CAN BRACES FIX AN OVERBITE?
Can braces fix an overbite? Yes, although there’s a better way. You’ll get to know what it is. However, let’s start with the basics.
What is an overbite?
An overbite is also known as buck teeth, or a malocclusion. It is a misalignment of the teeth with varying degrees of severity.
Many people tend to overlook an overbite, believing that it doesn’t matter. Freddie Mercury, the late rock icon is a classic example. He accepted his overbite and lived with it. But this may not be the same for others.
Many people are usually uncomfortable with an overbite and prefer to treat it, for cosmetic reasons, mostly. Others may treat their overbite to avoid complications, like damages to the gums, teeth, or tongue due to accidental biting.
What causes an overbite?
Most cases of overbite are hereditary. The jaw shape is a feature that can be transferred through generations. The use of pacifiers and thumb-sucking are also possible causes of overbite.
How does thumb-sucking lead to overbite?
You see, dad and mum were right when they warned you to desist from sucking your thumb. It can cause you to have buck teeth. Medical doctors and dentists call thumb-sucking a non-nutritive sucking behavior. This means that your body doesn’t gain any nutrients when you suck your thumb.
If you suck your thumb past 3-4 years of age, or while your permanent teeth are just starting to develop, the sucking pressure will cause your permanent teeth to come out at an abnormal angle.
How a pacifier causes the formation of buck teeth
A pacifier causes an overbite just in the same way as sucking a thumb. A 2016 study published in the Journal of the American Dental Association found that pacifier use increased the risk of developing overbites compared to thumb- or finger-sucking.
A tongue thrust occurs when your tongue presses forward in your mouth. In many cases, it results in an open-bite, a kind of malocclusion. Tongue-thrusting can also cause an overbite.
It is a common condition in many children, but it can also move into adulthood. Several factors may contribute to thumb-thrusting, such as poor swallowing habits, swollen adenoids, or tonsils. Stress can also contribute to tongue-thrusting in adults.
Some people are naturally born with a small lower or upper jaw, or an uneven jaw. An overbite can be inherited, and your siblings or parents may have it as well.
Types of overbite
There are two forms of overbite – dental overbite and skeletal overbite.
In a dental overbite, there may be an alignment between your upper and lower jaw. The poor alignment of the teeth may push back your lower jaw, thus causing an overbite.
In a skeletal overbite, your lower jaw is smaller in size compared to your upper jaw. This causes a forward push of your upper row teeth.
Can braces fix an overbite?
Yes, they can. Dental braces are designed to fix misaligned and crooked teeth, although braces can fix an overbite. Braces fix an overbite in three steps:
- The orthodontist attaches the braces to your teeth to straighten and align them.
- After aligning your teeth, the brackets will be fitted with elastic bands. The purpose of this is to shift your jaw slowly into its right position through constant pressure. Ensure that you remove the bands before brushing your teeth, eating, or drinking.
- Finally, you may have to wear a retainer to position your teeth correctly. Correcting an overbite with dental braces may take a minimum of 2 years to see the complete results of an overbite before and after braces.
Is there a better way than braces to fix overbite?
Yes! You can use better alternatives to braces to fix an overbite. These include clear aligners.
Clear aligners are a suitable alternative for braces in a lot of cases. They are best for people who are uncomfortable with the changes which braces make to their appearance. Clear aligners use near-invisible trays that gradually mold your teeth to their right position. You will have to switch the trays as time goes on.
Many people prefer clear aligners because of their invisibility. They also have a shorter correction time (usually 4-6 months). However, the correction time depends on the severity of your overbite.
Overbites are caused by a misalignment of the jaw bone, and to correct your smile, you may need surgery. What you should know is that an overbite surgery is best for adults. The teeth and bones of children are usually still at the developing stage making it easier to reposition them with braces or clear aligners.
Tooth extraction is best used if your overbite is caused by overcrowded teeth. Extracting a tooth or two can cause the rest of the teeth to reposition in the right way. And, repositioning of the teeth causes the normal alignment of the jaw.
Why is it important to correct your overbite?
Many people overlook their overbite. But you must correct it. Why? Because:
- An overbite has a negative effect on your appearance
- It often results in misalignment of your teeth
- It can cause tooth wear and jaw pain
- An overbite may cause speech problems
At Beam, we’re concerned about your bite problems and committed to fixing them in the best possible way. We understand how important your smile is to you.If you’d like to know more about you can fix your overbite problem, please, reach out to us and we’ll guide you appropriately. Our local Australian support is here to help!