Not every overbite needs to be fixed, but it’s always beneficial to talk to a trained orthodontist. They can tell you about your overbite severity and how to fix an overbite if treatment is necessary.
Overbites can affect people of all ages. Orthodontists can often recognize an overbite in children around seven and start implementing early overbite treatment options. But overbites can manifest in teens and adults, too. Fortunately, there are ways to fix overbites regardless of someone’s age.
For an overbite, braces or Invisalign are the most common treatment methods. However, severe overbite correction in adults or teens may require surgery in tandem with braces.
If you’re wondering, “How do orthodontists fix overbites?” you’re in the right place.
In this article, we’re exploring the orthodontic world of overbites and ways to correct an overbite. You’ll learn what an overbite is, what causes them, and how orthodontists fix them.
Continue reading to get more information about orthodontic overbite correction.
Note: For our discussion, we’ll be using the term “overbite” to refer to any unnecessary overlap of the teeth that needs orthodontic treatment.
What Is an Overbite?
An overbite is a common orthodontic malocclusion (tooth/jaw misalignment). The top teeth overlapping the bottom teeth is what characterizes an overbite.
Everyone has a slight overbite, but too much overlap can cause aesthetic and functional problems. Some of the ways an overbite can negatively affect an individual include:
- Difficulty or pain when chewing
- Jaw pain
- Speech problems
- Breathing challenges
- Tooth decay or gum disease
Some overbites will be more noticeable than others, and more severe overbites can cause more significant discomfort and long-term problems.
What Causes an Overbite?
There are many different causes for an overbite.
One of the more uncontrollable factors is genetics. Some people are more genetically predisposed to an overbite and can’t do anything to prevent it.
Some external factors that can lead to overbites include:
- Prolonged thumb-sucking or pacifier use
- Chewing on hard objects (e.g., pens)
- Teeth grinding (bruxism)
Recognizing these habits early and stopping them can help reduce the risk of an overbite. However, if you already have an overbite, braces or another alignment method is the only way to fix the issue.
Let’s keep moving and look at how to correct overbites in kids, teens, and adults.
How to Fix an Overbite
Most people who have an overbite want to know, “Can you fix an overbite?”
Yes, you can get rid of an overbite.
The first step toward an overbite treatment is to schedule a free consultation with a local orthodontist. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to overbite treatment options, so your orthodontist will create a tailored plan for your unique situation.
Overbite severity plays a prominent role in what treatment option the orthodontist chooses and how long the treatment takes. Simple cases will take less time, and more complex issues will take longer. Treatment is also often more manageable in children than adults since a child’s jaw is still developing.
Here’s more detail about what simple vs. complex overbite treatments look like.
Simple Overbite Treatment
For simple overbites, braces or Invisalign can often remedy the situation.
Your orthodontist will first take a look at your mouth and determine which alignment option is best. Braces are the more traditional route, but Invisalign is becoming more popular. Regardless of the exact device used, your dentist will also require that you temporarily wear rubber bands.
Rubber bands connect onto brackets in your mouth and help pull your jaw into the correct position. Braces and Invisalign can move teeth into alignment, but they can’t influence the jaw without the help of rubber bands.
Once your jaw is in the correct position, you won’t need to wear rubber bands anymore. However, you may still need to continue your alignment treatment to move all your teeth into the correct position.
Complex Overbite Treatment
A severe overbite correction in adults or teens often requires more than braces.
So, how can overbites be corrected in more severe cases?
Many times a complex case will involve surgery and braces. Surgery helps to position the jaw correctly, and braces align all the teeth.
With a severe overbite, your orthodontist will place braces on your teeth and perform an alignment procedure for 9-12 months in preparation for surgery. After surgery, your orthodontist will continue your braces treatment until they achieve the desired alignment results.
Schedule an Overbite Braces or Invisalign Consultation Today
An overbite is a very common tooth and jaw misalignment. When your top teeth protrude too far over your bottom teeth, you may need orthodontic treatment.
An untreated overbite can lead to:
- Jaw pain
- Difficulty chewing or speaking
- Challenges with breathing
- Tooth decay or gum disease
The main ways to fix overbites in simple cases involve using braces or Invisalign with rubber bands. More complex overbites may require jaw surgery and braces.
If you aren’t sure whether your overbite is a simple or complex case, that’s okay. You can always talk with a professional orthodontist to get their expert opinion.
At Bates Orthodontics, we know how to fix an overbite no matter the severity or complexity. Whether you’re a parent who has a child with an overbite or you’re an adult looking to correct an overbite, we’ll provide you with expert advice and service. And you don’t need to worry about feeling pressured because we only share ways to fix an overbite when treatment is absolutely necessary. More than anything, we desire to set you up to make the best, most informed decision possible.
Schedule your free consultation to get a professional opinion about how to correct your overbite today.