Overbite is a problem with your teeth when your front upper teeth protrude over your front lower teeth as you clench your teeth to bite or close your mouth. It is quite a common problem, particularly among infants, but it doesn’t usually become an annoyance until the overhang is more than 10%. This is when you should start seeking help from an orthodontist.
One of the worst things about this sort of problem is that your speech may be affected. It may also restrict your ability to smile and be at ease with yourself. The most popular treatments for overbite are either fitting orthodontic braces or Invisalign. In the worst situations surgery may be necessary.
Orthodontic braces to treat overbite
When braces are fitted they help to direct the teeth into the best possible position through a process that is slow, but in the end effective. If metal brackets are necessary they are stuck to the protruding teeth and gently push the teeth into a more desirable position. As the teeth move, the brackets are adjusted so that the movement continues until the teeth are in the right position. This sort of treatment tends to be faster than Invisalign, for example, as the braces aren’t removed throughout the treatment period.
Fitting and care of braces
On occasions, the recipient might develop some discomfort while being treated to begin with, but this soon wears off after the teeth and gums have got used to them in the mouth. Braces do need some maintenance and care and they need to be cleaned frequently to remove food particles that have got caught which could lead to damaging bacteria invading the teeth. You should also steer clear of cracking nuts with your teeth or eating any food item that’s particularly hard as this could damage your braces and you may need to get them replaced.
Sugary, sticky food is not recommended, as it can get caught between your braces and your teeth and gums. This is an open invitation for bacteria to invade the area and undo the good work the braces have been put in your mouth to do. However, overall braces are the more practical solution as they just remain in your mouth until the orthodontist says it is time to remove them. This can sometimes be as long as 12 months.
Visiting your orthodontist
Once your braces have been fitted you should make an appointment to see your orthodontist once a month. He or she will check how well your teeth are progressing and if necessary tighten up the wires. You will also be reminded about brushing and flossing your teeth and the sorts of food you should avoid.
The rewards from braces treatment for overbite
The rewards from taking the leap and getting your overbite treated are the ability for you to smile with confidence, relief from the pain of trying to force your teeth into the right position when biting and being able to eat some of your favourite foods with ease.