Clear aligners are a popular orthodontic treatment choice for many reasons. It’s an effective, discreet, and removable option compared to traditional metal braces. But can aligners fix more than crooked teeth?
A common question that patients ask their orthodontist is whether or not clear aligners can correct an overbite. The easiest teeth to transform with clear aligners are teeth with minor overcrowding or spacing issues. But innovation and technological developments in orthodontics can now treat patients with more complex conditions.
So, the short answer is yes – clear aligners can treat an overbite. But there’s a bit more to it.
What is an overbite?
An overbite is a form of malocclusion in which the upper teeth extend vertically over the lower teeth when the jaw is closed. This is also referred to as a “deep bite”. When the jaw is closed and the teeth bite down, the upper teeth should overlap the lower teeth by a small margin, typically between 2 to 4 millimeters. An overbite is a common orthodontic issue and should be treated to prevent any form of pain and excessive wear on the teeth
What causes an overbite?
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.
What is the ideal age for treating an overbite?
Similar to most orthodontic conditions, treating patients under the age of 12 is less complicated. It’s recommended by the Canadian Association of Orthodontics to bring a child in for an orthodontic evaluation around age seven. An orthodontist can redirect the patient’s current jaw development because the teeth are still growing. For teenagers and adults, treating an overbite is still possible but a different approach must be taken since the jaw is no longer in a developmental stage. Instead of redirecting growth that is still happening, orthodontic treatment, such as clear aligners, will move the top teeth forward and the bottom teeth back.
How can an overbite be treated with clear aligners?
Similar to correcting overcrowded teeth, clear aligners can be used to fix a mild to moderate overbite by applying continuous pressure to the teeth. Aligners can also move your gums at the same time. Correcting an overbite with clear aligners offers several different advantages: • Clear aligners can straighten the teeth and realign the jaw simultaneously • There are no metal brackets and wires to deal with • It is a more discreet orthodontic treatment option • Clear aligners are removable so you can eat whatever you want • It’s easier to maintain a proper and thorough at-home oral hygiene routine