An overbite is a dental condition that happens when the top teeth overlap the bottom teeth in the mouth in a vertical manner. It is a highly common issue, but may prove to be detrimental to a child’s oral health and their self-esteem. The good new is, an overbite is easily corrected.
In most instances, an overbite is resolved with braces. They help in evening out the teeth, beautifying the smile, and reducing the possibility of secondary dental health issues. Let’s learn more about overbites.
There are several factors that may contribute to the development of an overbite. These could be caused by oral habits – such as the use of a pacifier for a long period of time or thumb sucking – or by issues with the development of bone in or around the mouth, or differences that may occur when the teeth erupt.
When Should the Teeth be Evaluated for Overbite?
You should pay special attention to the development of the teeth around the age of 5.
If you notice that the top teeth seem to go over the bottom teeth, you should have your child evaluated by a pediatric dentist as quickly as possible.
If an overbite is developing, it should be treated as quickly as possible to avoid future oral health complications.
Problems Caused by an Overbite
Several problems have the potential to develop if an overbite is not treated. These include – but are not limited to – the following issues:
- Impediments involving speech
- Problems eating
- The top teeth breaking down the bottom teeth
- The lower level teeth causing cuts and damage to the gums or to the top interior area of the mouth
- Pain in and/or around the mouth
- Grinding of the teeth
- Decline in tooth enamel
- Increased possibility for cavities and/or gum disease to develop within the mouth
- Aesthetic issues that could impact a child’s confidence in their appearance and/or themselves
If your child has an overbite and you catch it early, you will be pleased to know that the treatment is relatively simple.
First, x-rays will be taken to determine the underlying cause of the condition. Molds may also be taken during the evaluation process.
Once the cause is determined, the overbite will most likely be treated with braces or a combination of braces and another dental appliance.
These treatments work to straighten the teeth in an easy and comfortable manner.
Types of Braces for Overbite
Throughout the years, braces have evolved immensely. In most instances, a pediatric dentist will recommend the standard metal braces that include the bands; however, you can choose to go with another type.
There are those that can be removed, those that are the same color as the teeth, and several other options.