Some of the most common questions we get from our patients have to do with overbite. It’s more common than you think! To help, we’ve put together the answers to our most frequently asked questions about overbite teeth.
What is Overbite?
An overbite is a malocclusion that happens when your upper front teeth severely overlap your lower front teeth when your mouth is closed.
While the upper front teeth must sit in front of the lower front teeth to achieve a proper bite, the ideal space between them is only between 1 to 2 mm. Anything more is considered an excessive overbite.
Overbite should not be confused with overjet, commonly known as buck teeth or bunny teeth. Overjet front teeth jut out at an angle, while in an overbite, the front teeth normally grow vertically in front of the lower front teeth. If you think you’ve got an overbite or buck teeth, you can smile in front of a mirror and you’ll be able to tell.
What Causes Overbite?
According to the American Association of Orthodontists, having a small lower jaw is the most common cause of overbite. This is because the protruding upper jaw and teeth can hinder your bottom teeth from growing correctly, which results in overcrowding. The lower teeth, jostling for position, push the upper teeth into an overbite.
An overbite can also occur when the development of our teeth is interrupted by external factors, like our habits. Habits that can push the teeth into a dental overbite include:
- Thumb sucking
- Teeth grinding
- Prolonged pacifier use
- Nail biting
- Chewing on the ends of pencils
Overbites can also be inherited genetically and manifest early rather than over time. These are called skeletal overbites, because they are caused by the irregular development of the jaw.
What Oral Problems are Caused by Overbite?
The effects of an overbite vary from person to person. Many people have a slight overbite and don’t notice it at all. But for others, an overbite comes with a host of dental problems that may cause lasting harm to the teeth, bones, and jaw. These include:
- Damaged Teeth and Gums – An overbite puts unnecessary pressure on your teeth, causing them to wear down faster than they should. This may result in chipped or cracked teeth and cavities. This can also leave you more vulnerable to oral bacterial infections, which can give you swelling, bleeding gums.
- Breathing Issues – An overbite can prevent your tongue from resting where it should when your mouth is closed. This can block your airways and make it difficult to breathe, leading to symptoms like mouth breathing, excessive snoring, and in some cases, sleep apnea.
- Temporomandibular Disorders (TMD) – Leaving your overbite untreated can put extra stress on the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) that connects your skull to your jaw. With TMD, you may experience stiffness and constant discomfort. In some cases, the pain becomes so severe that it must be treated with invasive surgery.
TMD can lead to other complications like:
- Speech impediments
- Difficulty chewing
- Changes to the appearance of the face
- Crooked teeth
If you observe signs of an overbite and want to learn about options for treatment, book a consult today.
How Invisible Braces Fix Overbite
An excessive overbite can be a source of self-consciousness for some. Because a smile puts your upper front teeth on full display, it’s important that you’re comfortable with how you look while you’re receiving treatment.
Traditional braces are an option if you don’t mind the “metal mouth” look—but they can be uncomfortable. If a clear smile is more your style, invisible braces, sometimes referred to as clear aligners, may be a better choice for you.
Because these are nearly invisible and easy to remove, you can enjoy all the benefits of treatment without sacrificing your confidence or comfort. For many patients, these benefits make the price of invisible braces worthwhile.
How It Works
Invisible braces are plastic trays that fit tightly over your teeth. Using 3D modeling technology, an expert predicts how your perfect smile should look, and prints a set of trays that are customized to your jaw and facial features.
Just like braces, these trays work by putting pressure on all sides of the teeth. Each tray moves your teeth slightly, and the trays are replaced every one or two weeks based on your treatment plan.
For best results, your trays should be worn for at least 22 hours daily, and should only be removed for meals, brushing, and flossing. To keep them clear, you’ll have to clean and brush your trays whenever you take them out.
How long does it take to fix overbite with invisible braces?
If you want to fix your overbite with invisible braces, you can expect it to take anywhere from 10 to 24 months. The exact length of the treatment period varies from person to person. It’s important to keep your trays on consistently. You may need to wear them for longer if you take them out for more than 2 hours a day.
After treatment is complete, you’ll need to wear a retainer to keep your teeth in place.
How ALINA Helps with Overbite Teeth
You shouldn’t have to hide your smile, and with ALINA, you’ll truly be able to uncover your smile. If you want to look good and feel good while you’re being treated for an overbite, ask your dentist about ALINA invisible braces. With ALINA, you can enjoy:
Better materials – You can rest easy knowing that every tray of ALINA invisible braces is made of space-age materials approved by the US Food and Drug Administration. They’re perfectly clear and perfectly safe.
Better technology – Because ALINA uses AlinaSmile technology powered by Ai to predict the path to your most beautiful smile, every patient enjoys a quick and comfortable experience.
Better results – Over the last 25 years, ALINA has helped over a million satisfied patients across the US, UK, and Canada.
To learn more about how ALINA brings out your best smile, check out our how ALINA works pages.