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Gaiduchik Orthodontics

What to Do About Your Child's Overbite

Jan 18, 2024
What to Do About Your Child's Overbite
If your kid’s upper teeth stick out past their lower teeth, they have an overbite — AKA buck teeth. Here’s why that matters and what you can do about it.

Few people have perfectly straight teeth and zero bite problems. Most kids have slight misalignments. The question is: Which bite problems require treatment?

Dr. Andrey Gaiduchik at Gaiduchik Orthodontics in Carmichael, California, gets this question often. Several types of malocclusions can occur, including underbite, crossbite, and open bite. This blog focuses on one of the most common problems, the overbite.

However, don’t let the word common trick you into believing it’s no big deal — an overbite has significant implications if not addressed promptly. This guide provides comprehensive information on overbites and how Dr. Gaiduchik treats them.

Understanding overbite and its impacts

An overbite, scientifically known as malocclusion, is where the upper front teeth excessively overlap the lower front teeth. There are two types of overbites: 

Horizontal overbite

In a horizontal overbite, the top teeth jut forward and protrude beyond the bottom teeth, leaving a gap greater than 2mm between the upper and lower teeth.  A horizontal overbite is sometimes called “buck teeth” or “overjet.” 

Vertical overbite

On the other hand, a vertical overbite is where the top teeth significantly overlap the bottom teeth and cover them partially or completely. This is sometimes called a “deep bite” or a “closed bite.”

Overbites can lead to oral health issues like:

  • Tooth decay
  • Gum disease
  • Jaw problems (temporomandibular disorder or TMJ)
  • Pain while chewing
  • Speech problems
  • Breathing problems

Due to the uneven distribution of pressure while chewing, an overbite can even cause tooth damage. In severe cases, it can also affect facial appearance, leading to self-esteem issues in children.

  • Overbites usually develop early in childhood due to habits like thumb sucking, prolonged use of pacifiers, or tongue thrusting, but genetic factors also play a role.
  • How we treat overbites

Dr. Gaiduchik has many years of experience diagnosing and treating overbites. Here are some of the options he offers for correcting overbites.

Braces

Traditional braces are among the most effective treatments for overbites. They apply constant pressure to move the teeth and gradually realign the jaw over time.

Gaiduchik Orthodontics also offers clear braces that work just like traditional metal braces but use tooth-colored and transparent materials to make them less noticeable. 

Clear aligners

Consider nearly invisible clear aligners if you want a more discreet option. Dr. Gaiduchik recommends Spark™ Clear Aligners because they’re effective and because the TruGEN™ materials are the safest and healthiest on the market — No gluten, PBAs, or latex. They’re also removable, making them more comfortable and convenient than traditional braces.

Surgery

If your child has a severe overbite, they may require orthognathic surgery to adjust the jaw bone to correct the overbite.

What to expect from overbite treatment

The length of your child’s overbite treatment depends on the severity of the overbite and the treatment method you choose. 

On average, braces or clear aligner treatment can last between 1-3 years. Surgical treatments have a recovery period of about six weeks, but the overall treatment, including pre-surgical orthodontic work, can take up to two years.

Managing overbite treatment costs

Orthodontic treatments can be costly, but Gaiduchik Orthodontics accepts most major insurances and offers payment plans to help you distribute the costs over time. 

Supporting your child through overbite treatment

Undergoing orthodontic treatment can be challenging for children. Encourage them by focusing on the positive outcomes and reminding them that the treatment is temporary. Help them stay the course and follow our guidelines for their treatment, such as avoiding sodas and crunchy, sticky foods if they have braces and wearing their clear aligners for the prescribed length of time daily if they have Spark. 

Regular appointments with Dr. Gaiduchik are a great time to address your or your child’s concerns. We can make adjustments to uncomfortable appliances and check progress.

Correcting an overbite can improve your child’s oral health, speech, and self-confidence, so don’t let it go untreated. Request an appointment online or call Gaiduchik Orthodontics today.