An overbite is one of the most common dental disorders among children. Although there are a variety of treatment options for overbites, there is one that often surprises most parents. This surprising treatment is known as Invisalign and is incredibly comfortable, discreet, and effective in the majority of overbite cases.
Causes of Overbites
While the most common cause of an overbite is genetics, overbites can also occur because of childhood oral habits like thumb sucking, tongue thrusting, nail biting, and the prolonged use of pacifiers.
After an overbite has developed, it can create a few physical issues and make a child very self-conscious about their appearance. Some of the most common physical issues that stem from overbites include:
- Lisps and other speech impediments
- Challenges with chewing and eating
- Worn tooth enamel which leads to cavities
- Jaw pain
- An increased risk of front tooth damage
Why Treating an Overbite is Important
Correcting an overbite is not only important for aesthetic purposes. A child who has an overbite must get it fixed in order to prevent a variety of serious health and dental problems down the road. Some of these problems include:
- Gum damage: When an overbite is severe, your child’s lower front teeth may contact the gum line in the back of their upper front teeth while their upper front teeth may hit the gum line of their lower front teeth. When this happens, your child’s gums may become damaged and they may suffer from tooth loss or gum disease.
- Jaw pain: Children with misaligned jaws that stem from overbites may experience chronic jaw pain and headaches. When this occurs, they may increase their chances for developing Temporomandibular Joint Disorder or TJD.
- Speech and chewing impairments: An overbite can make it a challenge for your child to speak or pronounce certain words correctly. In addition, an overbite can make it difficult for them to chew properly.
- Obstructive sleep apnea: Children with overbites and a small mouth are at a high risk for developing obstructive sleep apnea, which is a serious disorder where breathing repeatedly stops and starts during sleep. This condition can lead to daytime sleepiness and snoring.
In addition to preventing these issues, treating an overbite can give your child the attractive smile they need to feel confident and comfortable in their own skin. It’s clear that the physical and mental benefits of treating an overbite are well worth the cost and time.
How Invisalign Can Help
Through Invisalign clear aligners, a child can correct their overbite. To achieve optimal results, they will need to wear their aligners for at least 22 hours a day and change them on a bi-weekly basis to a new pair that will continue moving their teeth in the right direction. Sometimes, elastic bands which can attach to the top and bottom aligners will be necessary to treat an overbite.
Invisalign treatment can usually be completed in nine months to a year. As long as a child’s overbite isn’t too severe, Invisalign can shift their teeth and/or jawline and fix their overbite. In the event that an overbite is more severe, the following alternative treatments may be recommended:
- Traditional metal braces
- Tooth extractions
Contact Gladwell Orthodontics Today
If your child is currently coping with an overbite issue, you should contact Gladwell Orthodontics today at (919) 453-6325 to schedule an appointment. Dr. Gladwell will determine the severity of your child’s overbite and let you know whether Invisalign, traditional metal braces, tooth extractions, or surgery can help. Remember that it is not always that a family dentist can help an overbite or underbite. You may need the assistance of an orthodontist or specialized professional.
Gene Tierney Overbite
One of the most famous actresses to have an overbite was Gene Tierney. She was very popular in the 1940s and 1950s, especially in the show Laura. While she had an absolutely gorgeous smile, she clearly had an overbite. We wonder if she were a popular actress today if she would have gotten it fixed at a young age. Here she is: