Overbites are a common problem, but that doesn't mean that they're not serious. Some overbites are very serious indeed, causing damage to the teeth, pain in the jaw and temporomandibular joint disorders. If you or your child is affected by an overbite, it's important to recognize the seriousness of the situation and seek treatment as needed.
The first step to overbite correction is in contacting an orthodontist for a consultation. After an evaluation, your orthodontist will make recommendations for treatment. Often, clear aligners are a suitable solution for this kind of problem. Here's what you need to know.
What Is an Overbite? When Should You Fix an Overbite?
An overbite, also known as malocclusion, is a condition that occurs when your upper front teeth overlap with your lower front teeth. While it's very common for people to display this type of jaw alignment, it's usually very minor. Only when the upper teeth protrude over the lower teeth by a proportion between 30 and 50% is this considered a problem that requires correction.
Why Do Overbites Occur?
Overbites can be genetic. Some people are born with uneven jaw alignment or with an undersized jaw, leading to misalignment. However, many people develop malocclusion due to habits from early childhood. Babies who suck their thumbs, suck too often on bottles, or who prefer to use pacifiers may develop an overbite. Over time, these behaviors can actually change the shape of the jaw to impact the alignment of the teeth long-term.
How Do Clear Aligners Fix Overbites?
Clear aligners are a series of clear custom mouthpieces that fit over the teeth, gradually guiding the teeth into the correct position. Each mouthpiece is shaped just a little differently from the last.
If your orthodontist prescribes clear aligners for your overbite, you'll start by wearing an aligner that is very similar to the shape of your teeth now. As you wear the aligner, your teeth will start to fit into the slightly different position that the aligner forces the teeth to assume.
Once your teeth have fully adjusted to the shape of your aligner, you will begin to wear a new aligner that is, again, shaped just slightly differently from your current tooth alignment. This process will continue until your teeth are fully in position and completely aligned.
How Are Clear Aligners Different From Braces?
Braces are attached to the teeth with metal wires and brackets, and the wires are tightened over time to change the shape of the teeth. Braces are a common tool used to correct a severe overbite. Aligners are often used for mild to moderately misaligned teeth. Your orthodontist will have to decide which type of appliance is best for you.
Why Overbite Correction Is Necessary
Overbite correction is necessary if it's likely to cause ongoing problems in the future.
Ultimately, overbites make taking care of your teeth harder. Improper alignment of the teeth can lead to problems like buildup of plaque in hard-to-reach places. If the plaque buildup isn't cleaned away on a regular basis, this can cause tooth decay and tooth pain.
Overbites also cause jaw pain as the jaws are forced to work harder under difficult circumstances. This can lead to headaches, pain while eating and pain while doing normal activities. Some people with severe overbite even have difficulty opening their mouths.
Benefits of Using Clear Aligners to Correct Overbite
If clear aligners are suitable to correct your overbite, there are many good reasons to choose clear aligners over braces. Your orthodontist will help guide you in the direction of the right appliance for you, but here's what you should know about clear aligners.
More Comfortable than Metal Braces
Braces can be uncomfortable for a variety of reasons. Metal brackets attached to the teeth can scrape against the inside of the mouth, leading to cuts and scrapes on the delicate tissues inside the cheeks and lips. This is especially true immediately following a wire tightening, but ultimately, metal braces can lead to cuts and scrapes at any time.
In addition, braces can lead to sore gums every time the wires are tightened. With clear aligners, the shifts are more subtle and less uncomfortable for the wearer.
Less Noticeable than Braces
Clear aligners are virtually invisible, unlike braces, which stand out against the mouth. Braces come in different colors, including white and clear, but clear aligners are subtler still.
For a person who feels self-conscious about their appearance, clear aligners can help boost their confidence. For teenagers, this can make a difference in their social life. For an adult who does not care to draw attention to their teeth, clear aligners are an excellent solution to jaw alignment problems.
Easier to Maintain or Clean
The great advantage of clear aligners, when it comes to cleaning them, is that they can be removed. Aligners are easy to clean and maintain - they simply need to soak in a specialized cleaning product once per day to eliminate bacteria and keep the aligners properly clean.
Braces can be much harder to clean. Food easily sticks to braces, so getting rid of food and bacteria from braces can be very challenging. Since braces can't be removed, cleaning can be time-consuming, and fully cleaning the braces can sometimes be impossible.
Laster Perfect Smile Aligners
Dr. Laster designed his own aligner system for his patients. To do this, he used a precise type of software and amazing gluten-free plastics to create an invisible aligner. Dr. Laster's aligners stand out among other clear aligner types because they help patients achieve their perfect smile in less time. Here's what you should know.
- Budget-friendly. We know you don't have money to burn! We've designed our aligners to be affordable for people on a budget. We also accept lots of different types of insurance, we offer discounts for local heroes, and we offer payment plans for people who need them. The point is to get the aligner, not to break the bank.
- They're almost invisible. Our clear aligners are as subtle as they can be. You can wear your aligners to fix an overbite, and most people won't even notice a difference in your appearance!
- Saves time. Laster Clear Aligners work faster than many other types of aligners. Why is that? Because Dr. Laster starts your first appointment by creating a custom treatment plan that allows for fewer office visits. Our clear aligners also do the job more precisely than many other types of aligners, so you can enjoy the beauty of a perfect smile faster than if you had used a different kind of aligner.
- Made from gluten-free plastic. Our aligners are made from gluten-free plastic, and if needed, we can also order gluten-free adhesive to ensure that your aligners will be fully gluten-free.
Want to Fix Your Overbite? Schedule a Free Consultation
Dr. Laster fixes overbites. Using state-of-the-art materials like his custom-made clear aligners, Dr. Laster helps patients all around Raleigh. To get started with your free consultation from Dr. Laster, make an appointment.
At Laster Orthodontics, we help families develop healthy, life-changing smiles using customized treatments, cutting-edge technologies, and caring relationships. Our individualized treatment plans help our patients achieve their perfect smile in the quickest, most painless way possible by utilizing a wide range of options from traditional braces to propel accelerated treatment to Dr. Laster's in-house aligner program, Laster Perfect Smile. With three locations throughout the Triangle Area, we create life-changing smiles every day.