Posted on June 26, 2020
Did you know that an overbite is the second most common reason people need braces besides mere aesthetics? But what exactly is an overbite and when should you seek treatment (or get treatment for your child)?
An overbite is a condition where upper teeth protrude over the lower teeth in the front of the mouth. It is most noticeable when teeth are clenched to bite or to close the mouth. This problem is actually quite common and particularly so among infants. It starts to become an annoyance when the overhang is over 10%.
In order to define when an overbite should be treated, it is important to seek clarification from a family orthodontist. This is especially true for young children since an overbite could cause problems with speech. An overbite could also restrict the ability to smile and be confident.
The good news is that an overbite can be corrected. Over half of the patients for orthodontists are treated for overbites. The earlier it is identified and treated using family orthodontics methods, the better the chances are an overbite can be easily corrected. After an orthodontist checks the misalignment of teeth, braces may be recommended as a simple treatment. First, it is important to understand the types, causes, and symptoms of malocclusions (or overbites).
Overbites can actually be hereditary or caused by the malformation of the jaw due to prolonged bottle-feeding, thumb-sucking, or pacifier use as a young child. Overbites in adults are typically caused by chewing on items such as fingernails, cigars, and ice. If you grind your teeth or have TMJ, you could end up suffering from an overbite.
Did you know that overbites can be vertical or horizontal? A vertical overbite is when top teeth extend over the bottom; when there is a significant overlap over the bottom teeth, it is called a horizontal overbite. Overbites can also be caused by skeletal issues with your jaw or the overcrowding of teeth.
This type of condition has several symptoms that can be pointed out by an orthodontist. A few of those symptoms include a chin that appears to be too small for a face, round and short face shapes, slurred speech, and pain in the jaw. Some people may even look angry when they have an overbite, even if they aren’t.
Is it really necessary to have an overbite treated? The answer is yes. Crowded teeth can be very difficult to clean and lead to food becoming trapped between teeth. This only increases the dangerous risk of cavities. When teeth rub against one another, it causes the enamel to become worn and gum disease can set in easily. In some cases, misalignment is known to cause discomfort and pain while eating, sleep apnea, and severe headaches. Seek treatment from an orthodontist to get great oral healthcare and perfectly aligned teeth.
An orthodontist can offer treatment options for people of all ages. If your child has an overbite, it is better to have it treated while they are young before their jaws have fully developed. A simple correction for kids is braces. Braces treatment typically involves metal braces. The fastening of metal brackets to teeth and connecting them with wire helps to gently straighten teeth over time. Once teeth are straightened an overbite can be fixed. The addition of coils, springs, and rubber bands are added to braces to shift the jawline with an additional force to correct an overbite. This type of treatment can take from six months to two years.
Once fitted with braces, regular visits once a month to orthodontist offices are paramount. Cleanings are necessary to keep food particles from causing bacterial damage to teeth, and there are foods that should be avoided. Discuss this and more with the best orthodontist in your area. Reap the rewards of a corrected overbite with orthodontic treatment.