How to Fix an Overbite
How to Fix an Overbite
Overbites are very common in both children and adults, with many having at least a tiny overbite. While not typically the most serious dental problem, a significant overbite can lead to several dental health problems. There are a number of ways to prevent or treat an overbite, and here at River Valley Dentistry, we can help find the right treatment for you or your child.
What is an Overbite?
An overbite is when a person’s upper teeth extend beyond their bottom front teeth. The most frequent cause of this is the size of the jaw or teeth – there may not be enough space in the jaw to fit one’s teeth.
Other causes can include frequent nail biting, teeth grinding, and for children thumbsucking and using a pacifier after age three. Read more about the causes of an overbite.
Is an Overbite Bad?
An overbite can cause a number of problems, such as tooth decay, gum disease, and jaw discomfort. Since the upper and lower teeth are misaligned, an overbite can also cause enamel to be worn down or teeth to be chipped or cracked due to friction between teeth. An overbite can also make it more difficult to chew and bite since the teeth are misaligned.
How to Fix it
There are different ways to treat children and adults for an overbite. For children, braces can be used to slowly shift the teeth into a proper alignment. This is followed by a retainer to keep the teeth in place. Another treatment option for children is to use palate expanders, a type of growth modification device, to reposition the jaw during growth spurts. Another option is to extract baby teeth or permanent teeth to create room for adult teeth.
For adults, extracting teeth to create room for the remaining ones is also an option. Another treatment option is to use clear aligners, such as Invisalign®, to reposition teeth impacted by the overbite. This is an excellent option for many adults, as they are discreet and can be removed when eating.
If you or your child is experiencing an overbite, don’t wait for serious issues to develop. Call our office today at our Chattanooga office at 423-875-0600 and our Ooltewah office at 423-803-4500. We’re here to help you get the best possible treatment in a safe and comfortable environment!