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Overbite Problems and Treatment

An overbite is a kind of dental condition in which the upper jaw is not aligned with the lower jaw. As a result, the upper row of teeth is ahead of the lower row by a few inches. Overbites may be seen in many people at different degrees. The condition is considered to be a genetic problem and many times may not require any kind of treatment unless the difference in the alignment is very noticeable. Answered below by the Experts are important questions about overbites that are commonly asked.

Would an individual with an overbite be required to use braces to correct it?

If the individual with the overbite wants to correct their condition, then the individual may have to use braces to correct it. There may be no other way to treat the condition.

Is it possible to correct an overbite in a 7 year old child?

Most of the dentists may not recommend treating an overbite in a 7 year old child. This is because the child is still growing at that age and his/her jaw and facial bones may undergo changes. Also due to the number of tooth eruptions at that age, braces may not be recommended for the child. The dentists may wait till the child is 9 or 10 years of age before deciding on how to treat the overbite.

Is it required to treat an overbite?

It may not be necessary to treat an overbite always. In most situations, the condition may be categorized as an overbite if the upper teeth are 2mm in front of the lower teeth. However, in some conditions, the distance could be either more or less than 2mm. Even in such situations, it may not be necessary to treat it. One may only have to treat the condition if it interferes with regular functioning or for other cosmetic reasons.

For how long would a person have to wear braces to treat an overbite?

Most of the times, a person may have to wear braces for a minimum of 18 months to treat an overbite.

How long would it take for a gap to be filled if a person had to get a couple of teeth extracted to correct an overbite?

The time taken to fill the gap after a tooth extraction may depend on how aggressively the orthodontist’s treatment plan is. However, in most cases, the gap may be filled within a period of 3 to 6 months.

Would drinking orange or lime juice regularly affect a person’s teeth if he/she has an overbite?

If an individual has an overbite, most dentists may advise the individual to limit the intake of orange and lime juice. This is because the citrus and acid in the juice can affect the teeth and make it very sensitive leading to a lot of pain. If the individual does not want to give up drinking the juices, the individual may cover the teeth with full coverage crowns that will prevent the teeth from eroding due to the acids.

Would a person have speech problems while treating an overbite with braces?

When overbite is treated with the help of braces, the front row of teeth are moved back to come in line with the lower teeth. The tongue takes some time to adjust to the new position of the teeth and hence the speech problems. If at all one has problems speaking, it may be a temporary condition which will go once the tongue is used to the new position of the teeth.

Though it may not be significant in most cases, sometimes overbites may cause inconvenience in performing basic functions like chewing if the difference in the alignment is significant. Some people may also choose to correct the condition due to aesthetic issues. It is important that you are aware of the condition and its effects before you take a decision about whether you want to correct it or not. You may ask an Expert if you need any help in understanding overbites or need more information about them.
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