Overbite is a common orthodontic condition where the upper teeth extend over the lower teeth, leading to issues from difficulty chewing to an increase in cavities.
Luckily, overbites are something that can be fixed. Below, you can find information on what an overbite is, what causes it, and options for correction including overbite braces.
Teeth or jaw misalignment is present in approximately three-quarters of the U.S. population.
Braces for Overbite
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An overbite is a misalignment of the teeth in which the top teeth extend beyond the lower teeth. It’s sometimes also referred to as crooked teeth or buck teeth. Slight overbites are common in most patients and may not cause issues or need treatment unless you want it for cosmetic reasons. Around 75% of those in the United States experience some degree of misaligned teeth, and approximately 8% of the population have a severe overbite of 6mm or more, which requires medical attention .
A slight overbite is quite common, affecting approximately 75% of Americans, whereas only 8% have a severe overbite
Overbites can be caused by a variety of things, but the most commonly associated factors are genetics and childhood habits such as thumb sucking and pacifier use beyond three years. These actions place outward pressure on the top teeth as the mouth is growing, and permanent teeth are developing and can create or worsen an overbite. Overbites can also be caused by issues with jaw joint alignment or crowded teeth.
The problems caused by an overbite depend heavily on the severity of the overbite itself. If you have a slight overbite where the upper teeth overlap isn’t severe over the bottom teeth, you may not notice any jaw or mouth issues.
However, if your overbite is a more serious jaw or teeth overlap, you could have jaw pain or mouth pain when chewing, issues with breathing, speech problems, and an increased risk of cavities, tooth decay, and gum disease .
Overbites are when the upper front teeth overlap the bottom teeth. If left uncorrected, an overbite can cause health complications, such as irreparable damage to teeth, jaw pain, and discomfort while chewing.
There are several options when it comes to how to fix an overbite. These include:
Metal braces are one of the most common types of braces. With traditional braces treatment, the orthodontist usually starts by taking x-rays to see where your teeth are now. Then, they attach metal brackets to your upper and lower teeth and connect them with a metal wire.
Rubber bands are attached to the wires and branches, and these elastic bands put constant pressure on the teeth to help pull the lower teeth forward and help move the upper teeth back into alignment. These are suitable for most moderate overbites.
Clear braces are an orthodontic treatment that function in the exact same way as traditional metal braces, but with one big difference. They have clear brackets or brackets in a color that matches your natural tooth color. The wires are also clear or white.
This means that they are much less noticeable, making them the best treatment for those who don’t want them to be the center star of their smiles.
Lingual braces work the same as traditional braces. The difference is that they are affixed to the back of the teeth instead of the front. Lingual braces provide all of the benefits of traditional braces but with an almost-unnoticeable aesthetic during treatment.
However, lingual braces do have some distinct disadvantages as an orthodontic treatment, including being more expensive than traditional orthodontia and issues with speech . You may find that you’re more likely to cut or scratch your tongue or experience speech changes with lingual braces.
Byte clear aligners are invisible and FDA-approved
Clear aligners, such as Byte Aligners, are a relatively new technology that allows you to get a mild overbite corrected and straighten teeth without having to endure traditional orthodontia.
A specialist takes a mold of your teeth—in some cases, you can also do it at home yourself—and a series of aligners are created to help bring your bite into proper position. Each set of aligners takes you progressively from your current overbite to a straighter alignment.
Some of the benefits of these aligners are that they aren’t very noticeable for better aesthetics, they often don’t require trips to the dentist, and they can be removed for better brushing and flossing. They can also deliver results much quicker than traditional orthodontia and some other aligner brands. Check out our Byte Aligners review for more details.
A study showed that clear aligners were significantly faster at correcting mild misalignment compared to fixed braces
Severe overbite cases may require jaw bone surgery, also called orthognathic surgery, to correct. Overbite surgery is usually performed when the overbite is caused by a misalignment of the upper and lower jaw or a larger structural issue with the face.
During jaw surgery, the surgeon can move the upper jaw—and therefore the upper teeth—back for better alignment or widen the jaw to better match the lower jaw. In some cases, jaw surgery involves moving the patient’s lower jaw instead or in addition to the upper jaw.
Jaw surgery is usually one part of a treatment plan to correct an overbite, and braces or other orthodontic treatments are usually still needed.
Tooth extractions are usually done to correct overcrowding, which can contribute to an overbite, or prepare the mouth for orthodontic treatment. In this procedure, the gum is numbed and then the tooth is removed by force.
Once the tooth extraction has been successfully completed, you are usually able to have braces or aligners fitted to the remaining teeth to complete the overbite correction and put the teeth into the correct position.
While splint therapy is a more common treatment method for temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ), it can also be used to help correct a mild overbite that doesn’t require surgery. A repositioning splint is worn throughout the day to help reposition your teeth into a more aligned position.
There are a number of orthodontic care options for overbite treatment, each with its own pros and cons. They range from the least invasive, such as splint therapies and clear aligners, to the most invasive, such as traditional braces and surgery.
As seen above, orthodontia is a traditional fix for correcting overbites, but they’re no longer the only option. There are several braces alternatives depending on your dental needs and the severity of the overbite. Clear aligners are one of the more popular ways to fix a minor overbite.
Clear aligners for overbite treatment can be a convenient alternative. At-home aligners such as Byte or AlignerCo can successfully correct a slight overlap and can mean fewer trips to the dentist, less money spent, and a more comfortable treatment experience. Check out our AlignerCo review for more information.
It is important to note, however, that clear aligners aren’t a suitable option for every person, and those with more severe overbites may need to look at traditional treatments instead.
How long it takes to fix an overbite depends on the severity of the condition and what other dental issues there may be. In general, you can plan to spend anywhere from six months to two years fixing your overbite. However, severe overbites may take even longer to correct.
Ready to see how an overbite can be fixed with braces? Below, you’ll find some before and after images of overbites that have been corrected so you can have a better idea of what you can expect after your treatment is over.
Here are some frequently asked questions about fixing an overbite with braces.
Yes, braces can fix overbites. Traditional braces are one of the more well-known treatments for correcting an overbite and have been used for decades to much success.
However, traditional orthodontia can be painful and expensive and require many trips to the orthodontist for adjusting. They can also make wearers more self-conscious because they are so noticeable when talking, smiling, and eating.
They fix a dental overbite by pulling the teeth back into proper alignment. Similar to how an outward constant pressure (such as thumb sucking) creates an overbite in the first place, the braces and attached rubber bands put inward pressure on the top teeth to help move them into better alignment.
The orthodontist will take images to get a more accurate idea of what your bite looks like above and below the gum’s surface and then create a treatment plan for how the braces will be adjusted over time to correct the overbite.
While those with minor overbites probably won’t notice much change to their faces after correction, you may see some differences if your overbite is more severe. Correcting the overbite can make your jawline look more defined and proportionate to the rest of your face, and it can also help balance your chin and other facial features.
Minor overbites of the front teeth can take six months or so to address, but the more severe your overbite, the longer it will take to correct. Up to two years is normal, and in some cases, you may need a treatment course that’s even longer depending on the recommendations of your dental team.
Overbite is a common issue where the front teeth extend over the lower teeth. It can be corrected through a variety of dental options, from traditional metal braces to clear aligners.
Each option has its own set of pros and cons, but aligners can be a convenient and effective option for many people to get a better smile. If you’re interested in aligners to correct your overbite, discuss this option with your orthodontist or look into at-home aligners such as Byte or AlignerCo.