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How to fix an overbite

Most people have an overbite ranging from normal to severe. An overbite is when the top front teeth overlap the bottom front teeth. A severe overbite could require treatment with braces or surgery. But innovations in orthodontics have made it possible to fix some cases of overbite without braces.

Why You Should Correct Your Overbite

Fixing a severe overbite now can help you avoid bigger problems in the future.

“The overbite only becomes an issue of concern when it is severely out of ideal range,” Charles Sutera, DMD, a cosmetic dentist, tells WebMD Connect to Care. “For instance, if the overbite is severely deep, it can create jaw issues because the front teeth create a tight tolerance to function within. The teeth must slide together in a deep path, putting undue pressure on the temporomandibular joint and muscles.”

A mild overbite is not usually a cause for concern. However, according to a 2015 article published by the Journal of Dentistry, a severe, or “deep” overbite that goes untreated can lead to:

  • Problems in the structures supporting the teeth
  • Stress and wear on the teeth
  • Problems with chewing
  • Trauma to the roof of the mouth

There are several treatment options available to correct an overbite depending on the severity of your overbite. Although treatments vary, some established options for correcting an overbite include:

  • Braces
  • Surgery
  • Invisible aligners

How Invisible Aligners Work

For some, invisible aligners are an option for correcting an overbite without braces. Invisible aligners can correct dental issues in a way that is both effective and visually appealing. They’re normally prescribed for mild-to-moderate alignment issues, but a reputable online aligner provider or orthodontist will be able to tell you if they’re right for you.

“Orthodontics such as clear aligners can alter the overbite, and [commonly achieve] an ideal measurement after treatment. An overbite may be increased or decreased by providing a pushing or pulling force vertically on the tooth. A force that pushes teeth into the gums is called intrusion and a force that pulls a tooth in a direction further from the gums is called extrusion. Through intrusion and extrusion of the front teeth, the overbite can be modified significantly,” Sutera says.

To prepare for your invisible aligner treatment, your dentist, orthodontist, or online aligner provider will take a mold of your teeth. Using the mold, they’ll create aligner trays that you’ll wear in a series. Each aligner will apply gentle force to the teeth to shift them into the desired position.

You’ll wear the aligners approximately 22 hours a day, and the recommended span of treatment can last from 8 months to a few years, depending on your specific case. You’ll usually only remove the invisible aligners to eat or brush your teeth.

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If your top teeth overlap your bottom teeth, you have an overbite and you may want to consider overbite correction.In the field of dentistry, an overbite is determined by how much your teeth overlap or how many of your upper teeth cover your lower teeth. An overbite is a completely normal occurrence. Nearly everybody has one. But, when your overbite is too small or too large, you may encounter problems. One problem is when your overbite is distinct. This results in what orthodontists call a deep bite. This type of bite may cause problems like pain, excessive wear, and aesthetic issues. If you do have a problematic overbite though, not to worry, overbite correction for adults is not difficult with the help of orthodontics.

Measuring an Overbite

The average overbite is around 2 – 4mm. This is a normal range and both your upper and lower teeth will be aesthetically appealing. If your overbite is smaller, your lower teeth will be more noticeable. When there is a significantly reduced overbite or none at all, it’s referred to as an anterior open bite. With an anterior open bite, there’s usually a gap between your upper and lower teeth when your jaws are closed.
Some patients feel that this isn’t very attractive. If your overbite is increased, fewer of your lower teeth will show. In severe cases, this can lead to wear of your lower teeth or even trauma to the gums on the back of your upper central incisors.
If you think you have an overbite, a consultation with an orthodontist is the first step. Overbite correction will be key to your treatment.

How Do Overbites Happen?

Most overbites are the result of heredity or genetic factors. As our teeth grow when we’re children, they randomly emerge from your gums. They stop growing once they hit the adjacent teeth. It is this randomness that causes overbites and malocclusions, and it’s very common.
To make things worse, overbites can be exacerbated by early childhood habits like thumb sucking. Sucking your thumb puts pressure on your upper teeth. In turn, this forces them forward and places pressure on your lower jaw, forcing your jaw backward.
As you get older, the overbite that started in childhood becomes pronounced, and may lead you to seek overbite correction for adults.

Different Types of Overbites

When it comes to overbites, there are two main categories: dental and skeletal:

  • A Dental Overbite

This type of overbite occurs when your teeth aren’t properly aligned. In such cases, your lower jaw may be well balanced with your upper jaw, but the misalignment of your teeth causes your lower jaw to force back towards your neck. Typically, nonsurgical treatments work well for this type of overbite correction for adults.

  • A Skeletal Overbite

With this type of overbite, your lower jaw is too small to fit your upper jaw. As a result, the upper rows of teeth push forward over your small jaw. Skeletal overbites usually require surgical solutions to realign the jaw.

Is It Important to Correct an Overbite?

Correcting an overbite may just be a matter of wanting to enhance your appearance and smile. But you need to remember that if an overbite goes uncorrected, it can cause a range of dental and health problems.
For instance, overbites make speech difficult. As a result, you might suffer a speech impediment, or you may overcompensate when articulating certain words. An overbite can also make chewing difficult and in severe cases, result in gum damage. This happens when your lower front teeth come into contact with the gum line in the back of your upper front teeth. The upper teeth strike the gum line, resulting in your gums receding. Damaged gums equal tooth loss and gum disease.
What’s more, an overbite can result in tooth wear and damage, and even sleep apnoea. Jaw pain is another consequence of an uncorrected overbite. Misaligned jaws can lead to chronic jaw pain and even headaches, contributing to the development of Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMD).

Overbite Correction for Adults

Typically, a dentist will refer you to an orthodontist for overbite correction. Overbites tend to be easier to treat in children, since a child’s jaw is still developing, however overbite correction for adults is quite common.
For teens, overcrowded teeth is the most common problem. But for adults with an overbite, it is the lack of early preventative treatment that leads to more severe symptoms associated with overbites. When you seek treatment, your orthodontist will examine the area and create a treatment plan that may last for two or more years depending on the severity of your overbite.
Your orthodontist will start with x-rays, to determine what kind of overbite you have and the relationship between your jaw and teeth. From here, they will develop a treatment plan.
There are a range of different overbite correction solutions for adults, including:

  • Braces – braces help move just the teeth that cause the overbite.
  • Invisalign Clear Aligners – similar to braces, Invsialign clear aligners can move teeth to correct an overbite
  • Surgery– if you have a skeletal type overbite and jaw problems, surgery is the solution.

Correcting an Adult Overbite is Easy

Over time, more options have become available to treat adult overbites. No matter which option you select, it’s always important to seek professional orthodontic advice first.
There are several alternatives available for overbite correction for adults. The right one for you will depend on the severity of your overbite, your budget and how long your treatment will take.
To find out which overbite correction will work for you, book a consultation at Medland Orthodontics either at our Brisbane clinic or Gold Coast practise today.

Not every overbite needs to be fixed, but it’s always beneficial to talk to a trained orthodontist. They can tell you about your overbite severity and how to fix an overbite if treatment is necessary.

Overbites can affect people of all ages. Orthodontists can often recognize an overbite in children around seven and start implementing early overbite treatment options . But overbites can manifest in teens and adults, too. Fortunately, there are ways to fix overbites regardless of someone’s age.

For an overbite, braces or Invisalign are the most common treatment methods. However, severe overbite correction in adults or teens may require surgery in tandem with braces.

If you’re wondering, “ How do orthodontists fix overbites ?” you’re in the right place.

In this article, we’re exploring the orthodontic world of overbites and ways to correct an overbite . You’ll learn what an overbite is, what causes them, and how orthodontists fix them.

Continue reading to get more information about orthodontic overbite correction .

Note: For our discussion, we’ll be using the term “overbite” to refer to any unnecessary overlap of the teeth that needs orthodontic treatment.

What Is an Overbite?

An overbite is a common orthodontic malocclusion (tooth/jaw misalignment). The top teeth overlapping the bottom teeth is what characterizes an overbite.

Everyone has a slight overbite, but too much overlap can cause aesthetic and functional problems. Some of the ways an overbite can negatively affect an individual include:

  • Difficulty or pain when chewing
  • Jaw pain
  • Speech problems
  • Breathing challenges
  • Tooth decay or gum disease

Some overbites will be more noticeable than others, and more severe overbites can cause more significant discomfort and long-term problems.

What Causes an Overbite?

There are many different causes for an overbite.

One of the more uncontrollable factors is genetics. Some people are more genetically predisposed to an overbite and can’t do anything to prevent it.

Some external factors that can lead to overbites include:

  • Prolonged thumb-sucking or pacifier use
  • Nail-biting
  • Chewing on hard objects (e.g., pens)
  • Teeth grinding (bruxism)

Recognizing these habits early and stopping them can help reduce the risk of an overbite. However, if you already have an overbite, braces or another alignment method is the only way to fix the issue.

How to Fix an Overbite

Most people who have an overbite want to know, “ Can you fix an overbite ?”

Yes, you can get rid of an overbite .

The first step toward an overbite treatment is to schedule a free consultation with a local orthodontist. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to overbite treatment options , so your orthodontist will create a tailored plan for your unique situation.

Overbite severity plays a prominent role in what treatment option the orthodontist chooses and how long the treatment takes. Simple cases will take less time, and more complex issues will take longer. Treatment is also often more manageable in children than adults since a child’s jaw is still developing.

Here’s more detail about what simple vs. complex overbite treatments look like.

Simple Overbite Treatment

Your orthodontist will first take a look at your mouth and determine which alignment option is best. Braces are the more traditional route, but Invisalign is becoming more popular. Regardless of the exact device used, your dentist will also require that you temporarily wear rubber bands.

Rubber bands connect onto brackets in your mouth and help pull your jaw into the correct position. Braces and Invisalign can move teeth into alignment, but they can’t influence the jaw without the help of rubber bands.

Once your jaw is in the correct position, you won’t need to wear rubber bands anymore. However, you may still need to continue your alignment treatment to move all your teeth into the correct position.

Complex Overbite Treatment

A severe overbite correction in adults or teens often requires more than braces.

So, how can overbites be corrected in more severe cases?

Many times a complex case will involve surgery and braces . Surgery helps to position the jaw correctly, and braces align all the teeth.

With a severe overbite, your orthodontist will place braces on your teeth and perform an alignment procedure for 9-12 months in preparation for surgery. After surgery, your orthodontist will continue your braces treatment until they achieve the desired alignment results.

Schedule an Overbite Braces or Invisalign Consultation Today

An overbite is a very common tooth and jaw misalignment. When your top teeth protrude too far over your bottom teeth, you may need orthodontic treatment.

An untreated overbite can lead to:

  • Jaw pain
  • Difficulty chewing or speaking
  • Challenges with breathing
  • Tooth decay or gum disease

The main ways to fix overbites in simple cases involve using braces or Invisalign with rubber bands. More complex overbites may require jaw surgery and braces.

If you aren’t sure whether your overbite is a simple or complex case, that’s okay. You can always talk with a professional orthodontist to get their expert opinion.

At Bates Orthodontics , we know how to fix an overbite no matter the severity or complexity. Whether you’re a parent who has a child with an overbite or you’re an adult looking to correct an overbite, we’ll provide you with expert advice and service. And you don’t need to worry about feeling pressured because we only share ways to fix an overbite when treatment is absolutely necessary. More than anything, we desire to set you up to make the best, most informed decision possible.

Schedule your free consultation to get a professional opinion about how to correct your overbite today.

Invisalign clear aligners with mandibular advancement can fix class II malocclusions in tweens and teens.

How to fix an overbite

A class II malocclusion occurs when the upper jaw and lower jaw don’t line up. If the lower jaw is too far back, your doctor may want to move it forward before straightening your teeth.

How to fix an overbite

With Invisalign clear aligners with mandibular advancement, you can straighten your teeth while the precision wings move the lower jaw forward, replacing bulky appliances.

Frequently asked questions

Wondering if Invisalign is right for you?

Take our Smile Assessment to find out now.

1 Van't Spijker, A, et al. “Occlusal Wear and Occlusal Condition in a Convenience Sample of Young Adults.” Journal of Dentistry, vol. 43, no. 1, Jan. 2015, pp. 72–77., doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jdent.2014.11.001

2 Riolo, Michael L., et al. “Associations between Occlusal Characteristics and Signs and Symptoms of TMJ Dysfunction in Children and Young Adults.” American Journal of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics, vol. 92, no. 6, 1987, pp. 467–477., doi:10.1016/0889-5406(87)90228-9

Overbites are one of the most common orthodontic issues found in kids, teens and adults. They can lead to health concerns such as increased tooth deterioration and functional issues in the muscles of the jaw. They can also pose aesthetic concerns for those looking to achieve a super smile and healthy bite. But there is great news: if you, like millions of people worldwide, have an overbite, there are many options for overbite correction. On this page, our orthodontic professionals discuss overbites and how to fix an overbite with traditional orthodontia. We also provide information on Acceledontics, a revolutionary new orthodontic system capable of complete, comfortable overbite correction and teeth straightening in as few as four months. Read on to learn more and schedule your complimentary Acceledontics consultation today!

What is an Overbite?

As its name suggests, an overbite is a condition in which the upper front teeth fall over the lower set of front teeth. It is one of many of orthodontic issues that fall into the “malocclusion” (misalignment) family. Other misalignment issues include crossbites, underbites, and open bites. Many overbites are hereditary, though some are caused by a malformed jaw shaped during childhood. Early-age habits such as thumb-sucking, tongue-thrusting or prolonged bottle-feeding can all lead to the development of an overbite. Other habits formed later in life—such as nail-biting and pen/pencil-chewing—can also cause an overbite over time.

Depending on the severity of the overbite (the degree of overlap), this condition can cause a number of health-related issues. Some of the most common health issues caused by an excessively-large overbite (also known as a deep bite) include expedited teeth erosion and jaw pain. Of course, overbites can also present aesthetic issues. Orthodontists typically classify overbites in one of two categories depending on their severity. These categories are:

  • Class One. Class One indicates a minor overbite where the overlap of the upper set of teeth is slightly more severe than normal. (This is the most common type of overbite malocclusion.)
  • Class Two. Class Two indicates a moderate to severe overbite. Class Two overbites commonly come with oral health concerns such as teeth erosion and jaw pain.

Options for Overbite Correction

Overbites are most commonly treated with traditional braces that use brackets, wires and rubber bands to pull the teeth back into correct alignment. In rare cases, additional orthodontic appliances such as expanders and headgear are needed. In very rare cases, surgery must be performed to correct an overbite.

Though traditional braces are an effective means of overbite correction, they are not without downsides. Traditional braces are quite conspicuous, which makes them a tough sell for many teens and adults. Traditional braces can also be uncomfortable to wear, with routine tightening appointments fluctuating teeth-movement speeds and leading to varying degrees of discomfort in the mouth. Lastly, both traditional braces and their “invisible” cousins can take years to correct an overbite. For many, that time investment can be too much too handle.

If you are wondering how to fix an overbite without traditional or “invisible” braces, you’re in the right place. If you have an overbite, braces are no longer the only solution. Read on to learn how to fix an overbite comfortably in a matter of months with the highly-effective Acceledontics system.

Acceledontics: Accelerated Overbite Correction for Kids and Adults

Developed by Dr. Kami Hoss and the award-winning orthodontic professionals here at The Super Dentists, Acceledontics is a revolutionary accelerated braces system that features patented hardware and an innovative 5-step method to correct issues and straighten teeth in record time. Most patients complete Acceledontics treatment in 4-6 months, less than half the time of most traditional and “invisible” braces treatments. Plus, the Acceledontics system’s patented hardware (which includes self-litigating AADvance Braces, AADvance Auxiliary Devices, and Accelerators) is comfortable to wear. When combined with the expertise of the orthodontists at The Super Dentists — the exclusive providers of Acceledontics— Acceledontics leads to detailed results that are simply unrivaled in the field of orthodontics today.

Acceledontics treatment concludes with a fast and intense AADvance Teeth-Whitening treatment to clean teeth and remove set-in stains. When your Acceledontics braces come off, we make sure you leave our office with a smile that’s healthy and radiant. If you are searching to correct your overbite quickly and with incredible results, there is no better choice than Acceledontics.

Schedule Your Free Acceledontics Consultation

Want to learn more about how to fix an overbite in adults and teens? Ready to give the revolutionary Acceledontics accelerated braces system a try? Contact our team here at The Super Dentists to learn more and schedule your complimentary Acceledontics Consultation today!

What is an Overbite and How is it Corrected?

There’s something pleasing to the eyes about a clean, white and perfectly aligned teeth. Turn on the TV, flip open a magazine or head to the movies and you’re inundated with flawless smiles. But not everyone is so fortunate: many kids and adults suffer from a malocclusion, one type of which is an overbite. Before considering methods of overbite correction, let’s take a look at what the condition is and the reasons it may occur.

What is a malocclusion?

The term “occlusion” refers to the alignment of your teeth. A malocclusion is a deviation or misalignment from a normal occlusion. Overbites, crossbites, underbites and open bites are all types of malocclusions. Overbites, are present when the upper teeth stick out too far beyond the lower teeth. Malocclusions can fall into one of three categories. Class one is when a normal bite is accompanied by a slight overlap of the upper teeth. This is the most common malocclusion. Class two is diagnosed when the overbite is severe, often known as retrognathic. Class three, on the other hand, is a severe underbite – when the lower teeth overlap the upper teeth. It’s referred to as prognathic.

What causes an overbite?

The most common cause of an overbite is the shape and/or size of the jaw or the teeth. This could mean having too much room in the jaw area or too little room to accommodate one’s teeth. If not treated, the overbite will allow the teeth to crowd each other and grow in crooked if there is too little room, or the teeth will be spaced too far apart if the jaw area is too large. In infants and children, habits like thumb-sucking, sustained and consistent pacifier use and overuse of a bottle, which causes pushing the tongue against the back of the teeth, can produce an overbite. In teens and adults, chronic nail biting and chewing of objects such as pencils or other items can cause an overbite. Losing teeth without timely repair can also cause an overbite. According to the American Dental Association, nearly 70 percent of children exhibit the signs of having an overbite. Other causes are:

  • Genetics
  • Grinding teeth
  • (TMJ) Temporomandibular joint dysfunction

What happens if I don’t treat it?

If left untreated, an overbite could cause significant health complications. These include irreparable damage to teeth from abnormal positioning and possible jaw pain including temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJ). Other overbite complications include:

  • Tooth decay including cavities, gum disease, and worn tooth enamel
  • Jaw pain
  • Severe headaches
  • Discomfort or pain while eating
  • Trouble with fully opening or closing mouth
  • Sleep apnea
  • Difficulty speaking

An untreated overbite could also dramatically alter the facial structure and lead to issues like low self-esteem. If an overbite in early childhood is severe, and continues to worsen, aesthetic deterioration could take place as early as pre-pubescence.

How do I treat and correct an overbite?

Generally, a dentist will refer a patient with an overbite to an orthodontist for treatment. In children, they are easier to treat because a child’s jaw is still in the developmental stages. For children and teens, the most common issue is crowding of teeth in the mouth. For many adults with an overbite problem, the lack of preventative treatment early in life has led to the more severe symptoms associated with overbites. In either case, the orthodontist or dentist will examine the area and write up a treatment plan that can last for up to two years and possibly longer. Initial x-rays will be taken to determine the type of overbite and the relationship between the teeth and the jaw in determining the best treatment. Here are some treatments your orthodontist or dentist may recommend to correct an overbite issue:

Children and Teens

  • Removal of baby teeth (making room for permanent teeth to grow in straight)
  • Growth modification device (used best during growth spurts) – helps to better position the jaw
  • Braces – slowly moves the teeth to correct the overbite as well as the jaw
  • Retainers – device used post-braces that help to keep the teeth in place
  • Braces – move only the teeth to correct an overbite
  • Teeth removal – dentists and orthodontists try to avoid this procedure but will do this in very severe overbite cases to allow the teeth more freedom to move.
  • Surgery – jaw problems for skeletal-type overbites can only be corrected with surgery for adults.

If your overbite is causing issues, it’s important to make an appointment with your orthodontist or oral surgeon for treatment. In any case, for both children and adults, the best way to prevent dental issues from occurring is to make sure you visit a dentist early and often. It is recommended for children to get a checkup by age 7 for the detection of an overbite. Adults need to get regular checkups every six to twelve months to ensure early intervention and avoid the potentially severe physical repercussions of leaving an overbite untreated.

Do you have any questions about overbites? Call Westermeier Martin Dental care to schedule an appointment with your dentist 716-508-4547.

How to fix an overbite

Overbite, also known as malocclusion, is caused when the upper set of teeth does not align with the lower set of teeth because of protrusion. To put it more simply, when the upper set of teeth overlaps the lower one, it is a sign of overbite.

What causes an overbite?

  • Heredity or genetics
  • In toddlers and infants, habits such as thumb-sucking, overuse of a bottle, and consistent use of pacifiers
  • In teens and adults, biting nails, chewing on pens and pencils, etc.
  • Grinding teeth
  • Not getting the smile repaired in a timely manner after losing one or more teeth
  • Maxillary protrusion due to tongue-thrusting habits
  • Temporomandibular joint dysfunction

Types of Overbite

There are two main categories of overbites – skeletal and dental. Let’s discuss them.

  • Skeletal Overbite: In a skeletal overbite, the lower jaw is quite smaller than the upper jaw which pushes the teeth in the upper row forward.
  • Dental Overbite: In a dental overbite, your upper jaw may be aligned with your lower jaw; it may be the poor alignment of teeth that pushes the lower jaw back resulting in an overbite.

How to Fix an Overbite

Dental Braces

Dental braces can not only fix crooked and misaligned teeth, but they can also fix an overbite. This is done in three steps:
Step 1: Braces are attached to the teeth to straighten and align the teeth. You can also opt for overbite braces if your orthodontist suggests the same.
Step 2: Once the teeth are aligned, elastic bands are fitted on the brackets to slowly shift the jaw in its correct position through constant pressure. Make sure the bands are removed before drinking, eating, and brushing teeth.
Step 3: The final stage involves wearing a retainer to keep the teeth in the correct position.
And though the overbite correction period varies from patient to patient, correcting severe overbite cases through braces takes a minimum of 2 years.

Invisalign

Invisalign is an alternative for braces ideal for people who are not comfortable with braces changing their appearance. Invisalign treatment for overbite correction uses a series of clear trays that are responsible for gradually molding the patient’s teeth to correct their position. As time goes on, the patient switches to different trays as the orthodontist suggests eventually correcting the overbite completely.

Though Invisalign is more expensive than traditional braces, they are preferred for their invisibility and shorter overbite correction time which may be a year depending on how severe the overbite case is.

Surgery

Some overbite cases are the result of a misaligned jaw bone and require surgery for smile correction. However, overbite surgery is ideal for adults since children may not require undergoing one. Children’s teeth and bones are still developing which is why it is easier to move them into position using Invisalign or braces.

Tooth Extraction

Tooth extraction to fix overbite works well if the problem is due to overcrowded teeth. By removing one or more teeth, the rest of the teeth can move into their normal position. And when the teeth start retaining their normal position, the jaw also aligns normally.

Why is overbite correction necessary?

People may be easily convinced to overlook the problem of overbite. However, overbite correction is important because:

  • Overbite negatively affects your appearance.
  • Bad bite often results in teeth misalignment.
  • It can lead to jaw pain and tooth wear.
  • It increases the risk of teeth breakage in case of a blow to the mouth.
  • Overbite also results in speech problems.

At Brite Orthodontics, we pay special attention to fixing bite problems because we understand how patients can be sensitive about their smiles.

If you’re not confident about fixing your overbite problem, book a consultation with us today and learn how we can make the orthodontic treatment smooth and super impactful for you.

Those with an overbite know how frustrating it can be to dislike the appearance of your jawline or smile. And those who have had an overbite corrected know how fantastic it feels to be free of the grips of overbite—and actually be excited to grin, rather than trying to hide your smile at all costs. 

Chances are if you have an overbite and you know it, you want to fix it. You might think you're destined to suffer through bulky metal braces, but you'll be happy to learn that traditional braces no longer define overbite correction. Ahead, learn about your options to fix an overbite. 

What is an overbite?

If you have an overbite, which is a type of malocclusion, it means your top teeth overlap your bottom teeth to a greater extent than what's considered common. Contrary to popular belief, an overbite does not refer to how far your front teeth stick out compared to your bottom teeth—an overbite refers to the amount of vertical overlap. Overjet is the horizontal overlap that many people confuse overbite with. Overbites are also called deep bites. 

Most orthodontists consider a normal overbite to be anywhere from two to four millimeters. However, some people have overbites greater than four millimeters, which can cause problems with chewing and speaking. Large overbites also commonly cause aesthetic concern—many people don't like the way their overbite looks. 

Different types of overbites

Technically, "overbite" refers to one specific type of malocclusion. To clear up any confusion, here's a rundown of some common types of bite problems: 

  • Overbite: Excessive vertical overlap of top teeth over bottom teeth
  • Overjet: Excessive horizontal overlap of top teeth over bottom teeth
  • Underbite: All lower teeth sit in front of top teeth (entire lower jaw is shifted forward)
  • Crossbite: Back top teeth sit inside back lower teeth, or at least one front top tooth sits inside a lower top tooth
  • Open bite: Back teeth meet but front teeth don't, or vice versa

Other orthodontic issues include crowded teeth (too close together) and gapped teeth (too far apart), which often occur in conjunction with an overbite or a different bite issue. 

What is an overbite correction?

An overbite correction fixes an overbite. Overbite correction methods, such as traditional braces, clear aligners or, in severe cases, surgery, can fix an overbite while also restoring natural chewing patterns and enhancing your appearance. 

How to fix an overbite

No matter what treatment option you choose, the end goal of an overbite correction remains the same: to reduce the vertical overlap between your top and bottom teeth (and let your pearly whites shine, obviously). 

Here are the three main ways to fix an overbite: 

Clear aligners: Before invisible aligners, people with minor overbites had to have metal braces. No more! Most clear aligner brands can fix minor cases of overbite in as few as six months. 

Metal braces: For cases that aren't quite minor but not quite severe, traditional metal braces can provide relatively quick results. Ask your orthodontist about clear or tooth-colored brackets—which is the closest option to clear aligners—and you can still enjoy your smile. 

Surgery: Severe overbites, which are usually caused by skeletal misalignments, might require surgery. While this might not be what you want to hear from your orthodontist, a severe overbite isn't something to leave untreated (more on that below). Overbite surgery involves setting your jaw into proper alignment so your teeth don't excessively overlap anymore.

Cost of an overbite correction

The cost of an overbite correction will vary depending on the type of correction, the orthodontist you go to, and whether your insurance covers any of the cost. Clear aligners typically cost between $1,500 to $3,000, with orthodontist-supervised clear aligners, like Invisalign, running from $3,000 to $8,000. Traditional braces will cost you anywhere from a few thousand dollars to more than $10,000, depending on the length of treatment and other factors.

Frequently asked questions

How do I know if I have an overbite?

The question isn't really about whether you have an overbite but how severe your overbite is. If you struggle to close your mouth fully or have problems chewing food or speaking, you might have an excessive overbite. An orthodontist can diagnose you with an overbite or any other bite problem.  

Why is it important to correct an overbite?

Many people want their overbite corrected for aesthetic reasons. A more natural bite can enhance your jawline and overall appearance as well as make it more comfortable to smile and speak. Correcting an overbite can also improve chewing patterns and relieve jaw pain and headaches related to an improper bite. 

Severe overbites, if not treated, can cause gum pain and gum damage because the upper teeth may bite into the lower gums. The constant pressure of the upper teeth in the gums can lead to gum recession. The lower teeth may also bite into the roof of the mouth, which can cause pain. If your overbite makes it hard to brush and floss your teeth properly, you're also at risk for gum disease, tooth decay, and other oral health complications. 

Can you get invisible braces to fix an overbite?

Clear aligners can certainly correct an overbite. For mild cases of overbite or overjet, clear aligners are a solid treatment option. Invisalign, for example, can treat mild cases of overbite, as well as underbite, crossbite, open bite, gapped teeth, and crowded teeth. 

While you can order clear aligners through the mail, it's always a good idea to consult an orthodontist about your overbite concerns. Your orthodontist may approve mail-order clear aligners, or they may suggest using Invisalign or traditional braces. 

How long does it take to correct an overbite?

Your length of treatment depends on the severity of your overbite, as well as the type of treatment you choose. 

For example, if you have a minor overbite, you can probably achieve pretty rapid results with clear aligners. The average length of treatment with clear aligners is six months to a year across most brands. The average length of treatment with metal braces, on the other hand, is one to three years. 

Your treatment might be shorter or longer for either type of treatment, depending on your specific bite scenario. 

If you have a moderate to severe overbite, traditional braces will probably get you the best (and safest) results. Talk to your orthodontist about what's right for you. A professional who knows your teeth and your dental history can best advise you on your options for correcting an overbite. 

Amanda Capritto, CPT, CHC, CF-L1 is a health and wellness writer as well as a certified personal trainer, health coach, and CrossFit enthusiast. In addition to writing about health, she loves to write about travel, fitness, nutrition, and lifestyle topics. Her work has appeared in well-known digital publications such as CNET, LIVESTRONG, Verywell, SlickDeals, Health Journal, THE WELL, and more.

Byte content is medically reviewed and fact-checked by a licensed doctor, orthodontist or dentist in our Expert Dental Network. They ensure the information is factual and current.

We have strict sourcing guidelines and each page contains a full list of sources for complete transparency.

Table of Contents

  1. What Is an Overbite
  2. Diagnosing an Overbite
  3. Treating an Overbite
  4. Addressing an Overbite
  5. Alternative Options
  6. References

All healthy mouths have a slight overbite. Your teeth are made to nest together, with upper teeth sliding over their lower counterparts. But if you tap your teeth together and a large gap appears between your teeth, you could have an overbite.

Years ago, when dentists were asked how to fix an overbite, they immediately suggested braces. But now, aligners are often recommended.

You could work with your dentist and choose aligners made by Invisalign, or you could save time and money with at-home, doctor-supervised aligner therapy.

What Is an Overbite?

Most people have an overbite measuring a millimeter or two. When you close your mouth fully, your upper teeth slip over your lower teeth, and a gap separates the set.

If your gap is larger than a few millimeters, you could have an overbite. The space might be so small that you don’t notice it. Or, it could be so large that you can slide a finger in front of your lower teeth when your mouth is closed and never touch the back of your top teeth.

Significant overbites are relatively rare. In studies, about 8 percent of people have this problem. But many people have a mild overbite.

Leaving it untreated could cause problems, such as:

  • Sore muscles. When your teeth don’t nest properly, your jaw works harder. You could develop pain, especially after eating tough or chewy foods.
  • Infected wounds. If your upper teeth touch your lower jaw, you could develop injuries. And since your mouth is filled with bacteria, those wounds could become infected.
  • Chewing difficulties. It’s hard to bite into a crisp apple or a fresh cob of corn when your teeth don’t fit together properly.

You may also find that your overbite gets you unwanted attention. Your lower jaw may seem to disappear when people look at your profile. While you might try to cover up the problem with scarves and turtlenecks, some people may still notice it and talk about it.

How Do Doctors Diagnose an Overbite?

During your regular dental exams, your doctor looks at your teeth and jaws. Measurements of the gap between your teeth when your mouth is closed can confirm an overbite diagnosis.

If the gap between your upper and lower teeth is more than a few millimeters, your doctor may perform x-rays and other diagnostic tests to understand why your teeth don’t fit together perfectly.

When the results are back, you and your doctor can discuss how to fix your overbite and get you the smile you’ve always wanted.

How Braces Tackle an Overbite

If you do have an overbite, your doctor might suggest traditional treatment, which involves braces.

Your treatment plan could involve:

  • Brackets. Choose from metal, ceramic, or clear hardware that’s glued to the front or the back of your teeth.
  • Wires. Teeth connect with a tiny strip of metal that changes shape during each follow-up visit.
  • Elastics. Rubber bands and other similar tools apply extra pressure to teeth that resist the pressure of wires.

People wear braces for about a year, if not longer. While braces can move your teeth, they do come with significant side effects.

The inside of your mouth isn’t designed to remain in close contact with metal for months. You may develop wounds on your:

Cheeks
Tongue

How to Address an Overbite With Invisalign

You’re not stuck with wearing braces to fix an overbite. You could opt for clear aligner trays instead. If you work with your dentist, you’ll likely use trays made by Invisalign.

The Invisalign system involves:

  • Dental molds. Your dentist takes impressions of your teeth and loads the results into a computer.
  • Clear trays. You’re sent home from your first visit with at least one set of trays that sit on your teeth. You’ll wear them the majority of the day, and when you do, they’ll gradually push your teeth into their proper positions.
  • Repeat visits. You’ll visit your doctor for checkups and new trays. Some customers head back monthly, and others have a bit more time between visits.

On average, people spend less time in treatment when they choose Invisalign over braces. Studies also suggest that aligners like Invisalign are effective in fixing an overbite.

Aligners like this are smooth, so they’re less likely to cut up your lips, tongue, and gums. They’re clear, so they’re a bit harder for others to see. And they can be removed for dental cleanings, so you’re less likely to negatively affect your oral health during treatment.

But Invisalign isn’t less expensive than most forms of braces. You still must see your doctor regularly, and markups for office space and staff are tacked onto each bill you pay.

How to Fix an Overbite With Other Aligners

Some dental insurance plans help to cover the cost of braces and aligners. But just 77 percent of Americans have dental insurance. And some have plans that don’t cover orthodontic care.

If you can’t pay for braces or Invisalign, you do have options. At-home, doctor-supervised aligners can help to straighten your teeth and fix an overbite in some mild or moderate cases. They also apply gentle pressure to your teeth, just like braces and Invisalign do. But they don’t require regular in-person office visits, so you don’t pay the associated markup costs.