Teenage girl smiling with braces outside while eating a lollipop

An Overbite - Braces For Your Child's Best Smile

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Medically Reviewed By Colgate Global Scientific Communications

Overviews — they're important. Leftovers — they're delicious. And overachievers — they're inspiring. But overbites, they're a little more complicated and pretty common. The question is, will your kid's overbite need orthodontal attention. Often getting braces for overbites does the trick. Learn how you and your child can overcome an overbite below.

What Causes An Overbite

An overbite is referred to as a deep bite in the orthodontic world. It occurs when the upper front teeth significantly overlap the bottom front teeth when your jaw is closed, according to the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO). Many issues, like excessive thumb or pacifier sucking, can cause an overbite. According to the AAO, they include:

  • Smaller lower jaw
  • A missing tooth
  • Teeth clenching and/or grinding
  • Tooth eruption

Whatever the source of the overbite, braces are your best bet to give your child the smile they deserve.

How Braces Work

The most common cure for an overbite is traditional braces. According to the American Dental Association, braces apply pressure to realign your teeth through brackets cemented to your teeth connected by metal wires. Your dentist or orthodontist will occasionally tighten the braces to help shift your teeth and jaw as need. The ADA notes that abnormal bites, like overbites, are usually apparent by age 6 and treated from 8-14. They're usually worn 1-3 years during their adolescent years as their growth aids in the results.

Ultimately, braces properly align your jaw and teeth, yielding an even bite and pleasant smile, according to the Mayo Clinic. Getting braces occurs in three phases:

  1. Affixing the braces on your teeth
  2. Periodic adjustments by your dentist or orthodontist
  3. Removal of braces and use of a retainer

In the first few weeks, pressure and some discomfort may exist with the braces insertion of a foreign appliance into your child's mouth. That's totally natural. That will pass. It's essential to properly clean your braces so they can do their job of helping the overbite of your child.

Why Braces Are Important

Braces are vital for a few reasons. The first being the reason your child got the braces in the first place — to fix their overbite. But they go well beyond that into oral health issues you may not have thought of. According to the ADA, braces help with:

  • Tooth decay
  • Gum disease
  • Tooth loss
  • Affected speech and/or chewing
  • Abnormal wear to tooth enamel
  • Jaw problems

Types of Braces

With modern dentistry and orthodontics, the evolution of braces from a few decades ago is significant. And that's great news for your child. Traditional metal wiring braces are still the go-to these days. Still, they now have the option to pick a color for their brackets, metal wiring, and elastics, if needed. According to the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO), your options include:

  • Tradition braces
  • Clear aligners
  • Archwires
  • Retainers
  • Elastics
  • Other devices

Speak with your orthodontic team about the best option for you and your child's overbite.

While an overbite may be cute when they're young, it does need to be addressed to keep their overall oral health in shape. The good news — braces are a proven and reliable solution to align their mouth and give them a great smile. That's something you don't have to overthink.

Oral Care Center articles are reviewed by an oral health medical professional. This information is for educational purposes only. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your dentist, physician or other qualified healthcare provider. 

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