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There’s no denying the beauty of an attractive straight white smile but unfortunately, not everyone starts life with perfect teeth. Many children and adults suffer from malocclusion, with one common type being an overbite.
Most people looking to straighten their teeth have the misconception that orthodontic treatment is intended to improve the aesthetics of a smile. Whereas, from a dental perspective, it’s more about helping to prevent the long-lasting effects on oral health that arise from crooked teeth or an overbite. But before discussing methods of correcting an overbite, let’s look at the definition of malocclusion and how it affects oral health.
What is malocclusion?
According to Healthline, any deviation from ideal occlusion (alignment) is known as a malocclusion or bad bite. This includes conditions such as an overbite, underbite, open bite, crossbite, spacing, and crowding. An overbite typically refers to when the upper and lower jaws are misaligned causing the top teeth to cover the bottom teeth. Often an overbite is hereditary but it can be made worse by habits such as thumb-sucking in children and overuse of bottle feeding or a pacifier.
So, why is it important to correct an overbite?
While correcting an overbite improves the aesthetics of the smile and may give a person’s confidence a boost, more importantly, it helps prevent a wide range of dental problems including:
- Wear and tear to the teeth – When the jaw is misaligned the teeth may rest and rub against each other in various places. This can cause thinning of the tooth enamel, tooth fracture and in extreme cases tooth loss.
- Gum damage – In cases of a severe overbite the upper front teeth may touch the gum line of the lower front teeth or the lower front teeth may strike the gum line in the back of the upper front teeth causing gum recession. Damaged gums can also lead to gum disease and possible tooth loss.
- Sleep apnea – People with a small mouth and an overbite have a higher risk of developing obstructive sleep apnea.
- Difficulty in speaking and chewing – People with overbites often suffer from speech impediments or overcompensate to articulate certain words. Overbite can also cause problems with chewing.
- Jaw pain – Misalignments can also result in severe jaw pain and/or headaches which can lead to TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint Disorder).
What treatment is available?
Having examined your mouth and jaw positioning, a dentist or orthodontist can determine the most appropriate treatment compatible with an overbite. X-rays and impressions will also be taken to get a better understanding of the alignment of both jaws.
Severe overbites may necessitate a tooth extraction to enable other teeth to move into their new positions more easily. On rare occasions, certain malocclusions may require oral surgery to reposition the jaw.
While it’s easier to fix an overbite in young children while their jaws are still developing, there’s no upper age restriction for orthodontic treatment. Adults with an overbite may need to wear fixed metal braces if their condition is severe but in many cases, clear braces work just as well to straighten the teeth and produce a beautiful even smile.
The benefits of clear braces
Clear braces are worn over the teeth like a mouthguard and because they’re made from clear plastic, it’s hard to spot that a person is wearing them. It’s this ‘invisibility’ factor that makes them a preferred choice for adults and teens who dislike the thought of visible metal brackets and wires to straighten teeth.
Clear braces treatment utilises a series of aligners that gently apply pressure to the teeth to move them into their correct position. Each set of aligners is worn for around 14 days and then swapped out for the next in the series until the last set has been worn and the teeth are straight. Treatment takes 9-12 months on average depending on the severity of the overbite.
Another benefit of clear braces is that they are removable, and indeed they have to be removed by the wearer when eating and drinking anything other than water. Ultimately, this means no food restrictions and less challenging brushing and flossing.
Finally, clear braces treatment requires no dental visits as opposed to metal braces that need frequent adjustments to tighten the wires. In fact, with clear braces from Straight My Teeth, the aligners are delivered directly to your door with the entire orthodontic process carried out virtually.
Love Your Smile
So, what if you have an overbite? Fixing it with clear braces will not only give your smile a makeover but will help prevent dental problems in the future and improve your overall health.
The cost of clear braces in the UK according to Dentaly.org ranges from £1,500 to £5,500 for most people with an average treatment cost of £2,500 to £3,000 – which in anyone’s book is a lot of money. The good news is, however, that clear braces cost considerably less at Straight My Teeth.
Patients can straighten their teeth at home for just £999 (which includes a free teeth whitening kit) or £67 per month plus a down payment of £295.
Currently, we’re running a promotional offer of £749 so don’t miss out.
To find out if you’re a suitable candidate for clear braces why not fill out our free online assessment form and one of our team will get back to you to discuss your needs.