How much of an overbite is normal? Parents can become concerned about their children’s dental health and wonder if their kids need braces when they have an excessive overbite. Your orthodontist can diagnose the condition of your child’s teeth thoroughly and recommend appropriate treatments if necessary.
In this post, we’ll answer several crucial questions, such as:
- What is an overbite?
- Are overbites normal?
- Do children need braces if they have an overbite?
- Is it normal to have a slight overbite?
- What are the signs that you need braces?
- When to see your orthodontist?
It’s important to remember that getting braces can be a financial investment and in some cases, inconvenient for your child. This corrective procedure often requires prolonged treatment and might take a year or two. Nevertheless, orthodontic treatments involving braces have a high rate of success.
Aside from giving you that perfect smile, braces can significantly improve oral health. However, it is best to have a seasoned orthodontist evaluate your child’s condition before you can make an informed decision.
What is an Overbite, and Do I Need to Get Braces for It?
Some label overbites “bucked teeth”, believing two of a person’s front teeth have become oversized. However, this condition isn’t always the case when you discuss malocclusion with your doctor. This condition is actually due to a misalignment of the teeth, not an overgrowth.
The misalignment causes the overlap of the top row over the bottom row of one’s teeth. The condition depends on several causes, such as the number of teeth on your upper jaw versus the ones in the lower row. An excessive overbite occurs when the top row overlaps more than 50% over the teeth at the bottom. It is best to consult your orthodontist before you get braces.
Is a Slight Overbite Normal?
Some parents ask, “Is it normal to have a slight overbite?” Yes, slight overbites are normal, and all people will have a bit of an overbite for several reasons. Sometimes the upper row of teeth needs to be moved forward a little to facilitate better chewing. This type of overbite is minimal and won’t significantly impact your overall dental health.
Your orthodontist can examine your teeth and is better positioned to tell you whether or not an overbite is within normal limits.
Causes of Overbites
After determining if a slight overbite is normal, parents should become aware of potential causes to help prevent the condition from worsening. Several factors, such as genetics and other medical conditions, can cause an overbite.
Here are some of the factors you should watch out for:
- Impacted, Missing, or Extra Teeth
Broken and extra teeth can cause misalignments that can lead to an overbite. This condition can cause the crowding of teeth. Further, when a tooth gets extracted, the large space caused by the procedure can also cause the upper teeth to misalign and overlap the teeth at the bottom.
- Pacifier Use and Thumbsucking
Overbites can occur if your children thumbsuck a lot or continue using pacifiers after they’ve grown their first set of teeth. However, it isn’t recommended for young children to get braces immediately. Weaning your children from pacifier use is best since it puts them at a higher risk for malocclusion.
- Cysts and Tumors
Older folks who develop tumors and cysts in the mouth are at risk of developing an overbite. These disorders can cause a lot of pain and cause the upper teeth to move forward due to persistent swelling.
- Tongue Thrusting Habit
Another habit your children might have, which you’ll need to curb, is tongue thrusting. The pressure caused by the push of the tongue can cause the upper teeth to move forward. This habit can cause the teeth to misalign, becoming an overbite. However, there are instances where children enact this behavior while sleeping. You can ask your orthodontist for tips and advice to prevent this habit.
When Do You Need Braces?
Braces are dental fixtures that help align and straighten teeth. Studies show that 20% of people today may need braces at one point and that only 35% of U.S. adults have perfectly aligned teeth.
Here are some of the signs that you or your child may need braces:
- Stress or fatigue of the jaw when chewing food.
- You make clicking noises when you chew.
- Difficulty pronouncing certain words due to teeth misalignment.
- Teeth that don’t close over each other when you’re not talking.
- You accidentally bite your tongue frequently.
- Difficulty flossing around crooked teeth.
- Teeth are visibly overcrowded or crooked.
In the case of young children, genetics, inadequate nutrition, and bad dental hygiene practices contribute to an overbite and may necessitate the application of braces when they’re old enough.
At What Age Should Children Get Braces?
Whether or not your children have misaligned teeth, it is best to have them see an orthodontist before they reach seven years old. This is according to specialists from the American Academy of Orthodontics. Early detection can help prevent the onset of overbites that will necessitate the application of braces at an early age.
However, many dental practitioners recommend therapy with braces for children from nine to 14 years of age. This age range is when kids begin to grow their permanent teeth. For this reason, getting braces for your children at this age will benefit them a lot.
No one is too old to get braces, which means if you still have an overbite as an adult, you can get braces to correct teeth misalignment. However, sometimes adults will need other dental procedures to correct any misalignment.
Expert Treatment For Overbites and Not Just Braces
Find one of our orthodontists that can help you with a thorough assessment to determine the best treatment that suits your dental condition. In addition, our goal is to provide clients with a uniquely caring experience.