Did you know that one in every five people will experience tooth trauma? According to experts, teeth or jaw misalignment is a primary factor in such incidents.
An overbite, also called buck teeth, is an example of teeth and jaw misalignment. It’s a condition characterized by upper teeth that protrude beyond the lower teeth. With the upper teeth sticking out, they’re more prone to trauma that can injure or damage them.
Fortunately, you don’t have to live with buck teeth for the rest of your life. This guide shows you how to fix an overbite, so read on to discover your treatment options.
Traditional Metal Braces
People with a normal bite only have a tiny gap between the upper and lower front teeth. So when they close their mouth, their upper arch only slightly overlaps their lower teeth.
An overbite makes the upper front teeth sit over 3 millimeters from the lower teeth. That creates a noticeable space between the upper and lower arches.
As an overbite treatment, the goal of traditional braces is to close that massive gap.
Traditional braces consist of metal brackets interlinked with metal archwires. Because of their appearance, some people refer to them as train-track braces.
The brackets used in traditional braces affix to tooth surfaces with the help of dental glue. An archwire then connects these tiny square-shaped components.
Once placed, traditional braces put a controlled amount of pressure on each tooth. That force coerces the roots to press against the bone that supports the tooth. As a result, a tiny portion of the bone dissolves, creating a space.
Each tooth then moves into the nearest empty spot, and new bone forms in the space they vacate. This cycle continues until all the teeth are in ideal positions, creating a better bite.
Ceramic (Clear) Braces
Ceramic braces work like traditional braces and go on the front side of the teeth. They don’t use metal parts, though; instead, they use ceramic brackets and wires.
Ceramic brackets and wires mimic the color of the teeth. Thus, they allow for a less conspicuous overbite correction.
Like traditional metal braces, lingual braces rely on metal brackets and wires. The chief difference is that they go on the lingual surface, the side of the teeth facing the tongue. In short, they go on the back, not the front, of the teeth.
Because of that, lingual braces are far less noticeable than traditional metal braces. So, if you want a more discrete way to fix an overbite, see an adult or teen orthodontist offering lingual braces.
Invisalign is a teeth-straightening system that replaces fixed brackets and wires with aligners. The aligners, also called trays, are removable and made of thermoplastic material. The latter is responsible for the appliances’ see-through or ‘almost invisible’ design.
An Invisalign tray goes over the entire arch, fitting snugly onto the teeth. That snug fit is behind the gentle pressure exerted by the aligner onto each tooth. Over time, that force results in the gradual movement of the teeth into better locations.
So, can Invisalign fix overbite woes?
Yes, provided the overbite is only minor or moderate. For more severe cases, fixed braces may yield better results.
Also known as orthognathic surgery, jaw surgery corrects irregularities affecting the jawbones. That includes severe jaw misalignment, which can cause an extreme overbite.
By correcting problems with the jaw, jaw surgery can also realign the teeth.
Jaw surgery can also help address facial imbalances that affect how your face looks. It can even relieve pain from a temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder.
If it’s a TMJ disorder causing your overbite, it’s best to treat it ASAP, as it can cause severe, debilitating pain. The unpleasant symptoms may even spread and give you earaches and headaches.
You can opt for jaw surgery if your overbite is too severe for orthodontics alone to fix. You may still need orthodontic treatment before and after the procedure, though.
An overbite can sometimes result from mismatching upper and lower jaw sizes. For example, the upper jaw may be more prominent than the lower jaw. That can then create a massive overlap between the upper and lower arches.
In that case, extracting a few teeth, such as one molar on each side, can help correct the overbite. That’s because their removal creates more room for the rest of the teeth. As a result, the pearly whites you have left can shift back.
Orthodontic treatment is still necessary to help the remaining teeth move. Still, that may be better than undergoing surgery for a severe overbite.
Retainers are most often removable appliances worn after orthodontic treatment. As their name suggests, their chief function is to ‘retain’ the current alignment of the teeth and jaw.
Retainers often consist of a metal wire bonded to a plastic material that molds to the palate or roof of the mouth. The metal wire then runs along the front surface of the teeth.
If you don’t fancy the thought of metal in your mouth, you can go for lingual or clear retainers. Lingual retainers involve bonding a small wire to the back of the teeth. On the other hand, clear retainers are similar to the removable Invisalign trays.
Whatever retainers you choose, it’s vital to wear them most of the time to keep your teeth aligned. Otherwise, your teeth may shift again, and your overbite might return.
Use This Guide on How to Fix an Overbite
There you have it, your complete guide detailing how to fix an overbite. You now know that braces and Invisalign are some of your first-line treatment options. You’ve also learned that you may need jaw surgery or teeth extraction for more severe cases.
Either way, your best bet is to visit an orthodontist ASAP. The sooner you do, the sooner they can fix that overbite and give you healthier, straighter teeth.
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