Dentists are often asked whether an overbite is fixable with clear aligners. The short answer is yes, but here we explain what an overbite is, why it should be fixed and how.
An overbite (also called a deep bite) is when the upper front teeth overlap the lower front teeth. Most people have a small overbite, but it becomes an issue when it causes excess wear on your teeth and jaw pain.
This begins to happen when an overbite extends to 4 - 6mm or more. You may hear your dentist describe an overbite as a percentage. Somewhere between 5% and 25% is the healthy ideal.
The vertical nature of an overbite marks its difference from an overjet, which is horizontal and causes the upper teeth to protrude past the bottom teeth at an angle. With overbites, there's no angle.
How to Fix an Overbite
When upper teeth some down significantly over lower, the condition should be treated to prevent excess cracking or wear.
The most common reason for overbites is that the lower jaw is a bit smaller than the upper, meaning the lower teeth rest behind the upper.
Overbites can occur if the patient had a habit of tongue thrusting or was allowed to suck on an object for too long. It’s not recommended to use clear aligners to fix an overbite if a skeletal problem is an underlying cause.
Why an Overbite Should be Fixed
Overbites increase the chance that your teeth wear down, making them shorter and thinner in the long term.
When smiling, your top teeth hide your bottom teeth and may cause insecure or self-conscious feelings when smiling for the camera or meeting new people.
How Clear Aligners Can Fix an Overbite
Clear aligners can fix mild or moderate overbites (that aren't caused by skeletal issues) by applying continual pressure to teeth.
Clear aligners can:
- Move your lower teeth downwards
- Move your upper teeth upwards
Your clear aligners apply pressure to move your teeth into their corrected positions, leaving a straight and symmetrical smile. The aligners will also move your gums to keep your proportions in check.
Clear aligners must be worn for 22 hours a day, only removing them to eat, drink, floss and brush your teeth. The series of aligners will shift your teeth slowly and you'll switch to a new set every 2 weeks or so.
Before starting treatment, your dentist will show you a digital preview of how your new smile will look by the end of treatment. The first step is a consultation with your dentist to see if clear aligners are a suitable treatment option.
Do you have an overbite and are looking for orthodontic treatment with clear aligners?
A dentist will be happy to answer any questions and give you detailed information about how clear aligners may be able to help your condition.