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Overbite: Causes & Treatments

overbite

LAST UPDATED: NOVEMER 29, 2017

What are the most common causes of and solutions for overbites?

Having an overbite is a common problem in the North American culture. In other populations, people are more prone to having underbites where their jaws stick out relative to their upper jaws.

In the United States, the majority of people with bite issues have overbites, meaning the top teeth stick out relative to the bottom teeth. Let’s look at the causes, how to treat overbites and the best time for treatment.

Causes of overbites:

1. Genetics: The genes you got from mom, dad, grandma and grandpa are the No. 1 cause. There are two reasons: 1) Your upper jaw is too developed relative to your lower jaw, sticking out too far. This is uncommon. 2) Your lower jaw is underdeveloped, which is most common.

2. A Habit: You may be a thumb-sucker or sucked on a pacifier when you were younger. Habits are easier to fix because we don’t have to remodel and guide the jaws. We just fix the teeth and bring them back into a proper position.

3. Upper teeth stick out further than the lower teeth: That could just be the position the teeth came in. Again, this is easier to fix by bringing the teeth back into a proper position.

How to Treat Overbites?

Several years ago, it was more popular to use headgear to fix large overbite problems, but I don’t like using it. Headgear attaches to the braces in the back of the upper teeth, pulling back the upper jaw. But, the problem is not usually in the upper jaw. Usually the upper jaw is fine. The reason you have an overbite is the lower jaw is set back or detruded. So, if you use headgear to fix an overbite, you cause the upper jaw to match the lower jaw, which is detruded. So, now your teeth fit together, but you have a detruded upper jaw and a detruded lower jaw, which doesn’t look nice aesthetically. This gives you a flat facial appearance, looking like you have fake teeth. So, instead of headgear, we want to correct this problem by encouraging the lower jaw to grow and match that upper jaw.

We can make changes a couple ways:

1. Use elastics: Elastics attach, depending on which way we want the teeth and jaws to move, from the bottom braces to the top ones or vice versa. This lets the upper jaw come out and the lower jaw go in. In cases where there’s an overbite, we would do the opposite because we want the lower jaw to go out and the upper jaw to come in. We use elastics in less severe cases. In severe cases, we have other ways to help guide jaw growth.

2. Use an appliance: If someone has a large overbite, with the lower jaw set back quite far, we use a spring that sits inside the mouth and cheeks. This allows you to chew and open/close your mouth normally. The spring is constantly working to put out a constant amount of force 24 hours a day. The opening and closing motion will put more force on the teeth, allowing the lower jaw to go into a better position. Again, this appliance is used in severe cases where you could stick your whole thumb in between your upper and lower jaw. And, it does speed up treatment quite a bit compared to wearing the elastics.

Best time for treatment

It’s hard to make the jaw grow more than it would genetically, but timing wise we can remodel the bones to maximize growth potential. The best time is usually before children hit their peak growth spurt–10-11 years old for girls and ages 11-13 for boys. Before they hit the peak growth spurt, their jaws will grow with their lower jaws growing the most.

If you have an overbite, you may want to consider visiting an orthodontist for a consultation. The orthodontists at Beecroft Orthodontics are always happy to help. Visit them today if you have any oral issues.

Beecroft Orthodontics, 10472 Georgetown Dr. Fredericksburg, Virginia

Phone: 540-898-2200

Overbite: Causes & Treatments

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Tooth brushing Mistake No.3: “Not Brushing Often Enough or Long Enough”

If your child has the bad habit of not brushing often enough or long enough, you know that there are going to be problems down the line. In addition to flossing on a daily basis, your child should brush his or her teeth for at least two minutes every time. That means devoting at least a minute to the top and a minute to the bottom, thoroughly brushing every surface to ensure the teeth are cleaned well. It’s also essential that your child knows the proper method to brush teeth. Strokes should be short, moving back and forth across every surface, using the tip to get in hard to reach places, such as behind teeth that are in the front. If your child doesn’t brush long enough, bacteria can continue to breed, leading to gum disease. Accumulating debris can cause decay and excess plaque can actually lead to heart problems in the future.

Brushing Often Enough is a Must as Well

In addition to the length of time that your child brushes, it is also to brush often enough. Twice a day is the recommended amount, once in the morning and once at night. However, your child can be even more vigilant and brush after every meal time, ensuring debris is removed from the teeth. Each time plaque is removed, it ensures better oral health.

Discuss Good Oral Hygiene and More

As you help your child to take care of his or her teeth, you may have additional concerns that require an orthodontist. Visit our website and make an appointment at Beecroft Orthodontics to discuss a host of issues, including Invisalign teen cost and Invisalign teen review. Help your child to have a beautiful smile. Begin with brushing and learn about other alternatives to make those pearly whites shine.

Beecroft Orthodontics, 10472 Georgetown Dr. Fredericksburg, Virginia

Phone: 540-898-2200

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Tooth brushing Mistake No. 2: “Not Picking the Right Bristles”

A parent who cares about his child’s oral health will encourage that they brush their teeth twice a day in addition to setting a good example by doing this themselves. In addition to investing in braces to make their smile beautiful, the next best investment a parent can make is investing in a toothbrush with the right bristles. It’s easy to avoid the mistake of not picking the right bristles for the toothbrush used on a daily basis.

Types of Bristles

An orthodontic can offer valuable feedback on the best type of toothbrush bristles for your child. Most individuals prefer a soft-bristled toothbrush because it feels more comfortable in the mouth. And if a toothbrush feels comfortable and easy to use, a child will be more motivated to brush his teeth at least twice a day in order to remove any food particles sticking to his braces. Most people are surprised to discover after discussing bristles with an orthodontic specialist that firmer bristles don’t do a more effective job than soft bristles at removing plaque, food particles and stains from teeth. Extra-soft bristles are recommended for individuals whose mouths are sore after a dental procedure or who have sensitive gums and teeth.

Bristle Patterns

In addition to the softness of toothbrush bristles, the shape and pattern of bristles on the toothbrush can help the brushing process be as effective as possible. Many toothbrushes today offer innovative features such as cup shape bristles designed for more detailed coverage while brushing, smaller toothbrush heads to get into crevices and corners more easily, bristles arranged in a diagonal pattern to be able to reach the gum line and sides of the teeth, and bristles that indicate when a toothbrush replacement is recommended.

Beecroft Orthodontics is committed to helping you achieve the best oral care possible. Call on us for any guidance you need regarding picking the right bristles on the toothbrushes, you and your children will be using twice a day.

Beecroft Orthodontics, 10472 Georgetown Dr. Fredericksburg, Virginia

Phone: 540-898-2200

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Tooth brushing Mistake No. 1: “Not Using the Right Toothbrush”

Just because you brush your teeth multiple times a day, that may not mean that you are doing everything you need for the best oral health. In fact, many people are using a toothbrush that isn’t right for them, which is one of the top mistakes that orthodontic specialists see. In order to avoid issues that come with poor oral hygiene, here are some things that you should consider when picking out your next toothbrush.

Head Size

One of the first things to consider when looking for the right toothbrush is the size of the head. Many people think that a toothbrush with a large head is good for covering more ground, but this isn’t always the case. Instead, a toothbrush that has too large of a head is difficult to maneuver in your mouth, which can lead to bacteria buildup in the hard-to-reach spaces between your teeth. Instead, ensure that your toothbrush size is something that is comparable to the overall size of your mouth.

Bristle Strength

Another problem that people come across is the bristle strength of their toothbrush. You may be someone who thinks that a stronger brush will help you more easily break away buildup on your teeth, or you may opt for softer bristles that are easier on the teeth. The truth is, you’ll likely want to see your orthodontist to find out what type of bristle strength is best for you. Every person has different requirements for their teeth and gums, and visiting an orthodontic specialist will give you a better idea for what’s best for you.

Handle Grip

Finally, consider the grip of the handle for your toothbrush. This is especially true for children, as they may need something that is more comfortable to grab onto while brushing. When it comes to children’s oral health, it’s important that parents do all that they can to institute healthy practices. Making sure that their brush is comfortable will help do just that.

If you don’t take care of your teeth, it won’t be long before you are asking yourself, “Do I need braces?” But in order to make sure that your oral health is in good condition and that you are brushing your teeth correctly, contact Beecroft Orthodontics today.

Beecroft Orthodontics, 10472 Georgetown Dr. Fredericksburg, Virginia

Phone: 540-898-2200

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