Dentists and orthodontists have advanced technology on their hands and treating teeth misalignment conditions are no longer a problem. At least not as they used to be. No matter how severe the teeth misalignment conditions, you are sure the specialist can do something about it.
Gone were the days when you had to bear with it. The severity does not matter. So does the age of the patient. Before, only youngsters or teenagers could avail of the treatment for teeth misalignment conditions. The physiology factors in before, but now, that is no longer the case.
Everybody can avail of the treatment and can have several options. Before, only traditional braces were available. Now, you can choose various braces that suit your condition or what you want.
But of course, the nature of the teeth misalignment condition still matters and may preclude the patient from availing of other options. Probably the most common teeth misalignment condition that needs treatment is an overbite. Braces are effective in treating them, according to most experts.
But what is an overbite exactly?
What is an overbite, and why do you need to correct it?
An overbite is one of the more common forms of teeth misalignment conditions, better known as malocclusions. A patient has an overbite if one has the upper teeth protruding or misaligned or extending to that of the lower teeth.
Even those who do not have problems with their teeth when they are young may develop some when they become adults.
If your upper teeth protrude extensively over the lower teeth, you may have what orthodontists call overjet. It is common for most people to interchange overbite and overjet. They are not the same, however. In an overbite, your upper teeth may extend over the lower, but the front teeth may still be straight.
In an overjet, your front teeth protrude or extend at an angle. Again, extending too much over your lower teeth.
The structure of the teeth and the misalignment will determine if you have an overbite, overjet, or both. Whatever the case may be, you need treatment for both. And usually, braces are one of the better solutions for this teeth misalignment condition.
Surgery is an option, but no need to have it if cheaper alternatives are available. More so if the overbite and overjet are not that extreme or severe.
Most people ignore overbite and never go to a specialist to address it. Overbite, however, is a serious matter. It could lead to other complications, like jaw pain and gum diseases, if left ignored. It can also increase the possibility of tooth decay, especially among children.
It can also lead to other complications, such as difficulties in speaking and chewing. A much more severe complication could be having sleep apnea, a sleep disorder that may lead to other health problems.
Correcting overbite is essential for oral or dental health, our overall health, and our general well-being. It reduces the possibility of having other health complications arising from poor dental and oral health.
What causes overbite?
Experts are not sure what causes overbite and why some people have an overbite while others do not. In the course of your life, it is entirely possible to have no overbite when you are young but have it during adulthood.
But it is more common among children and youngsters. Some activities make individuals more prone to having overbite than others.
Among the activities that may cause an overbite are using a pacifier when young or still a baby, thumb sucking, and prolonged use of milk bottles when still younger. Other activities that may cause overbite are nail-biting, tongue-thrusting, chewing on objects, biting pens and pencils, and mouth breathing.
They can make others predisposed to having an overbite. But avoiding them does not necessarily preclude one from having an overbite. But being mindful of our dental hygiene and taking proper care of our oral health surely helps.
Symptoms of overbite
Aside from upper teeth protruding on lower teeth, having “buck” teeth, and upper teeth overlapping on lower teeth, there are other tell-tale signs of having an overbite. Symptoms could include pain in the jaw, slurred speech, and your face looking round and short.
A chin appearing too small for your face may also be a sign of having an overbite. You must consult with your dentist concerning these matters. Also, inform your dentist if you noticed something odd about your teeth, jaw, gums, and overall oral and dental health.
Types of overbite
There are two types of overbite. They are horizontal one and vertical overbite.
Horizontal overbite is when your upper teeth severely overlap your lower teeth. Vertical overbite, on the other hand, is when your upper set of teeth protrudes to the lower one.
In addition, experts recognize other types of occlusions as a form of overbite. These are:
Neutrocclusion is probably the most common. If you have this overbite, your upper teeth overlap with the lower one, like in horizontal overbite. Still, though, you have a normal bite.
Here, there is a severe overlap of upper teeth and jaw with the lower teeth and lower jaw. The upper teeth protrude to the lower teeth. Here, not only the teeth but the jaw is also an issue.
Here you have a condition when the lower front teeth are significantly more prominent than your upper teeth. It may be due to having a more enormous lower jaw or having a smaller upper jaw in proportion to the lower one.
And the braces, how can they help?
The braces are the most critical teeth appliances in the arsenal of a dentist or orthodontist. Before, they only had traditional braces, those with metals and wires. They now have different braces to correct teeth misalignment or malocclusions, including overbite.
There are many kinds of braces, of which traditional braces are the most famous and familiar. Now we have ceramic braces, lingual braces, and those invisible aligners, which are now making waves in the dental field.
Braces are the standard treatment for various teeth misalignment conditions, including overbite. A dentist will usually recommend one or a particular type of braces to treat your overbite.
But whatever braces you use operate based on similar exact science and procedures. The idea is to move your teeth towards a specific position at a specific pace. Moving your teeth can create physiological conditions that allow your body to straighten your teeth and correct the malocclusion.
The braces will move your teeth slowly, little by little, at a certain pace, towards a specific position. The braces will put just the right amount of pressure. It ensures that your teeth will eventually loosen up, destroy some bones and create new ones so that your teeth can move into the new position.
Once they move into the new position, new bones will grow to give ample support to the teeth moved into the new position. The process of bone remodeling will continue as you continue wearing braces.
Eventually, the therapy would be enough to guide your teeth in the proper position, strengthen them, straighten them and correct the malocclusion.
In principle, this is how dental braces correct all the malocclusions, including overbite. If the dental braces can do this, it will not matter what type of dental braces you wear, efficiency-wise.
But it may matter depending on the severity of the overbite. In this case, you need dental braces, which are up to the task. Though they have the same underlying scientific principle, some dental braces may not be adept at handling certain malocclusions or teeth misalignment conditions.
The reason is mainly due to certain specifications of dental braces. Some are strong enough and made of materials that can move the teeth into desired positions. Others are not made that way due to the need to be comfortable and convenient for the patient.
So what are the types of braces that may help you in correcting your overbite?
Types of overbite braces
There are four braces for malocclusion and teeth misalignment conditions: traditional standard braces, ceramic braces, lingual braces, and invisible aligners. No matter the extreme condition or the severity, they can still treat teeth misalignment conditions, including overbite.
Traditional standard braces
These are your typical braces, the ones you commonly see worn by people. They have metals, wires, and rubber bands. They are the standard treatment recommended by most specialists, dentists, and orthodontists.
Part of the reason is the effectiveness of this treatment. The materials are durable compared to other braces and options. But they are not that expensive, or at least not in comparison with others.
But they are also the least comfortable with all those metals, wires, brackets, and rubber bands installed in your teeth. Some find it truly inconvenient wearing standard metal braces.
No wonder most people would rather ignore their overbite than treat it by specialists. Some hated to be bothered by all those discomforts associated with traditional braces
For others, the issues are not much of comfort and convenience but rather aesthetic ones. For those who want to be fashionable, one can wear ceramic braces. They are almost of the same kind as traditional metal braces. But instead of metals for brackets, you have ceramics.
You can make the braces fashionable by having colorful brackets. Or you can make your treatment unnoticeable by having transparent brackets. Due to additional features, ceramic braces are usually more expensive than traditional or standard metal braces.
You can have lingual braces if you want to completely hide the treatment and braces. Orthodontists put it at the back of the teeth, besides your tongue. That is the reason they called it lingual braces.
Its advantage is that they are completely unnoticeable. You do not have to worry that people might notice it. If it is essential for you to have people concentrating on you and not your teeth, you can have lingual braces.
But there are some issues: lingual braces are the most expensive option in the market today. The reason is the caliber and expertise needed to install this medical appliance. Since experts place them at the back of the teeth, the whole process needs extra care and excellent knowledge on the part of the expert.
Not all dental offices, for instance, are adept at putting lingual braces. Still, you can expect almost all dental offices to have the expertise to install traditional braces or even ceramic ones.
An altogether different kind of braces is invisible aligners. They do not have metals, wires, or rubber bands. They are instead plastic trays. Custom made for each individual to treat teeth misalignment conditions, overbite included.
And instead of experts installing them, you wear them for specific periods during the day, usually 22 hours. For nighttime aligners, a kind of invisible aligners worn during bedtime, you need to wear them for at least 8 to 10 hours.
Despite invisible aligners being of different materials, their underlying science is the same as that of braces. They genuinely have the function of braces, despite their noticeable difference in composition and material.
As of late, invisible aligners are making much noise in the dental field. It is because of the supposed advantage it has over other braces. They are far more comfortable and convenient.
They do not need much intervention from a specialist. You do not need to go into the dental office to have one. You can finish the treatment without seeing an expert in person.
Part of the appeal of invisible aligners is that you can have them and avail of the whole treatment package without ever leaving your home. It is possible due to the advanced technology that allows orthodontists to create invisible aligners by relying, for instance, on 3D technology and imagery.
They are also cheaper than other options, including traditional braces. Part of the reason is the materials and technology used in making them. Overall, invisible aligners provide an enticing alternative for people who want to treat their overbite but do not have the time or the money to do so.
But it is not without controversies. Detractors claim that it is not practical because of the duration of the treatment, which is usually shorter. The materials are also not durable compared to those used to make traditional metal, ceramic, and lingual braces.
Mostly, they are for mild and moderate teeth misalignment conditions, including overbite. Braces made of lighter materials may be suitable for those conditions.
And since invisible aligners are not for severe conditions of an overbite, there is no need to undergo the hassle and inconvenience of having to wear uncomfortable braces. There is no need to spend that much either.
Proponents of invisible aligners claim it is modest in their treatment claims and do not promise much that it can never do. It should be a caveat for those considering invisible aligners for treating their overbite.
Which is the best option for overbite?
The issue of the best option, the best overbite braces, is hard to determine because there are other factors at play aside from effectivity of the treatment. Convenience and comfort are essential for others. Aesthetics and beauty may also play a part. For experts like dentists and orthodontists, the effectiveness of the treatment is always paramount.
Standard metal braces are still the “weapon of choice” for most experts, and it is easy to deduce why. Made mostly of metal and steel, they are far more durable. They can hold the teeth in position more firmly and move the teeth in precise position at the right speed, more accurately perhaps, than others.
Ceramic braces and invisible aligners can do that too. The problem is that they are not as durable as the standard metal braces, simply due to their composition and material. Ceramic brackets are far more brittle than metal ones. Invisible aligners, on the other hand, are prone to stain and damage.
Lingual braces could be more enticing because it is hidden and unnoticeable. But they also have almost the same hassle, discomfort, and inconvenience, if not more. They can give you a temporary lisp. And, of course, they are far more expensive than most of the options mentioned.
Being more effective and having the same hassle at a lesser price makes traditional braces more practical than ceramic or lingual braces. Invisible aligners, however, are different. They provide many advantages, even compared to traditional metal braces.
Though some invisible aligners are more expensive than traditional braces, they are generally far cheaper than other options. If you have a minor overbite issue, why not choose cheaper overbite braces?
And one that is more comfortable and convenient to wear. Unlike traditional metal, ceramic and lingual braces, you can remove invisible aligners. You need not wear them when eating, drinking, or cleaning your teeth.
It would be precise to say that wearing invisible aligners requires a different attitude for the patient. Since it is removable, the patient needs to have more discipline in wearing them. They must also be disciplined in cleaning their teeth, what they eat and drink, and taking care of their invisible aligners.
They need to be aware of it, too, unlike when wearing different braces. You can easily stain, damage, or even lose your invisible aligners if you are not careful. One cannot lose traditional, ceramic, or lingual braces. It is there in your mouth all the time.
The best option is the overbite braces that can give you the best of all possible worlds. But the nature of your overbite may affect the possible treatment available. Traditional braces and their prototypes effectively deal with even severe overbite conditions. Invisible aligners, not so much.
But if you have minor overbite issues, there are many possible options for you. Like with other problems, the more severe or complex the problem is, the less elbow room for maneuver one usually has.
How long does it take to treat your overbite?
It depends on the nature of the overbite and how severe or mild it is. A severe overbite condition may take at least two years of treatment. If this is the case, it already precludes using invisible aligners, for they are usually for a shorter duration.
It is possible to have treatment for minor overbite conditions using invisible aligners. With this being the case, the treatment may last six months to more than a year. But again, other factors may affect the duration of the treatment.
For instance, there may be other issues aside from overbite. Using traditional braces allows you to deal with several malocclusions at once, like crooked teeth. So in treating misalignment conditions other than overbite, braces may be a solution to a variety of problems.
Correcting overbite is vital for our overall health. It is good that, unlike before, everyone can get the treatment. And many options are available for those who want to correct their overbite.
Many experts prefer traditional braces due to their effectiveness, durability, price, and availability. But other options are available for those who do not want extra attention given to their treatment. An option is also available for those who want to be trendy while undergoing treatment.
There is also the option of using invisible aligners for those who want a more comfortable and convenient treatment. A cheaper alternative, too, especially if you need to treat mild overbite conditions. No need to spend that much for a case that is not extreme or severe but can give the same results.
But everything will ultimately depend on the nature of the overbite and how mild or severe the case is. In this aspect, only the experts, namely, your dentist and orthodontist, can advise on the best course of action you can take. Treating your overbite condition should be the genuine, top concern.
But this should not get in the way of having the best of all possible worlds. There is progress in dental technology, after all, because we want the most effective treatment at a lesser cost and in the most comfortable way possible. You only need to talk to your dentist and orthodontist to have the best overbite braces.