Is an Overbite Normal and When to Seek Correction?

Do your front teeth jut out a little more than they should? Or do you have chewing difficulty because your teeth are misaligned and are concerned about your oral health and smile’s appearance?

This may mean you have an overbite and need treatment to straighten your teeth. If you want to know how much of an overbite is normal and when you need treatment for it, we’re here to give you answers. The good news is that an overbite can easily be corrected with orthodontic treatments. Read on to learn more about an overbite, its types, causes and treatments.

What is an Overbite?

An overbite is the misalignment of the teeth and jaw, in which the upper teeth overlap the lower teeth when the mouth is closed. The normal range for an overbite is about 2 to 3 mm. Whereas anything more than this, or when the upper front teeth overlap the lower front teeth by more than one-third, is considered a deep overbite.

Is an Overbite Normal?

While a small overbite is necessary and a normal part of your bite, a deeper overbite requires orthodontic treatment to fix it. If not corrected, it can increase over time, damaging your teeth and affecting your ability to chew and speak and may increase over time. This could leave you more exposed to plaque buildup, tooth decay and gum diseases because maintaining oral hygiene is more difficult for misaligned teeth. Teeth misalignment can also lead to jaw abnormalities which cause temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJ), jaw pain, and headaches.

What are the Types of Overbites?

An overbite is a form of malocclusion (teeth misalignment or crooked teeth). There are two types of overbites:

A Dental Overbite

A dental overbite is an excessive overlap of the upper teeth over the lower teeth. It happens when your upper and lower teeth aren’t aligned correctly and make your upper teeth jut out over the lower ones.  

A Skeletal Overbite

A skeletal overbite is a misalignment of the jawbone and teeth caused by a larger upper jaw and a smaller lower jaw. This misalignment causes the teeth of the upper and lower jaws to overlap too much and your upper teeth to push forward or protrude.

Causes of an Overbite

Malocclusion is a common oral health problem worldwide, with over 93% of children and 39% of adults having some form of it. An overbite is categorised as a class 2 type of malocclusion and can be caused by multiple factors. Some of them include:

  1. Genetics

Some people are more prone to developing an overbite due to the shape of their jaw or the way their teeth grow, both of which are largely determined by genetics. If the lower jaw is too small to fit the teeth, it’s generally attributed to genetics.

  1. Overcrowding

When the teeth are crowded, there is not enough space for them to fit correctly, making them overlap and leading to problems such as crooked teeth, misalignment, and oral issues.

  1. External factors

Other factors that can contribute to an overbite include the prolonged use of a pacifier, feeding bottle and thumb sucking. This can make the teeth push forward and impact the bite. Nail biting and tongue thrusting can also cause an overbite by pushing the front teeth forward.

Most of these external factors can be controlled as they pertain to adolescents, helping minimise the overbite if it’s genetic while preventing it for those who may not have a major problem.

 Overbite Correction for Adults and Children

Overbite correction is possible at any age with orthodontic treatments. These involve wearing dental appliances which help shift your teeth towards the correct position, helping correct all forms of malocclusion.

Previously the orthodontic appliances included only metal brackets and wires to straighten teeth. Though effective, the aesthetic aspect did not appeal much to adults as the visible metal affected the smile’s appearance when worn. But thanks to the recent advancements in dental technology, there are now various orthodontic appliances available which match your teeth shade and are virtually undetectable.

Some of them include:

  1. Invisalign Clear Aligners

One of the most popular treatments for an overbite is Invisalign clear aligners. They are made of a clear plastic material and custom-made for your teeth with teeth impressions and digital technology. Unlike traditional metal braces, they have no wires or brackets and fit your teeth perfectly. This makes wearing them more comfortable as they fit your teeth snugly, and there is no gum or teeth abrasion from the brackets.

Invisalign aligners are transparent and almost invisible, allowing you to continue your life with minimal disruption. Oral hygiene is easier because the aligners can be removed to brush and floss your teeth like you normally would. An additional advantage is fewer dietary restrictions because the food can’t get stuck in your wires or brackets.

Invisalign aligners must be worn for 22 hours daily to get the desired results. They generally involve fewer visits to the dentists, one for getting your teeth impressions to get your aligners ready and the second for getting them fitted. You are given a series of aligner trays and each set has to be worn for several weeks before being changed. At the end of your treatment, you have to wear clear retainers until your teeth are cemented into their new position. Invisalign is suitable for teenagers and adults because of its aesthetics and increased comfort. It’s not recommended for younger children as their jaws are still developing and need more adjustments as the teeth shift and align.

At Mosman Fine Dental, we offer Invisalign treatments tailored to your dental needs for flawless results. Talk to our dentists about Invisalign today.

  1. Braces

Braces correct misaligned teeth, jaws, and facial structures using a system of brackets, wires, and bands to slowly move teeth into the desired position. The brackets are bonded to the teeth, and the archwire is threaded through them. The bands are then fitted to secure the archwire to the brackets. As the wire is tightened, the teeth gradually move to shift and straighten your teeth.

Braces are one of the most proven treatments to fix any type of orthodontic issue. They are fixed and non-removable and are adjusted by your dentist periodically as your teeth align. At Mosman Fine Dental, we offer a range of braces to help correct crooked or gapped teeth, bite problems and jaw irregularities. We offer porcelain white brackets and lingual braces that attach to the inner tooth surface. This works just as well as traditional metal braces but offer better aesthetics and less visibility. Whether you need braces for your child’s developing teeth and jaw or need treatment for your overbite, we’ve got you covered.

Keep your Smile Healthy & Beautiful with Orthodontic Treatments Customised for You

Overbite treatments allow you to get the smile you’re meant to have with the help of orthodontic devices and qualified dentists. You can correct everything from spacing and gaps to crookedness and jaw irregularities. At Mosman Fine Dental, our dentists have helped many children and adults correct teeth misalignments for a healthier and more symmetrical smile. Whether you are looking for something discreet like Invisalign clear aligners for yourself or braces for your little one, we’ve got you covered. Contact us for a consultation today.

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