One of the questions that you may have about clear aligners might be about using them when you have an overbite. Our Delta dentists discuss what an overbite is and whether clear aligners can fix an overbite.
What is an Overbite?
when you are suffering from an overbite (or deep bite), your upper front teeth overlap with your lower front teeth by more than the average amount. While most people have at least a little overbite (where the upper teeth extend over the bottom teeth by 2 to 4mm), an overbite begins to cause issues when it goes beyond that and may cause problems such as extra wearing on your teeth or jaw pain.
These negative effects can start to happen when the normal 2 to 4 mm range is exceeded to 4 to 6mm or greater, once the range has been exceeded your dentist may then recommend treatment options for correcting the overbite. You might hear your dentist describe overbites in terms of percentage. A range of 5 to 25 percent is ideal.
The vertical nature of an overbite distinguishes it from an overjet, which is horizontal and causes the upper teeth to protrude past the bottom teeth at an angle. But with an overbite, there's no angle as the upper teeth remain straight or downward.
What are Some of the Common Ways to Fix an Overbite?
When you have an overbite and your upper front teeth extend well in front of your lower front teeth then it is important that this condition be treated to prevent cracking, excessive wear or chips in teeth.
The most common reason for overbites is that the lower jaw is slightly smaller than the upper jaw so that the lower teeth rest behind the upper teeth and move downwards as wear on your teeth occurs. You’ll notice more gum tends to show on your upper teeth, and your upper front teeth are situated slightly lower than the teeth beside them (canines, or upper side teeth).
Overbites can happen if a patient had a tongue-thrusting habit or was allowed to suck on an object - most often a thumb or pacifier - for too long as a child.
Other causes of a worsening overbite could be chewing on objects such as pens, erasers or even something as simple as biting your nails can make this condition worse. If the underlying cause is skeletal in nature, it is not recommended to use clear aligners to address the issue.
Why Should You Fix an Overbite?
Oral Health Care
When you have an overbite, your teeth have the potential and will most likely wear down quicker because your teeth touch each other each time you open and close your mouth. In the long term, they could get shorter and thinner.
When you smile with a noticeable overbite, your top teeth hide your bottom teeth. Many people could feel insecure or self-conscious flashing their smiles for a photo, meeting new people or socializing.
How are Clear Aligners Able to Fix an Overbite
Clear aligners can be used to fix your mild or moderate overbite (if not caused by skeletal issues, which would likely require surgery) by applying continual pressure to the teeth.
Clear aligners can:
- Move your lower teeth downwards to where they should be
- Move your upper teeth upwards to where they should be
These clear aligners will use pressure in order to slowly move your teeth back into their natural, corrected positions, leaving you with a straighter, more symmetrical smile. The clear aligners also move your gum at the same time, to keep the proportions in check.
You’ll need to wear your clear aligners for at least 22 hours per day, removing them to eat, drink and floss your teeth. The series of clear aligners will progressively shift your teeth, and you’ll switch to a new set about every 2 weeks. Your custom treatment plan may entail wearing as many as 26 trays, which equates to one tray every 2 weeks for one year.
Before you begin your treatment, your dentist will be able to show you a digital preview of how your new smile will look by the end of your treatment. The first step is to schedule a consultation with your dentist to find out if you are a candidate for clear aligners.