An Overbite - Braces for Your Child's Best Smile

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.

This article is intended to promote understanding of and knowledge about general oral health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your dentist or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment.

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  • Swish with water before brushing – instruct your child to rinse with water after eating. This will loosen food that may be caught in the braces, then brush thoroughly.
  • Floss once a day – each night help your child floss. Flossing helps loosen food debris and plaque at and under the gum line that would otherwise harden into tartar. It can also help reach the nooks and crannies in the teeth that might be difficult to reach with a toothbrush.
  • Use a fluoride rinse – after brushing and before bed have your child rinse with fluoride rinse to help keep teeth strong and healthy
  • Dental visits every six months – take your child to the dentist for a checkup and cleaning every six months. The dentist can point out areas that need more attention, and help make sure you're keeping your child’s teeth healthy and clean.