The word occlusion refers to the alignment of teeth. Any teeth that aren’t perfectly aligned are known as malocclusions.
There are four types of malocclusions.
Reasons For Malocclusions
• Condition is inherited
• Using a pacifier over age 5
• Bottle feeding too long
• Thumb sucking
• Chewing fingernails
• Jaw & Facial injuries
• Losing teeth with no follow-ups
• Amount & Shape of teeth
• Poor Dental Hygiene
What Is An Overbite?
An overbite is when your top teeth cover your bottom teeth, caused by the shape or size of the teeth and jaw. A vertical overbite is when upper teeth overlap lower teeth. A horizontal overbite is when upper teeth are in front of lower teeth. A dental overbite is when teeth are in the wrong position. A skeletal overbite is when the jaws aren’t aligned. Nearly 70% of children show signs of having an overbite. If an overbite isn’t treated, over time it can cause health and psychological problems.
• Irreparable damage to teeth
• Tooth decay
• Jaw pain
• Severe headaches
• Trouble opening/closing mouth
• Painful eating
• Speech problems
• Sleep apnea
It is very important to see your dentist twice a year. Teeth alignment problems are diagnosed during checkups and the patient is referred to an orthodontist. X-rays are important in determining the type of overbite and the alignment of jaws and teeth.
The orthodontist will set up a treatment plan to correct the overbite. If the orthodontist finds that teeth need to be extracted as part of the plan, you’ll be referred back to your dentist or possibly to an oral surgeon. Once the correction is made, it will be easier to clean and care for the teeth. Also, it will remove strain from muscles, jaws, and teeth.
Since children’s jaws are still developing, their overbites are easier to fix than adults. This is the reason that it’s suggested for children aged 10-12 begin seeing the orthodontist for any problems they might have.
Overbites can range from slight to severe cases. With technology today, no matter how severe the overbite is, there IS a treatment.
Overbite Treatment Options
Invisalign recently added Precision Cuts to their treatment. With this, elastic bands are attached to the aligners, helping to shift the jawline into place. These aligners are worn 22 hours/day, changing every 2 weeks and lasting about a year. They can be removed to brush and floss. Invisalign isn’t equipped for severe overbite treatment.
Braces are the most common overbite treatment. It’s a two-stage process, straighten teeth first, then attention goes to fixing an overbite. For teeth to be able to shift with braces, they need space. Sometimes, teeth will need to be extracted. A deep overbite often takes longer than any other orthodontic procedure to fix the problem. The braces will be worn from 6 months to 2 years. Once braces are removed, a retainer is worn to keep the teeth from shifting out of place again.
With severe, skeletal overbites, surgery is sometimes needed to reposition the jaw.
Will Invisalign Fix An Overbite?