Every year, more than 9 million people schedule appointments with an orthodontist to treat a variety of oral health issues. Some people want to straighten their smile with braces, while others want guidance on correcting an overbite or other misalignment.
Overbites can cause difficulty speaking or chewing. Fortunately, with the help of an experienced orthodontist, you can correct this dental issue with braces. In this article, we answer many commonly asked questions, including:
- What is an overbite?
- How do orthodontists fix overbites with braces?
- What’s the overbite braces process?
- Why should I consider correcting an overbite?
Overbite vs. Overjet
Overbite often gets confused with overjet. While both are types of “malocclusions,” which is the word orthodontists use to describe teeth that don’t fit together correctly, they are different.
Excessive overjet occurs when the upper front teeth are protruding and lower teeth are pushed back, also known as “buck teeth.” When the upper front teeth excessively overlap the bottom front teeth (vertically) when the back teeth are closed, it’s classified as an overbite or “deep bite.”
Since most people use the word “overbite” to refer to “overjet,” the rest of this article will use those words interchangeably. These two types of malocclusions have various causes:
- The jaw’s size or shape
- Tooth loss
- Thumb sucking
- The use of pacifiers
Your orthodontist will look for key indicators of an overbite, including the amount of space between your upper and lower teeth, how much the top front teeth cover the bottom ones, and whether or not any of your other teeth are misaligned. If the teeth are misaligned, your orthodontist might recommend further treatment.
Teeth should naturally align when the mouth is closed, but an overbite leaves little to no contact between the top and bottom teeth. This misalignment can make speaking and eating difficult and cause other issues, like pain and discomfort, or make you self-conscious about your appearance.
How Are Overbites Fixed?
There are several methods of correcting an overbite, including braces, Invisalign, and overbite correction with (orthognathic) surgery.
Depending on the severity, an orthodontist might recommend braces for overbites to help properly realign the teeth. Should an orthodontist fix overbite issues with braces, they will follow the overbite braces process described below to ensure your teeth move into the proper alignment.
The Overbite Braces Process
Braces And Rubber Bands
Your orthodontist can use braces to correct your overbite, slowly moving your teeth and jaw back into proper alignment with the use of rubber bands to help correct any imbalances in the bite.
Braces And Extractions
In more severe misalignment cases, your orthodontist might recommend extracting some of your teeth to fit the remaining ones into a more natural alignment. Once removed, the remaining teeth can move into a better position with braces and elastics.
Braces And Forsus Springs
Forsus springs are an orthodontic appliance used to assist the overbite correction process. These springs are attached to the braces and help move the lower jaw forward, correcting any misalignment. As the jaw moves forward, the overbite gradually disappears as the upper teeth move back and the lower teeth move forward.
Why Should I Consider Correcting An Overbite?
Now that you know how overbites can be fixed with braces, it can be helpful to know why you might want to consider correcting your overbite.
To Avoid Gum Damage
Severe overbites can cause your gums to recede, which will require grafting. Overbites cause your lower front teeth to contact the gum line behind your upper front teeth, while the upper front teeth may strike the gum line of the lower front teeth.
To Prevent Tooth Damage
Do braces help overbites beyond appearance? Yes. If an overbite is left untreated, it can cause further misalignment, jaw problems, and premature wear or damage to your teeth, especially the front ones. By correcting an overbite with braces, you can prevent these long-term issues.
To Improve Your Appearance
Some people want to correct their overbite for aesthetic reasons, especially if the overbite is pronounced and the jaw and teeth appear uneven or disproportionate. Correcting an overbite can improve the appearance of your smile.
It’s best to address your overbite sooner rather than later. The longer you wait, the more complicated your treatment plan could get. It’s best to consult an orthodontist who can provide clarity on the severity of your overbite and what treatment is necessary to fix it.
How Is An Overbite Corrected? Learn More At Bates Orthodontics
So, will braces fix my overbite? Yes, braces are a common treatment option for overbites. Although, more complex cases may require surgery in addition to braces. In simpler cases, Invisalign can remedy the situation.
If you have more questions about how orthodontists fix overbites, consult Dr. Bates. At Bates Orthodontics, we can answer all of your questions, create a customized treatment plan, and get you on the path to a healthier and more beautiful smile.
Schedule your free consultation to discover why patients across the Richmond area trust us for their orthodontic needs!