Overbite Vs. Overjet Explained

Overbite Vs. Overjet Explained

Let’s be honest, aesthetics affect our overall confidence. Many factors contribute to a beautiful smile but most believe that straight teeth are one of the most important. If you find yourself feeling self-conscious about your smile and the positioning of your teeth, the good news is that many malocclusion issues can be corrected with orthodontic treatment.

Overbites and overjets are two of the most common orthodontic issues. Before treating these conditions, patients need to understand the alignment problems that may be present. In this article, we’ll discuss how to differentiate between the two conditions..  


Exact treatment costs are dependent on your requirements, but typically Invisalign treatment is comparable to traditional fixed braces. According to Invisalign, every smile is unique – and so is every budget.

An overbite refers to how far the upper teeth vertically extend over the lower teeth when the jaw closes. It’s often referred to as a “deep bite”. When the teeth bite down, the upper teeth should overhang the lower teeth by a small margin, usually covering approximately one-third of the lower teeth. If you have an overbite, your teeth may wear down due to constant impact. There’s also the potential to experience jaw pain, speech problems, fractured teeth, increased wear and tear, gum damage, and sleep apnea. In general, a small amount of overlap is normal if it ranges between 2-3 millimetres. 


An overjet is characterized by the protrusion of the upper front teeth, commonly known as “buck teeth”. The term overjet refers to how far the upper teeth extend horizontally over the lower teeth. Again, it’s normal for the upper teeth to sit slightly forward from the lower teeth, but any space of more than 2 millimetres will likely cause future dental issues. An overjet not only affects the appearance of a smile, but it may also result in difficulties speaking or chewing and may cause jaw discomfort. 

What Causes An Overbite Or Overjet?

Genetics and hereditary factors relating to jaw development can be a cause of malocclusion issues. The most common cause of an overbite is the shape of the jaw or teeth. Typically, the lower jaw is smaller than the upper jaw, forcing the lower teeth to rest behind the upper teeth.

An increased overjet can be caused by childhood habits including thumb sucking, prolonged bottle feeding, tongue thrusting, or excessive use of a pacifier. These habits can also worsen underlying characteristics that increase an overbite. 

What Are The Available Treatment Options?

The treatment options for an overbite and overjet depend on the severity of the condition. It’s recommended to seek orthodontic evaluation and treatment at an early age while the teeth are still developing. For adults, some of the available treatment options include traditional braces or clear aligners.

Traditional braces are the most popular orthodontic treatment to help straighten teeth and shift the jaw to its proper position. Braces are brackets that attach to the teeth with a metal arch wire fixed to the brackets. To correct bite issues, it may be required to wear rubber bands that connect the upper and lower rows of the teeth. 

To determine how much your treatment will cost, contact Dr. Vivek Cheba to book a consultation.

Your Calgary Orthodontist

Learn more about the orthodontic treatment options that may help you. 

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