When 30-50% of the upper teeth protrude over the lower teeth, an overbite occurs.
Many reasons contribute to overbite problems in children. In this article, let’s first understand the types of overbite problems that exist, what are their causes and how they can be treated.
Types of Overbites
They are of two types:
- Vertical overbite: The top teeth significantly overlap the bottom teeth
- Horizontal overbite: The top teeth protrude over the bottom teeth
Overbites are also categorized as dental or skeletal in nature.
- In dental overbites, the teeth cause the overbite to form.
- In skeletal overbites, the jaw is responsible for the overbite to occur.
The overbite teeth problem is the most common type of bite problem and occurs due to a lot of reasons. Let us delve into some:
Causes of Overbite Teeth Problem
- Improper jaw development
This is the most common cause of overbites. Overbites can occur if there is too much room in the jaw area or if there is too little room to accommodate the teeth size.
- Thumb sucking and tongue thrusting
Habits like thumb-sucking and tongue thrusting in infants and children push the tongue against the back of the teeth, which can produce an overbite.
Overbites can even occur because of hereditary or genetics as the genes have a role to play in the natural eruption of teeth.
The earlier you treat your child’s overbite, the better their jaw and teeth will be able to develop. If left untreated, your child’s overbite problem may worsen over time, and he/she may have to undergo extensive treatments later on.
Based on the severity of the problem, here are some issues your child may face due to an overbite:
If an overbite goes untreated, it could alter the face structure dramatically and lead to self-esteem issues in your child.
Other problems include:
- Speech problems
- Jaw pain
- Low self-esteem
- Discomfort while eating
- Severe headaches
- Trouble in opening and closing the mouth
- Sleep apnea
How Can Overbite be Fixed in Children?
Your orthodontist will tell you that overbite correction in children is easy as their jaw is still in the developmental stage. They will take an x-ray and prescribe a treatment plan for your child.
- In case your child is very young, the orthodontist may remove their baby teeth to create room for the permanent teeth to grow straight.
- If your child is old enough, the orthodontist may recommend dental braces. These braces will help to move the teeth slowly to correct the overbite as well as the jaw.
Timely and early orthodontic evaluation will best determine how to prevent dental issues from occurring in your child. If your child shows signs of an overbite coming in, make sure to spot the signs early and consult your orthodontist.
If your child is seven years old and above, you should start making regular visits to the dentist. If a treatment plan to fix an overbite is given to your child, it is essential that they receive your full support as it will be a challenging time for them.
Make sure that your child practices good oral hygiene habits so that further dental problems don’t take place.
Dr. Satish Pai is an orthodontist and an Ivy League trained dentist who has and has served as a faculty at Columbia University. He believes that a perfect smile not only makes a person look great but feel great. As the founder of Putnam Orthodontics and Rome Orthodontics, he is dedicated to providing the best orthodontic treatments to his patients. He also writes to educate people about everything orthodontics and the importance of correctly aligned teeth along with good oral health. In his free time, you can find him golfing, doing yoga or surfing, and spending time with this family.