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Oral Health Buzz

An Overbite - Braces for Your Child's Best Smile

Eliza Martinez

According to the Mayo Clinic, an overbite is a condition that occurs when your child's top teeth vertically overlap his bottom teeth. The issue is very common in children and easy to remedy with braces. Braces even out your child's smile and prevent secondary issues that can occur if an overbite isn't taken care of early on.

Causes of Overbite

An overbite can be attributed to several factors. It might be due to differences in eruption of your child's teeth or development of the bone in your child's mouth. It might also be due to thumb-sucking or prolonged use of a pacifier. Whatever the reason for your child's overbite, braces at an appropriate age will promote your child's oral health.

How They Work

Much like typical braces, braces are stuck to your child's teeth and manipulated over time to move the front teeth and match them with the bottom teeth. Most abnormal bites are evident by the age of 6, and treatment typically occurs between the ages of 8 and 14, notes the American Dental Association. Most children wear braces for one to three years, and commencement in childhood often improves the results. If left untreated, your child's overbite can produce oral health issues, and he may end up having to get braces in adulthood.

Why Braces Are Important?

Despite being a common condition, an overbite can cause a variety of problems. According to the ADA, these problems include tooth decay, gum disease, tooth loss, jaw problems, abnormal wear on the tooth enamel and issues with speech and chewing. Braces will make your child's smile look straight and healthy and will prevent the aforementioned oral health issues, which are often expensive and time-consuming to fix.

Types of Braces

Braces have evolved over the decades. Although some orthodontists still recommend the traditional metal bracket and rubber band devices, you are no longer limited to these two options. Some overbite correction devices can be removed during meals and work. Other types of braces are clear or tooth-colored, so they are less obvious. Talk with your child's orthodontist about your best option for correcting overbite.

Learn more about orthodontics in the Colgate Oral Care resources.

Source: Lucas McDaniel, Flickr

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