When looking at someone’s teeth, one might notice the upper teeth overlap the lower teeth. This can result in an overbite.

Overbites come in either the anterior or posterior variety and any level of severity. Luckily, overbites are easy to fix, although a young child may need treatment to fix it, as it may straighten on its own. Nonetheless, if you’re not sure whether or need to know what an overbite is, then you’ve come to the right place.

In this article, we’ll go over what is an overbite  and how to know if you have one.

What Causes an Overbite?

An overbite is when the top teeth protrude too far forward over the bottom teeth. It’s a form of malocclusion, an abnormality in the way the teeth are positioned when the mouth is closed. It’s caused by genetics, especially in cases of an overjet, a deep overbite where the upper front teeth protrude out further than the lower front teeth.

Common habits such as thumb sucking can also cause overbite, as can early tooth loss. Poor dental habits such as long-term sugary or starchy snacks, lack of regular brushing or flossing and aggressive dental treatments can also affect overbite formation. 

How Is an Overbite Diagnosed?

Most people can diagnose an overbite on their own. It is characterized by upper teeth being farther in front of the lower front teeth than normal. This can be noticed when a person smiles or opens his or her mouth.

If the overbite is more subtle, a dentist may need to check for the condition. During an examination, the dentist or orthodontist will measure the overbite to see how severe it is. The dentist may also take x-rays to examine the positioning of the teeth and jaw.

In certain cases, an orthodontist may also use a special camera to capture a picture of the bite. People with overbites who need help should visit these orthodontists for the best diagnosis and treatment plan.

Treatments for an Overbite

Treatments for overbite focus on braces and other orthodontic appliances. Braces are the gold standard for treating an overbite, utilizing brackets, wires, and other orthodontic accessories to shift teeth into the desired position. In some cases, surgery can help to correct the underlying skeletal structure that causes the overbite. 

Prevention of an Overbite

Brushing and flossing help to remove plaque and bacteria from the surface of the teeth. Any orthodontic appliances must be worn as prescribed by a dentist or orthodontist.

If a problem is identified early, corrective braces or retainers can be used to guide the teeth into a better position. Another preventive measure is to check the position of the tongue. If it is thrusting forward too often, this can result in an overbite.

Learning What Is an Overbite and Finding Out If You Have One

Overbite often results from habits like thumb-sucking or prolonged bottle-feeding, or it can be brought about by genetics. If you are unsure if you have an overbite then it is recommended to visit your dentist.

They can assess the issue and come up with the best treatment for you. So don’t wait, book that appointment today and explore what is an overbite!

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