How to Fix an Overbite Long Beach, CA

One of the more common orthodontic issues patients may encounter is an overbite. In fact, about 22% of people have an overbite. An overbite occurs when the upper front teeth overlap significantly with the lower front teeth when you close your mouth. While a small overbite is normal, a pronounced overbite can lead to various dental issues. In some cases, the lower teeth may even touch the roof of the mouth behind the upper front teeth.

An overbite can influence both the look of your smile and your overall oral health. As a result, many Long Beach patients want to seek treatment options to fix an overbite. At Garlington Orthodontics, our team can provide the diagnosis and treatment options you need. 

Overbite in Long Beach, CA

Causes of Overbite

You can develop an overbite for many different reasons. It is crucial to understand the cause of your overbite for treatment options.

Genetics: Just like the color of your eyes or the shape of your nose, you can inherit the alignment of your teeth. If your parents had an overbite, there’s a chance you might have one too.

Habits During Childhood: Prolonged thumb sucking, pacifier use, or bottle feeding beyond the age of three can affect the growth and alignment of the teeth. As a result, you can develop an overbite.

Jaw Growth: Differences in the growth rates of the upper and lower jaws can result in an overbite. Sometimes, the upper jaw grows faster than the lower jaw, causing the upper teeth to protrude.

Why Seek Treatment?

If overbites are so common, why should you seek treatment? That is a great question! For some people, they don’t need treatment for their overbite. While everyone has a slight overbite, anything above a 10%-20% overlap may need treatment. Additionally, an overbite can create many different issues and health problems. 

One of the most noticeable impacts of an overbite is on your appearance. It can make your upper teeth appear more prominent and affect the overall symmetry of your face.

The improper alignment can cause the lower teeth to wear down more quickly or even damage the upper teeth. A significant overbite can place extra stress on the jaw joints, potentially leading to temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders. This can cause pain and difficulty in moving the jaw.

An overbite can sometimes interfere with the proper pronunciation of certain words or sounds, causing speech issues. Furthermore, an overbite can make it harder to chew food properly. As a result, this can lead to digestive problems if you don’t chew food thoroughly.

Treatment Options in Long Beach, CA

Fortunately, there are several effective treatment options available to correct an overbite. The best treatment depends on the severity of the overbite and the patient’s age.

Braces: Braces are one of the most common treatments for overbite. They work by applying continuous pressure to the teeth, gradually moving them into the correct position. Braces can be particularly effective for younger patients whose jaws are still growing.

Clear Aligners: Clear aligners, such as Invisalign, are a popular alternative to braces, especially for adults and teens. These custom-made, removable trays gradually shift the teeth into place. They are less noticeable than traditional braces and can be removed for eating and cleaning.

Retainers: After clear aligners, we often use retainers to maintain the new position of the teeth. Some retainers are designed to help correct minor overbites by preventing the teeth from shifting back.