Nobody has perfect teeth and some people have teeth that are more crooked or poorly aligned than others. Malocclusion refers to a misaligned bite or teeth. It can take many forms, from having teeth that lean one way or another to having a bite that sits too far forward or back.
In recent years, clear aligners, like Invisalign, have become increasingly popular treatment options for malocclusion, including overbites.
What Is an Overbite?
A person has an overbite when the top front teeth stick out beyond the lower row of teeth. Overbites can range from barely noticeable to very visible "buck teeth." Many people have some form of an overbite, but not everyone's severe enough to need treatment.
Overbites develop for a few reasons. In some cases, it's due to jaw shape. If the lower jaw is smaller than the upper jaw, an overbite is likely to form.
Habits a person has when they are young, such as thumbsucking, can also contribute to an overbite. Nail biting or teeth grinding can also cause an overbite.
In some cases, an overbite doesn't interfere with a person's life. In others, it can make a person feel very self-conscious about their appearance or make it challenging to maintain good oral hygiene. In those cases, treatment is usually recommended.
What Is Invisalign?
Orthodontic treatment helps to correct overbites and other forms of malocclusion. In the past, orthodontic treatment in the form of metal braces was the norm. Recently, though, clear aligners, such as Invisalign, have become more popular. Invisalign straightens teeth and corrects bites using clear trays. The trays are made from a plastic-like material and are custom-formed to a person's teeth.
Since the trays are clear, they've barely noticeable when you wear them.
You wear the clear trays nearly around the clock during your treatment. Every two to three weeks, you change the trays so that, over time, they gently push the teeth and bite into a more aligned position.
How Does Invisalign Fix an Overbite?
Some Invisalign trays have a mandibular advancement feature, which are small wings on the back of the trays. The wings help to push the lower jaw forward, slowly advancing the lower bite. Over time, the bite becomes more aligned and the overbite is corrected.
Usually, Invisalign treatment takes about two years. Some people need treatment for longer, though.
Why Bother to Fix an Overbite?
If an overbite is severe, there are many benefits to correcting it. An uncorrected overbite can make it challenging to keep the teeth and gums clean. You might have trouble reaching certain areas of the mouth when you brush or floss your teeth. Having an overbite can put you at increased risk for gum disease or tooth decay.
An overbite can also cause jaw problems. When the jaw isn't positioned correctly, it puts pressure on the jaw joint and muscles, leading to pain. A severe overbite can also affect your speech or make it hard to breathe.
Is Invisalign Right for You?
If you have any issues due to an overbite, it's worth talking to your dentist about Invisalign. Your dentist can examine your bite, teeth and jaw and let you know if the treatment would help you. If not, they can recommend other treatment options that might work better for you.