Overbites: correction, causes and everything else you need to know

Overbites: correction, causes and everything else you need to know

overbite

Many people are unaware that there is a word which refers to the alignment of your teeth. That word is “occlusion”. In turn, “malocclusion” means a deviation or misalignment of your teeth, and it can be found in many common forms. 

One of these forms is known as having an overbite, a dental issue seen in many people every day. Both children and adults can have them, and may be very embarrassed by the look of their teeth as a result, developing issues with confidence and happiness in themselves if the problem is left. 

There is no shame in developing an overbite, either as a child or as an adult, but at Splash Orthodontics we do suggest that you book a professional consultation in order to make sure that you do not develop any health problems in the future. Get in touch with us today and we will be happy to help, from listening to the worries you may have about any procedure that could fix an overbite, to helping you choose the treatment that will suit your case best.

What is an overbite?

When your upper jaw extends over your lower jaw, causing your upper front teeth to overlap the bottom teeth, this is known as an overbite. When the overlap is particularly pronounced, this is often a sign of a severe overbite (a “retrognathic overbite”), which may be accompanied by a person having a shorter, rounder face and a receding chin.

This issue may cause a person to be embarrassed about the way they look, but we always remind our patients that there is no shame in having an overbite. It is a very common problem and can be easily corrected with the right professional treatment. 

If you are worried about how your upper teeth look and wish to have an overbite corrected, get in touch with us today – our friendly team of qualified orthodontists will be able to talk you through your options.

What causes overbites?

overbite

There are a number of factors which can lead to the development of an overbite, and it is possible for a person to develop one as a child, teenager or even as an adult. We have listed some of the causes in more detail below:

Genetics

Inherited genes can play a large role in determining how your jaw will align and how your teeth will grow in. If at least one of your parents has an overbite, there is an increased chance that you will develop one as well.

Having too little room or too much room in your jaw, can also create them or even turn normal overbites into severe overbites.

Habits

Habits, from thumb sucking or tongue thrusting as a child, to teeth grinding or chewing pencils as an adult, can all result in an overbite forming. In children, this is because the jaw is still forming and the tongue pushing against the back of the top teeth as an object pushes against the bottom teeth can realign the jaw.

Losing teeth

Losing teeth, whether through injury or disease, and not consulting a dentist to assess the damage or get it repaired, can also cause an overbite to form. This may result in quite a severe overbite, as the problem will only continue to worsen if it is not seen to by a professional.

What can happen if they are not treated?

overbite

While having an overlap of one or two millimetres is normal, overbites that measure more than this can eventually result in a number of different medical issues if they are left untreated. Such problems include:

  • Jaw pain
  • Headaches
  • Pain or discomfort when eating
  • Trouble opening or closing mouth
  • Sleep apnea
  • Affected speech or a lisp
  • Tooth decay from cavities, gum disease and worn enamel

These issues, as well as the overbite itself, may cause a person to develop issues with low self-esteem. Fortunately, both for those who are worried about how their teeth may look and those who are worried that it may have an impact on their health, there is a range of treatments available to fix an overbite.

Treatments

Most commonly, a dentist will refer a patient with an overbite to an orthodontist for treatment. Methods of correction can vary, depending on the age of the patient and whether or not the symptoms are severe. In each case, your orthodontist will examine the area affected, take some x-rays to determine the type of overbite you have and decide with you on the best course of action for correcting the issue.

Below, we have detailed some of the available methods:

Removing teeth

overbite

This method can be used if the patient is an adult or a child, although orthodontists try to avoid this procedure if treating an adult. Removing baby teeth allows room for permanent teeth to grow in straight, while getting rid of permanent teeth lets the remaining teeth have more freedom to move.

Growth modification devices

These appliances help better position the jaw in children, helping it to form correctly. They are most effective during a child’s growth spurts.

Overbite surgery

Corrective jaw surgery as a method of overbite treatment is the only way to correct skeletal jaw problems in adult patients. This is because the bone structure has finished forming, and cannot be corrected with the same ease as a child’s jaw.

Overbite surgery may not be necessary if the problem is situated in your teeth and not your jaw structure, so it is always best to book an appointment with an orthodontist first to see what else may be done. Call us today and we can discuss how to fix your overbite, as well as offer you alternative treatments if overbite surgery is not the correct method for you.

Braces and retainers

overbite

When it comes to treating any sort of misalignment in a person’s teeth, including overbites, braces and retainers remain the most common and popular choice. They offer a very high degree of control over the final position of your teeth, with braces staying fitted in place 24 hours a day and keeping your teeth in the desired end location. Retainers are used to help prevent the problem from returning, once you have worn braces. 

This method specifically helps you with keeping your teeth in place, but does not fix problems found in your jaw. If you wish to learn more about braces and retainers, or feel that they are the treatment method for you, get in touch with us today. After a free consultation with one of our professional team members, you will be able to decide whether or not you would like to go ahead with the treatment.

Invisalign

overbite

Many adult patients come to us embarrassed at the idea of having to wear braces later in life, even if they know they are correcting a medical issue. That is why many prefer to wear these nearly completely invisible and removable braces. Invisalign on an overbite should work in the same fashion as braces do, while their clear design offers a more discreet method of treatment. 

We highly recommend that you speak with a professional before deciding if Invisalign is the correct treatment for you. Contact us and we can book you in for an appointment to discuss Invisalign and overbite treatment. Your consultation will be free, and we can even offer you 0% finance and monthly installments to pay for the procedure.

If it becomes apparent that Invisalign is the correct treatment method for your case, we will also be happy to offer a free teeth whitening treatment once it is complete, helping to build up your confidence and encouraging you to show off your new look.

Book a consultation

No matter how you have developed your overbite or at what age it happened, at Splash Orthodontics, we will be able to find the right treatment to get it corrected for you. Book an appointment with us today to get your free consultation, and one of our highly qualified and professional orthodontists will be able to talk you through your options for overbite correction. They will also be able to discuss any concerns you may have, and find out which of our treatments will suit you best.

We want you to be happy and comfortable with the smile you have, and we have worked for a long time to help as many people as we can. Get in touch today and we can get you started on a plan that will help you feel like smiling again.

What can you eat with braces? | The simple and straightforward guide by Splash Orthodontics

What can you eat with braces? The simple and straightforward guide

Learning to eat with braces

foods to eat with braces

The initial stages of learning to eat with braces always seem tough and may present minor discomfort. However, once your braces have been applied, your orthodontist will provide you with simple instructions on how to clean, manage and eat with your braces.

Don’t worry, the first few days may seem scary and the prospect of wearing braces for anywhere between 6 – 24 months may not sound appealing. However, you will swiftly adapt to your braces and learn how to manage your eating habits.

What foods can you not eat with braces?

Below is a simple list of the foods to avoid when wearing braces:

  • Hard foods (nuts, pizza crusts, ice – apples and carrots can be eaten if cut small)
  • Sticky foods (sweets, toffees and chewing gum in particular must be avoided at all costs)
  • Sweet foods – although not as bad as hard and sticky foods, it’s advised that you avoid cake, ice-cream, biscuits and sugary drinks just for oral health reasons

Foods you can eat:

  • Soft foods – all dairy, soups, grains, seafood, chocolate, potatoes, meat, fruits & veg (if hard, cut them into bite-sized pieces)
soft foods you can eat with braces

These foods can be eaten under these conditions:

  • Pizza – do not eat the crust
  • Crusty bread – do not eat the crusts
  • Rice – brush carefully afterwards

What can you eat with braces on the first day?

Once your braces have been applied, you should stick to eating soft foods for the first day. Your teeth are only just learning to adapt to their new housing and ensuring you eat foods that will not disrupt the formation of your braces (or cause discomfort) is essential. Pastas, soups, yoghurts, soft fruit and vegetables are all safe to eat on the first day.

Additional tips:

foods you can eat one day after braces

Try to avoid big mouthfuls and tearing food with your teeth. This can cause food to get caught in your braces and make chewing difficult.

We always advise that you stay away from fizzy drinks but if they are a recurring part of your diet, it’s important to cut down to one fizzy drink a week. The carbonation and sugar cause problems to both your teeth and braces.

Why must I avoid these foods?

The problem with the food categories listed above is that they all present a risk to both your teeth and braces. Foods that are hard, sticky and sweet can cause damage to your braces, which in some cases, may require you to revisit your orthodontist for further assessment.

While braces are designed to be durable and can withstand a number of foods and drinks as well as routine cleaning, it’s important that patients avoid the foods listed above.

Food-related problems

painful braces

You may experience some discomfort when eating during your first few days, this is completely normal and nothing to worry about. We have outlined some of the common problems you may or may not experience and provided our expert advice:

Soreness

This is particularly common during the initial stages of your braces journey. Your teeth may feel slightly tender and eating may be uncomfortable for a few days, but this is simply your teeth adjusting to their new housing. You can help numb the pain by taking painkillers or swishing warm salt water around your mouth.

You may also experience soreness around you lips, tongue and gums. Again, this is the adaptation process, it is very common and there is no cause for concern. If after a few weeks the pain has not begun to disappear, please feel free to contact our friendly team and we will advise further.

Loose teeth

Your teeth may feel slightly loose when your braces are applied. This is a normal part of the repositioning process – and is the result of your braces gently moving your teeth into heir new positions. Once your teeth have been gently moved into their new positions, they will no longer be loose.

Playing sports with your braces

You will still be able to play sports while wearing braces. Wearing a gumshield is essential in order to help protect your mouth from any physical damage. Mouthguards can be moulded for you by our team. If you do experience any discomfort to your mouth as a result of a contact sport, please inform us immediately so we can advise further.

Cleaning and maintaining your braces

Maintaining your braces is very important to ensure you stay on the right path to straighter teeth. Any damages to your brace may hinder your straightening process. Be sure to continue brushing and flossing your teeth normally but paying extra attention to your braces, gently cleaning in and around your wires and brackets. Flossing is essential in order to remove any hidden foods within your teeth and braces.

For further information, contact our friendly team

The initial stages of brace application can be scary and it may take you time to adapt to your new braces. Our team is always on-hand to provide our expert advice on orthodontic treatment and care regarding your braces.

If you have any questions regarding your braces, either before or after application, our team would be more than happy to answer and advise further.