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An overbite is the term used to describe a situation when the top teeth overlap the lower teeth. A large overbite is considered an undesirable feature and in children can be a source of teasing and bullying.

In technical terms we are talking about the measurement of horizontal overlap between the upper and lower teeth at the front. This measurement is known as the overjet. A small amount of overlap, or an overjet of 2-4mm is considered ideal. An overjet of 5mm or more would be considered increased however an overjet of 10mm or more would be classed as a severe.

What causes an overbite?

Large overbites are usually a developmental issue, often caused by a lower jaw that is underdeveloped relative to the upper jaw. In severe cases the upper teeth can rest on top of the lower lip which then pushes the top teeth even further forward to exacerbate the problem. If this issue is not addressed during adolescence, it will persist into adulthood where treatment options become slightly more limited.

Thumb or finger sucking in children is another common cause of large overbites. If this habit is broken in good time, ideally before the age of 8, there is a good chance that the overbite will resolve without any orthodontic intervention. A persistent digit sucking habit that continues into adolescence can lead to permanent issues that will almost certainly require orthodontic treatment.

Can overbites be corrected?

Yes, there are several options for correcting overbites. Your specialist at Tunbridge Wells Orthodontics has over a decade of experience in correcting overbites. In teenagers, your orthodontist may recommend a functional brace such as a Twin Block, Forsus™ Springs or Invisalign Teen.

Functional braces are not an option for older teenagers and adults, but there are alternative options that will give you an amazing smile.

At what age should overbites be corrected?

It is extremely important to have you child assessed before adolescence if you suspect they have an overbite. It is better to see your orthodontist and be told it’s too early, rather than too late. The ideal time to treat overbites is during early adolescence, between the ages of 11 and 14.

Do not worry if you have an overbite as an adult, or if your child is an older teenager, we will still find a solution for you because there are many other options.

How do I get started?

To get started, come and see Dr Woodhouse for a no obligation free consultation where he will assess you, and discuss treatment options and costs.

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Tunbridge Wells Orthodontics
22 Warwick Park
Tunbridge Wells

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