Life with Braces Before and After Overbite
Defining Overbite: Causes, Symptoms, Treatments, and Braces Before and After Overbite
In today’s modern and advanced dentistry, more and more American dental experts lead a widespread debate on overbite. Additionally, a growing number of leaders assure that overbite requires more attention on our behalf.
Generally, overbite does not represent a life-threatening dental condition. But, overbite can seriously impact the proper teeth development in children and adults. So, having in mind its possible deteriorating effects on our dental health, an early overbite treatment is certainly necessary. Unfortunately, many patients suffer from overbite, without knowing it. With that in mind, the condition remains to be a seriously underestimated issue. Because of this, patients must be alerted and informed on the problem in depth.
Below, we will dig deeper into overbite. What are its causes? How does it occur? What are the most vulnerable groups exposed to it? Answering all of these questions below, we will help you understand and define the issue properly.
Once you do, you will be able to act upon it. And with that, you will surely prevent overbite from happening altogether.
Overbite: A definition and history of the condition
Overbite represents a malocclusion, a distortion, a deformity or teeth crowdedness. In most cases, overbite happens in the upper jaw. Actually, an overbite usually characterizes by a misalignment of the upper teeth line in relation to lower teeth line. In patients suffering from overbite, we there is an obvious misplacement of the upper front teeth and lower front teeth. In fact, the upper teeth tend to ‘hang’ over both the bottom teeth and jaw. This further causes issues with proper eating, speaking, communicating and even breathing.
While there are various causes for overbite, dental experts also consider the issue hereditary and genetic. Still, factors like poor nutrition, and dental hygiene, can also contribute to the development and severity of overbite.
In the world of dentistry, there are two main overbite types – horizontal and vertical overbite. The horizontal overbite type characterizes with the upper teeth drastically overlapping the lower jaw in a protruding manner. The vertical overbite type, thereafter, occurs through a milder overlap of the upper teeth over the lower jaw. In most cases of overbite, the jaw position and teeth shape and size can easily trigger the condition.
For many patients, overbites represent an aesthetical issue, which affects the quality of self-confidence, self-respect, and self-image. However, many experts nowadays assert that the perfect smile is not a reason enough to pay attention to overbites. Actually, overbites require proper medical attention and immediate reaction as soon as the first symptoms arise.
Is it bad to have a overbite? Living with an overbite – how serious is it to our oral health?
Overbites are not a life-threatening condition and many people live with it daily. But, overbites may lead to serious dental problems which could obstruct the quality of your everyday life. More specifically, in due time, overbites can lead to graver dental issues. These often include gum damage, teeth overlap, teeth grinding, gum recession and even tooth loss.
In more severe forms of overbites, both children and adults have faced problems with proper chewing, speaking and articulating. According to dentists worldwide, there are a few successful techniques to help treat overbite. With these treatments, the teeth jaw will reclaim their former and righteous position in the cavity.
What causes overbites?
There is a wide specter of causes which may lead to an overbite occurrence. The condition usually develops in early childhood but can also manifest and occur later in life. As such, overbite has a few main triggers, depending on the patient’s age. Here are the leading causes of overbite in both children and adults:
- A narrow upper jaw
- A dense upper frontal teeth placement
- Thumb and pacifier sucking in babies
- Overusing baby bottles
- Nail biting or biting on random objects (a pen, pencil, etc.), mostly noticed in teens and adults
- Genetics, or hereditary factors (does one of your parents also have it?)
- (TMJ) Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction
Who suffers from overbite the most?
As mentioned earlier, overbite symptoms may occur and develop in both adults and children of all ages. According to statistics, over 70 percent of all dental issues in children have to do with overbites. Adults, who have left overbites unattended for years, may also experience troubles with the condition later on in life.
As we get older, the gums, teeth and oral cavity change, if not weaken. In cases of overbites, this causes further problems for the optimal oral health and well-being. A wide range of lifestyle practices can lead to overbite and related complications. Such include the aforementioned nail-biting, pulling food with your top teeth aggressively, and improper chewing.
Skipping overbite treatment – how does it affect your teeth?
It is key to remember is that maintaining teeth health begins as soon as a baby is born. Sometimes, even the most innocent of practices in infants can lead to overbite problems. Such practices include thumb and pacifier sucking as well as tongue thrusting. As overbite typically develops during childhood, it can deform the upper jaw if ever left untreated. In adults, overbites are easy to spot as there is a drastic division and misplacement in the upper jaw teeth.
The teeth and gums grow older by the day, much like any other human organ. In cases of overbites, if the patient ignores it, it can lead to jaw deformation and even teeth fallout.
Children and adults who did not treat overbite in time or did not have any early intervention may experience a line of problems like:
- Improper speech, and indistinct stutter and lisps
- Trouble with chewing and eating food
- Extensive jaw pain and sore jaw muscles
- Tooth enamel wear, cavities, caries, and gum inflammation
- Teeth loss and canal rotting
- Soft tissue irritation, due to constant teeth clashing
- Tooth decay and gum irritation
- Jaw tightness and clenching
- Persistent headaches
- Recurring jaw aches while eating
- Inability to fully open and close the oral cavity
- Sleep apnea or related sleep issues
- Trouble pronouncing words correctly
- A distortion in the face muscles or nerves
- An odd-looking smile
What are the symptoms of having overbite?
Recognizing overbite issues is just as important as treating them. Overbites manifest through a series of symptoms, such as:
- Unequal teeth alignment in the upper jaw
- Facial distortions due to jaw and teeth defects
- Continuous biting of the inner cheeks flesh
- Jaw pain or uneasiness while eating, chewing or biting
- Speech issues, like lisps and stammering
- Frequent breathing through the oral cavity, instead of the nasal passages
It is good to know that overbite happens as you move the top and bottom teeth. As such, this is not really an activity we can prevent. Instead, it is a birth reflex that we can control. Today, there are various treatment options which promise an effective overbite correction. Dentists and dental researchers seem to be unanimous when it comes to overbite treatment. What is more, in more serious cases they consider it highly relevant for the oral health.
How do you correct an overbite?
Today’s modern dental care offers a variety of treatment plans and options for junior, adult and senior patients. Depending on the age, the type of overbite treatment varies as well. In children, the treatment and recovery period is much faster. This is so because as children heal more easily than adults. Also, children and teens oftentimes suffer from teeth crowding, a lead cause of overbite. At the same time, adults are likely to suffer more overbite symptoms. The reason for this is not treating the condition in their childhood.
Regardless, if you are experiencing overbite symptoms, or know someone who does, make a dentist appointment. Your doctor will give you a proper diagnosis and will determine further treatment. Initially, you will have to do an X-ray of both jaws, to determine the severity of the condition.
So, depending on your age and symptoms, your doctor may recommend some of the below-listed overbite treatments:
Overbite Care For Children and Teens
Children and teens have a way of recuperating more promptly and are likely to deal with overbites early on. Some of the most effective treatment plans for overbites in these age groups are:
- Tooth removal – the dentist usually removes baby teeth, to allow permanent teeth to come out faster
- Growth modification device – it is a device which movess the teeth back in its correct place
- Braces – the most popular technique of all. Braces straighten the teeth and extend the jaw, thus preventing overbite. Most braces treatments last from 6 months to a few years.
- Retainers – this particular device is a post-braces treatment, which keeps the teeth firmly in place
Overbite Care For Adults and Seniors
Grown adults and older patients suffering from overbite can choose one of several available treatments. Again, the recovery and treatment time in these age groups may be longer. This is so, as overbite symptoms worsen in time, especially in adults.
Effective overbite treatments for senior and adults include:
- Braces – braces help the teeth move around until they find their righteous place. Adults and seniors might need to wear braces for a longer period of time, due to the condition’s severity.
- Teeth removal – every dentist would advise removing unnecessary teeth in the oral cavities in grownups. This is necessary so that the jaw can expand. In such a way, it makes room for the remaining teeth to settle.
- Surgery – the most radical of treatments is surgery. Surgical procedures apply to senior patients with serious jaw problems and skeletal oral cavity issues. The procedure is not suitable for teens, adolescents, and youngsters.
To make sure children never suffer from overbite, make a dentist appointment as soon as possible. Schedule the initial dentist appointment for your children before they turn seven years of age. As for adults, it is best that you pay your dentist a visit every six months to a year. Ultimately, this practice will help you significantly reduce or eliminate overbite symptoms altogether.
Additional Overbite Treatments
Not a fan of any of the aforementioned overbite treatments? Well, here is a list of solutions and treatments adults can further use while dealing with an overbite. Some of the remaining overbite treatments for adults and seniors include:
- Wearing a retainer – adult retainers or aligner are custom-made and fit each patient’s teeth perfectly. Unlike braces, aligners are mobile so you can only wear them at home. Still, for the best effects, you need to wear your retainer for 22 hours a day. First changes occur in two weeks, which is when you need to schedule a dentist appointment. If you want even quicker results, wearing a fixed retainer will instantly help with your overbite symptoms.
- Jaw expanders – Dentists apply jaw expanders directly into the oral cavity. These are in charge of stretching the jaw and mouth itself. Specifically, jaw expanders have to widen the upper jaw. In such manner, they allow the teeth to fall into their respective place.
- The Herbst appliance – this orthopedic device makes sure the jaw stays in its place. At the same time, it keeps the jaw from protruding forwards or creating an overlap. The device also helps straighten the teeth. With that, it successfully reduces overbite symptoms.
- Headgear – another orthopedic tool which helps adults and seniors treat overbite effectively. The appliance helps the teeth straighten, much like wearing braces, but minus the effort and cost.
- Jaw Surgery – aside from teeth and gum surgery, many dentists suggest jaw surgery as well. Of course, this treatment is more rigorous than others. However, what it does is, it helps align the upper and lower jaw and teeth, thus eliminating overbites productively. Still, with jaw surgeries, a dentist basically relocates your jaw, therefore the recovery period is longer. The procedure does not apply to younger patients or infants. This is because teens and children still have time to develop. With that, they still have the chance of fixing overbite without surgery. Finally, jaw surgeries are very expensive, which makes them a less favorable option as a result.
What you can do to prevent overbite altogether?
Of course, there are no natural remedies to prevent an overbite. Because of that, parents must step up to the plate and take on the responsibility of managing the issue. Maintain a constant oral hygiene in children. Next, urge them to wear braces and retainers. Explain the need for wearing braces in a positive manner. All these tricks will you reduce or avoid all symptoms of overbite. Don’t feed babies using pacifiers or baby bottles, as these hurt the gums and the natural tooth growth.
Furthermore, focus on preventing daily nasty habits in children. Such are thumb sucking or nail biting. These drag the upper jaw and teeth even more to the front, causing further complications. The same goes for adults, so make sure your children absorb your oral hygiene practices. Remember, the more attention you put into your oral health, the better chances you have at eliminating overbite.
Before Overbite Braces
After Overbite Braces
Life Before and After Overbite
No one who has used braces to fix their teeth has looked at the new smile they have and regretted it. There may have been stages that they would have rather not gone through, but by the end of the treatment they can see the improvement and love it. Life after an overbite is going to be much different that it was when you still had one. When you decide to have braces, you will be investing in your future and will reap the rewards for many years to come. Looks are only part of the issue as you will find it will be easier to both eat and talk. Your over-all health will also improve. If you choose the right orthodontist, they will be able to advise you on the best course of action for you to take.
There is no need to worry that you have left it too late to have braces as there is not really a time when you will be too old. Earlier is clearly better as there is less chance of problems and the bones will not have fully formed. The teeth will also largely be milk teeth and if they are corrected, the new ones can come through in the right place and not need any further work carrying out on them. It is also likely to be less expensive for a child as there should not be as much work involved.
According to the American Association of Orthodontics, the first set of exams should be carried out on a child when they are about 7. It is not always going to be necessary to do any work at this age but can be a help when the time does come.
The main reason for checking a child’s teeth regularly is to catch any problems as soon as they are starting. Notes can be made and ready for when braces may be needed. By starting early, I will be possible to deal with issues before they get to be too bad.
Catching things Early
It is hard to explain just how much easier it would be to start treatment early and if you can do this there are a variety of issues that you will be able to stop including:
- Making sure that there is enough room in the mouth for when the new adult teeth come through.
- Ensuring that the face is symmetrical and that the jaw has grown to be in the correct location.
- Making sure that there is no risk of damage from front teeth that are protruding.
- Checking that the space that had been made from incoming teeth was not lost due to movement.
- Stopping teeth will have to be taken out.
- Limiting the time that braces have to be worn.
Could You Benefit from An Orthodontic Care?
Malocclusions are a problem and if you suffer from one, then you will be glad to undergo orthodontic treatment. Even if you don’t have one, you can have a better smile and by default more confidence. If you have a malocclusion, you should have it treated as soon as possible according to the American Association of Dentists. Through research they have found out that there are many other problems that could happen if you just leave them.
It is going to be much more difficult to clean teeth if they are too close together. Flossing will also be difficult as it is not going to be possible to get the wire between the teeth. When this happens there will be issues such as bacteria getting stuck on the teeth and this will lead to bacteria, decaying teeth and gum disease. If teeth are sticking out, there is a much bigger risk of them becoming damaged. They can chip on mugs or cutlery as they will not be protected by the lips.
If a crossbite is in place, it can affect the growth of a tooth and will lead to uneven wear as certain teeth will be a lot more active than others. There can also be issues when it comes to speaking as if there is an open bite, the tongue can pick up the habit of thrusting and making it hard to talk clearly.
Adults With Braces
In the past if you did not have braces as a child you were considered to have missed the boat. It was not impossible to have adult braces, but just not a common thing. Nowadays they are quite commonplace, and the only real caveat is that the gums are healthy and can hold the teeth while they are moving. With the right orthodontist, the results will be outstanding, and the braces will bring you a range of benefits. If the teeth are crooked, then gum and bone loss is likely and if this goes to the extreme you could end up with pains in the jaw or headaches.
There are now items that are much more comfortable to wear, and you won’t have to make as many trips to the orthodontist. There is much more choice than there ever was as braces can now be metal, clear aligners or braces and even some that can just be worn at night if there is only a small problem to heal. When you are first examined, it should be possible to work out what the issue is and for the orthodontist to be able to decide what they are going to do and what sort or braces will be best for you.
Once the orthodontist knows what they need to do, they will arrange for the lead up to the brace fitting to be carried out. Firstly, there will be an x-ray to see the extent of the problem, and also impressions will be made. This is likely to be the most uncomfortable part of the procedure and once this is over, you will be fine with the rest of it. Next decide the type of braces required to fix the overbite. They can be metal or clear – Invisalign are the clear ones and as expected this will be more expensive. Metal ones may be kept in place for the entire procedure whereas Invisalign can be removed for eating, and you will be given different ones every few months. A week or so later, you should receive the braces and make appointments for check-ups. With Invisalign there could be fewer, but you will still need to call in every few months.
After the Braces Come Off
Getting the braces off will be an amazing day and you will be able to see the improvement in your teeth right away. It would be a pity to go as far as you have done and then let it all go wrong. Once the teeth are in the right position, they will not stay there unless there is a lot of encouragement. You are going to need to change the braces for retainers.
There is no time to let the world see your perfect naked teeth as the retainer has to go on straight away. You may have thought that the end was near, but it is recommended that the retainers stay in place for at least 6 months and every night thereafter. There will also have to be a few visits to see that they are doing their job. In many cases it will be suggested that you wear them regularly for a long period of time to make sure that the teeth stay in the right place.
The idea of wearing retainers for the foreseeable future may have come as a shock, but there is some good news. They can be taken out, so are not going to spoil special events and take over your life and tooth cleaning regime again. Examples of retainers that can be taken out are maxillary wrap-arounds. They are delicate and must be handled carefully as not only can they be expensive to replace, but also the longer that you have them out of your mouth, the more time the teeth have to slide back into the position they were in before you started any treatment. The case you will be given with them should be used on all occasions that you are not wearing the retainers. Denture cleaner must be used to clean them, so it is no use trying to give them a quick clean with your toothbrush when you are cleaning your teeth.
You can expect to be told at least 6 months of wearing retainers at all times other than when eating and cleaning your teeth. After that you may be allowed to just wear them at night, although this is a decision that the orthodontist should make. Don’t assume that just because the 6 months is up, you can wear them just when it suits you. The final result will depend upon how strict you are when it comes to wearing a retainer.
Is a Retainer Needed?
There will always be patients who decide not to wear a retainer and then complain that their treatment has not been successful when the teeth move back to their previous position and that overbite has come back. There has been research carried out in relation to this and the findings should be observed. It was found that regardless of the way the initial treatment was carried out, whether teeth were removed or not, whether the treatment was due to overcrowding, or expansion, and whether there was the need for some form of headgear to be used, the results will be the same.
Once the treatment stops, there will be a few steps backwards unless something is done to prevent it. Basically, you need to accept that once the braces come off, you will still need some help. Any orthodontist who tells you that once they have removed your braces, you will not need to do anything else should be questioned about the statement.
Not all orthodontists will offer the same level of aftercare, but if you are offered a number of appointments over the 2 years after the braces are removed then you should feel safe in the knowledge that this is an orthodontist who cares and is going to do their best for you. You could end up wearing them every night for ever, but if you want to keep your teeth the way they are, then that is what you need to do. If you need to undergo wearing braces again, then it is more than likely that you have not followed the good advice you had been given.
Types of retainer
- Hawley retainer – These are the traditional retainer and the advantages include it is rigid and will support the arch form. Also, there will not be any occlusal coverage. The downside is that the metal part is visible, and the teeth are not protected if the wearer grinds their teeth.
- Essix retainer – This is a vacuum formed and hard to see in the same way Invisalign is. There is a cover to protect against teeth grinding. The downside is that they are not fully rigid, and some patients struggle to wear them due to the occlusal coverage. They also have to be replaced every 5 years or so.
- Fixed retainer – Not often provided due to the way it is placed but may suit some people. It’s one selling point is their name “permanent retainers”, but there are a number of disadvantages including making it hard to eat items that need to be bitten such as apples, it is hard to clean, and it breaks easily.
Now you know what to expect from wearing braces and then moving on to retainers in order to keep your teeth where they should be. With the right orthodontist there is nothing to worry about and you should sail through the treatment program that they set up for you. There is nothing to fear when it comes to correcting an overbite and once you have finished treatment you will realize that.