Overbite vs Underbite: What You Need to Know
When people think of braces, many of them only think about braces correcting crooked teeth. While this is a big part of what braces do, they also treat underbites and overbites, both of which can cause major oral issues if left untreated. They can also impact appearance and self-confidence. To help you understand the differences in an overbite vs. underbite, Fravel Brewer Orthodontics has put together some information about these two oral diagnoses.
How to tell if you have an underbite or overbite
The easiest way to tell if your bite issue is an overbite vs underbite is to visit an orthodontist. They can look at your bite and determine what the issue is. If you’d like to evaluate your bite at home, there are some ways to do it relatively effectively. Smile a relaxed smile into a mirror without clenching your jaw or teeth. Try to look at as many teeth as possible, keeping your lips out of the way. If your upper teeth extend too far over your lower teeth, you have an overbite. If your upper teeth are behind your lower teeth, you have an underbite.
Is it better to have an underbite or overbite?
Overbites and underbites are both types of malocclusions, the fancy dental term for when the upper and lower teeth do not meet. Both conditions can cause oral health issues, including problems chewing, stress on your jaw joints, and tooth wear from being situated incorrectly. While underbites might have slightly more serious long-term problems, both are bad for your oral health and can lead to dental health issues.
Can an underbite or overbite be fixed?
Thankfully, overbites and underbites can be fixed. If you notice your child having issues with the upper teeth being under or too far over the bottom teeth, take them to an orthodontist so they can evaluate the issue. While an overbite or underbite can be fixed in adults, it is often quicker and easier to correct with early orthodontic treatment for children.
Braces are the most common fix, with the pressure from elastics attached to brackets causing the jaw to shift and correct the bite issue. Elastics can also be used with Invisalign aligners to treat overbites and underbites. This option is more popular among teens and adults due to its discretion. For extreme cases, jaw surgery might be needed to correct the malocclusion.
Does an overbite get worse with age?
Unfortunately, yes. As your teeth move as you age, your overbite will likely get worse. What might be a manageable issue now could become one that causes jaw pain, trouble chewing, gum disease, and headaches. If you suspect you or your child has an overbite or underbite, it is best to seek treatment as soon as possible. This way the orthodontist can catch the problem early and begin treatment before the issue is too far progressed.
If you or your loved one has an overbite or underbite, contact Fravel Brewer Orthodontics today for a free consultation.
Fravel and Brewer Orthodontics has been helping patients achieve beautiful smiles as the preferred orthodontist in Winter Garden, Ocoee, and West Orange County, Florida for almost 30 years. Treatment options for kids and adults include Invisalign, Invisalign Teen, ceramic braces, and silver braces. Call us at (407) 656-0001 to schedule a free consultation today!