Your top teeth sit in front of your lower teeth. Does that mean you have an overbite? Not necessarily! Your top front teeth sit in front of the lower ones naturally. How far they sit in front of your lower teeth determines whether you have an overbite. If you do, it can be fixed with braces or Invisalign.
Smiles By the Bay can correct an overbite with both braces and Invisalign. Which one is best for you? We can find out during your free initial consultation. You may be able to recognize some of the signs of an overbite. Let’s look at the difference between a normal, an overbite, and a deep bite.
What Is an Overbite?
As mentioned, a normal bite is when the upper front teeth sit just before the lower front teeth. If there is a space between them, that could be considered an overbite. A large space could be considered a deep bite.
The technical term for these and other alignment issues is “malocclusion.” A malocclusion means your upper jaw doesn’t align properly with your lower jaw.
There are two types of overbite. “Class 1” neutroclusions are regular overbites. The front upper teeth lie about 1-3mm before the lower teeth, but the back molars fall into their proper positions.
A “Class 2” dissolution refers to the front teeth resting more than 3mm before the lower teeth. The back upper molars may sit more toward the front of the mouth from where they should line up with the lower molars. This is a deep bite, sometimes called “buck teeth.”
How Did I Get an Overbite?
Overbites occur for different reasons, from simple genetics to maintaining bad habits like thumb-sucking or tongue-thrusting. Crowded teeth could force your front teeth outward. You can even get an overbite from grinding your teeth, which can push the teeth forward.
You can’t do much about genetics, but you can prevent an overbite in other ways. Children should be stopped from using a pacifier or sucking their thumb by age 2 to prevent dental problems. If you grind your teeth, talk with your dentist or orthodontist about getting a bite plate or mouthguard to prevent tooth damage and break the grinding habit.
Why Should I Fix My Overbite?
You may think people fix overbites just because they don’t look good, but there are many more reasons why you should fix them. Your teeth are designed to work best when they are properly aligned. Misalignment can cause all kinds of problems.
- Tooth decay
- Tooth wear
- Jaw pain
- Difficulty chewing
- Changes in facial structure
- Sleep apnea
This is why it’s a good idea to fix your overbite as soon as possible. Many of these conditions get worse over time. The longer you go with an overbite, the worse it will get.
Can Braces Fix an Overbite?
Good news! You can get braces for an overbite correction. Smiles By the Bay uses LightForce braces to treat our patients. These are self-ligating braces, and patients say they are more comfortable than traditional metal braces.
The old braces use elastics to hold the archwire against the brackets and apply gentle pressure to move your teeth. The downside is the rubber bands had to be changed every six weeks or so, meaning there were more office visits. The elastics would also cause friction that would make braces more uncomfortable.
Self-ligating brackets have tiny doors that close over the archwire, holding it against the teeth but allowing the archwire to slide. This eliminates the need for elastics and for the frequent office visit they require. The self-ligating brackets also have less friction, which makes the braces more comfortable.
Braces are a tried-and-true method to fix your teeth and bites, and self-ligating braces can usually repair in less than 24 months!
Can Invisalign Fix an Overbite?
Patients with less severe cases can treat their dental issues with Invisalign or Invisalign Teen. These clear aligners work similarly to braces, applying gentle pressure to move your teeth back into place. Unlike braces, Invisalign aligners are custom-molded to fit completely around the teeth, giving them a near-invisible look. Many patients who feel self-conscious about wearing braces get treatment with Invisalign.
Invisalign treatment can often fix an overbite and several other dental issues, such as underbites, crossbites, gapped teeth, and crowded teeth, in 6-12 months. However, the more severe cases probably need to stick to braces. We can evaluate you during your first visit and tell you which treatment suits you best.
Overbite Treatment in Annapolis, MD
An overbite is a common dental problem easily treated with braces or clear aligners. The sooner an overbite is treated, the better it is for oral and overall health. If you live in the Annapolis, Kent Island, or Denton, MD, areas, you can get treatment from our outstanding Smiles By the Bay team! Schedule an appointment to come in and tour our office, meet our team, and consult with Dr. Trahar-Thomas. We’ll show you the best way to fix your overbite!