What is an Overbite?

September 4, 2020

An overbite is a common condition that occurs when the upper front teeth overlap with your lower front teeth. An overbite can be hereditary or can stem from behavioral issues too (think nail biting, injuries, pacifiers, thumb sucking). While you may think it’s just a cosmetic issue, if an overbite is severe enough, it can actually cause a variety of issues leading into adulthood.

These issues can include:

  • Difficulty cleaning teeth
  • Difficulty chewing
  • Abnormal enamel wear
  • Speech impairments
  • Jaw pain
  • Headaches
  • Sleep apnea
  • Cosmetic issues

Signs of an abnormal bite appear between the ages of 6 – 12. If an overbite appears to be problematic, it will require treatment. Early treatment is generally more favorable because a child’s jaw is still growing. Again, this issue is common and can sometimes be fixed with braces.

As a reminder, many orthodontists say kids should see an orthodontist once their permanent teeth start coming in, around age 7. At this age, issues such as uneven bite and overcrowding will become apparent. But starting the process early doesn’t mean a child will get braces right away.

Other treatment options can include:

  • Braces and spacers
  • Retainers
  • Teeth removal
  • Surgery (adults)

If you think you or your child may have an overbite issue, making an appointment with your dentist or orthodontist is a great place to start. They can help establish a proper treatment plan to keep your teeth and gums healthy. Still need to find a Dental Select dentist near you, click here.