An overbite is an orthodontic issue that needs a quick correction since it can cause many physical and mental problems. The time it takes to fix an overbite varies by person and depends on how bad the condition is.
What is an Overbite?
An overbite is more commonly known as buck teeth and malocclusion. This occurs when the teeth on the upper jaw fail to align with the lower set of the teeth. An overbite can be horizontal or vertical.
This happens when the upper teeth overlap the teeth on the bottom jaw.
This happens when the top teeth protrude outward and sit over the lower teeth. This condition is sometimes referred to as an overjet.
Another way an overbite can be distinguished is by dental or skeletal issues. When your teeth are not in the desired position, you may have a dental overbite. On the contrary, if the overbite is due to the jaw, the problem can be due to skeletal issues.
Many individuals ignore treatment for buck teeth; unfortunately, they usually visit their dentist only when things get worse. Let’s learn how to fix an overbite and also discuss its causes.
What Causes an Overbite or Buck Teeth?
Sucking your thumb in your early days can result in an overbite. During childhood, the teeth and jaw are under development, and when a child continuously sucks the thumb, the pressure is exerted on the teeth, causing its growth to be hindered.
- Tongue Thrusting
When the tongue puts pressure on the back of the teeth, the result can be buck teeth. Tongue thrusting is common among children, but some adults continue to tongue thrust due to odd swallowing habits, inadequate chewing, or tonsillitis.
Genetics play an important role in the causing of an overbite. If your parents have buck teeth, there are high chances that you may also have buck teeth.
- Overuse of a Pacifier
Overusing a pacifier can do what thumb-sucking does to your teeth. According to the American Dental Association, the overuse of pacifiers makes children more prone to malocclusion than thumb-sucking.
- Missing or Crowded Teeth
Even if only one of your teeth is missing, your other teeth can be prone to misalignment and, over time, result in an overbite. In contrast, overcrowded teeth can give you protruding teeth due to the absence of enough space for all the teeth to come in.
Health Risks Due to Buck Teeth
The risks linked to an overbite depend on the severity of the problem. Below are a few common problems that may occur:
- Damage to tooth enamel
- Increased risk of periodontal disease
- Teeth grinding
- Breathing issues
- Discomfort while biting or chewing
- Speech impediments
- Pain in the jaw
- Severe headaches
How Do You Fix An Overbite?
If you have an overbite, do you need braces? The answer to this very question is YES!
Braces are one of the most effective methods used to fix overbites in adults. As the first step of fixing an overbite with braces, the orthodontist will take an x-ray of your teeth to find what overbite issue you have and how your teeth and jaw fit together. Next, your dentist will put braces on the upper and bottom teeth to help fix the overbite.
How Do Braces Fix an Overbite?
At first, the arch wire makes your teeth straight and adequately aligns them. Next, the elastics for braces gradually move the jawline into the desired position. The elastics or small rubber bands are placed on the metal brackets in a front-to-back or top-to-bottom fashion. This helps to shift the teeth and jaw into the correct position.
Dentists recommend removing the bands of the braces before going for meals or brushing your teeth and replacing them afterward. Wearing bands for most of the time helps speed up the treatment process. Taking them out frequently can result in painful teeth and jaws, so be careful of that.
The last step of correcting an overbite with braces is wearing a retainer or a permanent wire to ensure the teeth stay intact.
The three other types of braces to get rid of an overbite include:
- Ceramic braces
- Lingual braces
- Clear aligners/Invisalign
When looking for treatments to fix an overbite or buck teeth, consult with your nearest orthodontist to learn what option will work best for you.
When Should Treatment Begin?
If you have buck teeth, going for a braces treatment as soon as possible is in your best interest. Teeth grinding and jaw clenching can be harmful to your teeth. Sometimes, overbites can hinder your oral hygiene routine and make it difficult to clean the teeth, increasing the risk of cavities and periodontal disease.
How Long Does it Take to Fix an Overbite with Braces?
For a minor or mild overbite, you can expect a short treatment length. But for a deep bite correction, the braces treatment takes a long time. The problem here isn’t just the overbite; a person may also have extra or misaligned teeth, which brings out multiple problems for fixing.
Overcrowded teeth may require a tooth extraction to free up some space and correctly align the remaining teeth.
Each individual’s case varies, but for severe overbites, one may have to wear braces for a minimum of 24 months. After the orthodontist removes the braces, the patient must wear a retainer to ensure the teeth don’t move.
How can you correct an overbite in adults without the use of braces?
To fix an overbite, braces aren’t the only option. Several alternatives are available to give you a straightened and healthy smile.
Can Invisalign fix an overbite?
Many people ask if Invisalign is a good option for correcting an overbite. The answer to their question is “yes.” For a slight overbite, Invisalign can help teens and adults achieve perfect teeth. During the treatment, your orthodontist will design a set of clear plastic aligners to fit your teeth. You’ll have to wear multiple molds till your teeth align in a straighter way.
Wearing Invisalign to fix an overbite or buck teeth is more common in adults because they are nearly invisible as compared to traditional braces that come with metallic brackets and wires.
What other options are available to correct an overbite?
If your top jaw cannot fit all the teeth, your dentist will recommend wearing a palate expander. This dental device is attached to the top molars. With time, the expander moves the molars away to create a space between them. In the end, when the palate has expanded enough, the teeth can easily fit into the desired positions.
Sometimes, an individual may have buck teeth due to the misalignment of the jaw bone, and surgery is required to correct the smile. Surgery for an overbite is recommended for grown-up patients who cannot expand the jaw to overcome the overbite issue.
Children usually don’t require this because their teeth and bones are undergoing development, and shifting them with traditional braces or Invisalign aligners is much easier.
An overbite correction by extracting a tooth is an ideal way if the reason behind the problem is overcrowding. Removal of single or multiple teeth creates some space for the remaining teeth to come back to their ideal position. With the correct alignment of the teeth, the jaw also returns to its normal position.
Ways to fix an overbite in Children and Teens
- Baby teeth extraction
Overbite Correction for Adults
- Teeth extraction
Schedule an appointment today with Rodeo Dental & Orthodontics and let our dentists recommend the best way to fix your overbite!
Can you fix an overbite naturally?
You cannot fix an overbite naturally or at home. Specifically, fixing buck teeth require treatment by a dental professional.
To alter the teeth’s alignment, particular pressure is required over a period of time in order to attain a beautiful smile. Additionally, this helps prevent damage to the roots and jaw.
For severe issues, surgery may be the best or only option.
Why is it necessary to cure an overbite?
It’s essential to correct an overbite due to the following reasons:
- Buck teeth hurt your smile, and they can look ugly
- A bad bite can misalign your teeth
- Buck teeth can cause pain in the jaw and wear off surrounding teeth
- You may experience speech issues
- With an overbite, there are higher chances your teeth may break if you fall
We know how important your smile is to you. Our staff has years of experience in fixing issues related to the bite. Visit our clinic and talk to our dentists to hit the road to a perfect smile.
Tips for living with buck teeth
If you are not happy with your overbite, here are some tips you can add to your daily routine to improve your oral health:
- Regularly brush and floss your teeth twice a day
- Keep visiting your dentist for scheduled appointments
- When playing sports, use a mouthguard
- Wear a nightguard when sleeping or under stress