What exactly is an overbite?
When your upper front teeth hang over your lower front teeth this is commonly referred to as an overbite or deep bite. While a slight overbite s entirely normal, a deep overbite can actually begin to cause issues with your dental health.
This starts to happen when the normal 2 to 4 mm is extended to 4 to 6mm or greater, at which point the condition will need correction. You might hear your dentist describe overbites in terms of percentage. A range of 5 to 25 percent is ideal.
The vertical nature of an overbite distinguishes it from an overjet, which is horizontal and causes the upper teeth to protrude past the bottom teeth at an angle. With an overbite, you experience no angle on your front teeth.
What are some of the treatment options for an overbite?
If you have an overbite that has been left untreated it can lead to issues such as cracked or chipped teeth.
The most common reason for overbites is that the lower jaw is just a bit smaller than the upper jaw, so the lower teeth rest behind the upper teeth and move downwards as wear on your teeth occurs. You’ll notice more gum tends to show on your upper teeth, and your upper front teeth are situated slightly lower than the teeth beside them (canines, or upper side teeth).
Most of the patients suffering from an overbite had a previous sucking or tongue-thrusting habit causing the shape of their mouth to change.
Chewing on objects such as pens, erasers or even biting their nails can also cause this problem. It’s not recommended to use clear aligners to fix an overbite if a skeletal problem is an underlying cause.
What can happen if an overbite is left untreated?
A Decline in Your Oral Health
Each time you open and close your mouth when you have an overbite you cause some wear on your teeth. As time goes on you will experience more and more wear causing your teeth to become thinner.
Cosmetic Concerns About Appearance
It is normal to be conscious of the appearance of your smile and if you have an overbite then you may not want to smile for photos or when greeting people.
Are clear aligners able to help treat an overbite?
Clear aligners can be used to fix your mild or moderate overbite (if not caused by skeletal issues, which would likely require surgery) by applying continual pressure to the teeth.
Clear aligners can:
- Move your lower teeth downwards to where they should be
- Move your upper teeth upwards to where they should be
Clear aligners can help by slowly applying pressure to move your teeth into the shape and position that they are supposed to be in. Your clear aligners will move both the teeth and gums so you do not need to worry about anything looking strange.
You’ll need to wear your clear aligners for at least 22 hours per day, removing them to eat, drink and floss your teeth. The series of clear aligners will progressively shift your teeth, and you’ll switch to a new set about every 2 weeks. Your custom treatment plan may entail wearing as many as 26 trays, which equates to one tray every 2 weeks for one year.
Before you begin your treatment, your dentist will be able to show you a digital preview of how your new smile will look by the end of your treatment. The first step is to schedule a consultation with your dentist to find out if you are a candidate for clear aligners.