correct position through constant pressure. It is important to note that you will have to wear the bands all the time, except when you are allowed to remove them before eating or brushing your teeth.
Finally, you must wear a retainer or a permanent wire for the rest of your life to keep your teeth in their desired place. However, you only need to wear the braces during the overbite correction period, which can last for at least two years for serious overbite problems.
2. Invisalign treatment – People who don’t like the look of traditional braces can opt for a concealed option such as lingual or ceramic braces or Invisalign aligners to treat their overbite problems. Generally, plastic aligners are suitable for treating minor to mild overbites and are cheaper. However, they are not ideal for severe overbite problems.
Clear plastic aligners such as Invisalign are more expensive than traditional braces, but it is suitable for people who are uncomfortable with braces. It involves using a series of clear trays that gradually mould the crooked teeth to their correct position. Usually, the overbite correction time is shorter at one year compared to traditional braces, but it depends on the severity of the condition.
Invisalign aligners are a visually appealing method for treating overbite, but it is essential to consult a reputed orthodontist to determine whether they would suit you.
3. Tooth extraction – Tooth extraction is a suitable method for correcting overbite problems in young children, primarily if the problem is caused due to overcrowded teeth. This treatment method involves pulling out a few teeth to allow the other teeth in the mouth to settle in naturally.
Sometimes, tooth extraction alone is sufficient to fix an overbite problem if the jaw aligns naturally. However, if the jaw doesn’t align naturally after the teeth move into their natural position, the use of braces might be required.
4. Surgery – Generally, surgery is recommended as the last option for treating serious overbite problems resulting from severe misalignment of the jawbone. Thus, it is only performed when other treatment options, such as braces and tooth extractions, have failed to fix the problem completely.
Typically, your dentist might also recommend corrective surgery if the teeth overlap by 0.14 inches or 3.5 millimetres. However, it is often only required for adults since the teeth and jaw bones of children or teens are still developing and easier to set into the correct position by using braces or palate expander to increase the jaw size.
An oral surgeon will make incisions inside the jaw after pulling back your cheeks during dental surgery. Next, they will move the jaw physically to change the shape of the chin and align it with your teeth. Generally, you only have to stay in the hospital for two days.
At Iqaluit Dental Clinic, we suggest you consult an orthodontist if you experience problems that you believe to be the result of an overbite. These include headaches and migraines, TMJ disorder, teeth clenching or jaw grinding, altered facial structure, and more.