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An overbite is when your top teeth overlap your bottom teeth considerably. It’s normal for your top teeth to slightly overlap your lower ones, but if you can see less than half of your lower front teeth, you may have an overbite.

Overbites are sometimes referred to as a deep bite or ‘buck teeth’. The diagram shows what an overbite might look like.

What causes an overbite?

There are many reasons why you may develop an overbite. These include:

Genetics: Overbites are often hereditary

Pushing your tongue against your top teeth

Sucking a dummy or sucking your thumb for too long as a child

Whatever your reason for developing an overbite, you’ll need to see a dentist or orthodontist to confirm whether you have one and what the best treatment would be for you 

What problems can an overbite cause?

Overbites can vary from hardly noticeable to very prominent. If your overbite is significant, you may want to correct it for cosmetic reasons – to boost your confidence. Overbites can also cause:

Problems with speech, particularly as you age

Increased risk of tooth decay and gum disease

Increased risk of developing jaw pain in later life, which may require corrective surgery.

Overbites won’t correct themselves and often worsen over time. You can have an overbite fixed at any age, but having it sorted early can prevent problems such as jaw pain and speech difficulties that often develop with age.

Can braces fix an overbite?

Braces can fix most overbites. The type of treatment you can have will depend on your individual needs and your orthodontist will talk you through everything during your initial consultation.

Common treatment options available include fixed braces (including traditional, ceramic and lingual braces) and clear, removable aligners such as Invisalign treatment.

If you’re interested in braces to fix an overbite, book a free consultation with your local Total Orthodontics practice using the form below.