Out of the variety of dental disorders in children, the overbite is the most common. The condition becomes even more difficult to fix if the person makes it to adulthood without correcting it. There are, however, several options available when it comes to fixing an overbite.
What is an overbite?
The treatment option the dentist decides to go with often depends on the person's condition. There are two main types of overbites: vertical and horizontal. Horizontal overbites occur when the front teeth extend further than the bottom set. A vertical overbite occurs when the top set of teeth overlap the bottom set.
Both types of overbites are caused by problems with the person's jaw bone structure or teeth. If the person's overbite is caused by their teeth, it is classified as a dental overbite. If the problem is being caused by the jaw, it is called a skeletal overbite.
Causes and symptoms of an overbite
Overbites can be caused by a number of things. It can be the result of a person's genetics, lack of oral hygiene, prolonged thumb sucking or tongue thrusting. Jaw growth occurs during the early years and bad habits can lead to abnormal growth.
When an overbite develops, it often leads to a series of physical and psychological issues. It can make a person self-conscious and lead to physical problems like:
- Speech impediments
- Inability to chew properly
- Strained jaw muscles
- Jaw pain
- Worn-down teeth
- Soft tissue being damaged by the bottom set of teeth
- Front teeth are more likely to be damaged by trauma due to their position
Treatment options for an overbite
1. Traditional metal braces
Many dentists would argue this is the most effective way to correct an overbite. It consists of two main parts — brackets that are cemented to each tooth and wires that connect the brackets on each set of teeth.
The device works by pushing on the person's teeth, slowly moving them to the desired position. The amount of force applied to the person's teeth can be increased by tightening the wire.
2. Clear aligners
Clear aligners can also be used to fix overbites. This system involves using transparent aligners to move teeth into a better position. The aligners are worn for about 22 hours each day. Each pair of aligners is worn for approximately two weeks before being switched out for another pair that moves the person's teeth a little closer to the intended position.
Clear aligners can be effectively used to deal with moderate overbites.
At times, a surgical procedure might be necessary to correct an overbite. Adults are more likely to need surgery than children since they have hardened jawbones. Different types of surgeries are used to deal with overbites from jaw surgery to tooth extractions.
Don't let an overbite ruin your smile
An overbite is often impossible to hide — it is one of the first things others notice about you and it can lower your self-esteem. Contact our clinic to learn more about how we can restore the alignment of your teeth.
Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: Orthodontics in St Peters, MO.
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