Generally speaking, human teeth are fairly strong and are built to last you a lifetime. Especially when cared for properly, they can hold up for decades. Though the strength and overall health of your teeth are far from your only concerns when dealing with your mouth. There are all sorts of potential issues that can rear their head, such as alignment issues with your teeth and jaw. Crooked teeth can be more of a problem than just looking aesthetically unpleasant. They can also bring about pain and even infection and other more serious problems. Then you have TMJ, or lockjaw, that can result from bad jaw alignment. This can also be a serious and painful thing. Seeing a quality orthodontist for care can really help you out with many of these issues.
One issue that affects a lot more people than you may realize is an overbite. This can be a very unattractive feature that causes a lot of shyness and anxiety. However, it can also be a worse feature, as it can eventually end up throwing your jaw out of alignment. Orthodontics are certainly capable of assisting with an overbite, but how is it done? Let’s have a closer look at the topic.
What is an Overbite?
The complicated, professional name for an overbite is “malocclusion,” which is generally caused when the upper set of teeth does not align properly with the lower set. This leads to a protrusion that’s visibly noticeable. Everyone’s top teeth overlap the bottom very slightly with ideal alignment, but an overbite goes beyond that and actually protrudes out. Over time, this is a problem that can get much worse and pull your jaw farther out of alignment, causing TMJ and other issues. TMJ can also cause an overbite.
The overbite is so common due to the variety of potential causes. It can be caused by genetics, where some people are just going to have one regardless. However, children who overuse pacifiers or suck their thumbs can also develop overbites. Grinding one’s teeth, chewing tough objects, and more can cause this issue. Not to worry, however, as orthodontics can fix this for you in multiple ways.
4 Main Ways an Orthodontist Fixes an Overbite
1: Traditional Braces
Those traditional metal braces, called dental braces, are the classic fix for an overbite. The teeth are aligned and held in place with the brackets and braces, and strong elastic bands are fitted that will slowly shift the jaw back into a normal position. Typically, an overbite is corrected far before those teeth adjust and set up new roots over the years. Though, generally speaking, one will still have to wear a retainer for a while to ensure the alignment holds.
2: New-Age Braces
Invisalign is the latest technology to hit in braces. An alternative to wire braces, this method uses a set of transparent aligners that will change over time and be custom-fitted and adjusted to the teeth. As one might imagine, the benefits here are quite immense. You can’t see them like metal braces, for starters. There’s also no worry about the pain of having those wires in your mouth and having to adjust them. There’s also no worrying about extra cleaning due to food and gunk caught up. Invisalign options are really taking off now and are what most people want to use to fix issues.
For adults, surgery is always an option. This can be an elective if you have serious jaw alignment issues and do not want to go through the months of wearing braces and years of wearing a retainer. Though if you do have serious alignment issues, you might actually need the surgery before things get worse and your jaw just locks itself shut. A good orthodontist will help you through this, so you can choose the best option and understand all of the details.
Another option for top teeth that have grown to protrude outward is always a replacement. Your teeth can be extracted, and new teeth can be put in at the correct angle, alignment and spacing. Again, your orthodontist will walk you through the particulars.
Overbites are very common, but the good news with that is that orthodontists also have multiple ways to easily treat the issue, so you won’t have to suffer through it.