Everything You Need to Know About Overbites

Everything You Need to Know About Overbites

Many people think the sole purpose of braces is to provide a straight, aesthetic smile. While braces definitely correct crooked teeth, they are also imperative for fixing misaligned bites. It is super important to your overall oral health for your jaws to line up properly. Misalignment of the top and bottom jaws can cause chewing difficulties, breathing issues, speech problems, gum disease, and jaw pain.

An overbite is classified by top teeth that protrude over the bottom teeth. In a proper bite, the top jaw sits one to two millimeters over the bottom jaw, but any further protrusion classifies the bite as an overbite. The severity of an overbite is measured by the degree of overlap. A higher degree of overlap means your case is more severe and your treatment will be more complex.

Here at Magic Smiles in Portland, OR, we correct overbites in children, teens, and adults by using various orthodontic treatments. No two overbites are the same and each case varies in complexity. Dr. Doleac will consider the complexity of your overbite and will assess any other issues to create a unique treatment plan for you. Overbites are super common and can be easily fixed by orthodontists.

What causes an overbite?

There are several factors that can cause an overbite to form. One factor that can create an overbite is your genetics. The shape of your mother and father’s jaw bones will largely determine the shape of your jaw. So, overbites technically run in the family.

Overbites can also be caused by general overcrowding in your mouth. If you don’t have enough room in your mouth for all of your adult teeth, they will start to overcrowd and fight for a place in your mouth. Sometimes, the only place for your teeth to go is forward, causing the protrusion known in overbites.

Some external factors can lead to an overbite as well. Factors like thumb sucking, excessive pacifier use, nail or pencil biting, tongue thrusting, and teeth grinding can all cause your top teeth to protrude over your bottom teeth.

How is an overbite fixed?

Treatment for an overbite varies case by case, and might even vary based on the age and jaw development of the patient. Palate expanders are attached to the upper set of molars and correct an overbite by broadening the top jaw. When the palate is widened, teeth can easily move into the correct position. Because children’s jaws are still developing, overbite correction is often less complex. However, if a palate expander doesn’t do the trick, your child’s overbite can also be corrected by ceramic braces, metal braces, or clear aligners.

Because their jaws are more fully developed, teens and adults often need ceramic braces, metal braces, or clear aligners to correct their overbites. Both braces and clear aligners apply slow pressure to teeth in order to properly move them into the correct position. In more complex teen and adult cases, surgery may be the best solution to correct an overbite.

During your new patient consultation, we will thoroughly examine and evaluate your bite and Dr. Doleac will recommend a personalized treatment plan based on your unique needs.

Visit your orthodontist early

The treatment for an overbite becomes more complex the older you get, so visit your orthodontist early, and keep treatment simple! The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children visit an orthodontist at around 7 years old. If you or your child experience jaw pain, headaches, jaw popping, muscle soreness, teeth grinding, or speech issues, call us today for your free consultation!

Remember, overbites are very common, and they are nothing to be embarrassed about. Straight, properly aligned teeth create more than just an aesthetic smile. A healthy mouth equates to a happy and healthy body, and we want to help you achieve that!


Dr. Doleac and the team at Magic Smiles proudly serve the Beaverton, Scappoose, and Portland, OR communities and surrounding areas. In addition to Invisalign for teens and adults, we also offer a range of braces options as well as early orthodontic treatment and accelerated orthodontics.