Do you smile with your teeth closed? Are you self-conscious about how your real smile looks?
If you can’t show your genuine happiness because you’re embarrassed about your overbite, you need to know about the options available to you. Orthodontic treatments can help reduce or eliminate the overbite and give you back the smile you’re proud of.
Read on for more details about overbites and the treatment options.
What Is An Overbite?
You’ve probably heard of an overbite, and you know it means that your teeth aren’t lined up quite right. But what exactly is an overbite? You have an overbite if your top teeth stick out over your bottom teeth by at least a third.
There are different kinds of overbites or malocclusions. You may have a horizontal overbite, meaning the top teeth stick out in front of the bottom teeth. Or you may have a vertical overbite, meaning the top teeth hang in front of the bottom teeth when you bite down.
Overbites happen for different reasons. When the jaw isn’t aligned right, it’s called a skeletal overbite. An overbite that happens because of crooked teeth is a dental overbite.
You might also have an overbite because of TMJ or if you grind your teeth. These are all cases that your orthodontist can evaluate based on your individual needs and history.
No matter the cause, overbites can be corrected with orthodontic treatment. Here are some of the best ways to compensate for malocclusions.
Braces for Overbite
The most popular way to correct a malocclusion is with braces. Even adults get braces, almost 1.5 million of them every year, and they love the results.
Braces realign the teeth (and in children, the jaw) using metal brackets. They attach to the teeth with strong wires and work to pull the teeth into place slowly over time.
The length of time you wear braces depends on your medical and dental history and the severity of your overbite. Those with less severe cases could wear braces as little as 18 months, whereas someone with a more pronounced overbite may need to wear them as many as three years.
During the time you’re wearing braces, you’ll have to monitor what you eat more closely. Biting down on hard, crunchy, or chewy foods can damage the braces and cause you a lot of pain. You can minimize the difficulty by cutting your food into smaller pieces before you eat them and chewing with your molars.
Braces can also stain the teeth if you don’t take proper care of them, or if you drink too many dark liquids while wearing braces. You’ll have a special small brush that fits in between the metal brackets to help you clean your teeth after eating. Your orthodontist will also show you how to floss when you’re wearing braces.
After the braces get removed, you’ll need to wear a retainer at night for the rest of your life. This keeps your teeth in place even after the metal brackets and wires are gone.
Another type of orthodontic treatment for less severe overbites is clear aligners. This service is a series of aligners that slowly change the alignment of your teeth as braces do, but without the metal brackets. You wear the aligners all the time, except when you eat.
The advantage of aligners is that you don’t have the food restrictions that you have with braces. They can get stained, though, so you have to remove them when you’re drinking coffee or cola to keep the aligners clean. Proper care of your clear aligners means you also have to clean them and take good care of them, which is a little different than with braces.
In some very rare cases of skeletal overbites, your jaw may be misaligned. In this case, uses braces or clear aligners to change the way your teeth sit in your mouth won’t help. You need to have surgery on your jaw to correct a skeletal overbite.
This could be a minimal surgery like a tooth extraction, which can help make more room in your mouth. This can help your teeth align without a more serious procedure. After the extraction, you can use the other orthodontic treatments like braces.
During surgery, the surgeon can reset your jaw forwards or backward. Irregularities in the jaw don’t have to hold you back. Ask about this surgery if your orthodontist tells you that you have a severe skeletal overbite.
A Cost Comparison
If you read about both treatments and aren’t sure whether braces or clear aligners will be more affordable to you, you may be surprised to learn that they usually cost around the same amount. There are different brands of aligners, and some may be more affordable with different insurance coverage.
For children, most insurance will cover at least part of the cost of braces. However, insurance policies don’t cover as much for adults. Check with your provider about the benefits you can take advantage of as you consider your orthodontist’s recommendations.
Don’t hide your smile. Make a change you can feel good about instead.
Smile With Confidence
Get rid of your reservations about your overbite and get your smile corrected today. Whether you opt for adult braces, clear aligners, or even extraction or surgery, you can smile with confidence. Your orthodontic treatment can give you the grin your proud to show off, instead of hiding behind closed lips.
For more information or to get started with your custom orthodontic treatment today, contact us at Koerich & Case Orthodontics.