Buck teeth, also known as protruding teeth, are an orthodontic condition in which the upper front teeth stick out beyond the lower front teeth. It can also be referred to as a severe overbite or class II malocclusion.
Protruding teeth can be caused by a number of issues, including genetics and poor oral hygiene. Fortunately, there are a variety of treatments available to help correct buck teeth and improve your smile.
What Are Buck Teeth (Overbite): Overview
Healthy teeth typically have a slight overlap of the upper teeth over the lower. As well, the molars of the upper and lower jaws should fit together. However, when this overlap is too much, it can create an overbite or buck teeth.
A severe overbite often results in a smile that looks less than ideal, as the upper front teeth (and sometimes the canine tooth) stick out beyond the lower teeth. It can be associated with other orthodontic issues, such as an increased overjet or a protruding jawline.
While it may seem like a simple cosmetic issue, buck teeth can lead to an array of other problems. Problems associated with an overbite include difficulty speaking, chewing, and even breathing.
There are also a variety of reasons why someone might have buck teeth, including the angle of the jaw, inherited genetics, or teeth growing at an odd angle.
Causes Of Buck Teeth
We’ve touched upon the fact that there are a number of causes for buck teeth. Let’s further discuss some of the main causes:
When a child sucks their thumb or uses a pacifier for an extended period, it can cause the front teeth to protrude as they grow in. In some cases, this condition can correct itself over time, but if your child continues to suck their thumb and develops excessive protrusion, you should consult an orthodontist.
Overuse Of A Pacifier
Using a pacifier for too long can cause the front teeth to protrude. It is best to wean your child off of their pacifier at around age two or three, and if you notice that your child’s teeth are starting to stick out, it may be time to stop using the pacifier altogether.
Tongue thrusting is a habit that can cause the front teeth to protrude. It’s when someone pushes their tongue between their upper and lower front teeth while speaking or swallowing, which causes the teeth to stick out.
This issue is something that usually develops during childhood and is caused by poor oral habits. If caught early, it’s a habit that can be corrected with speech therapy or an orthodontic appliance. If not, this habit can carry on into adulthood and require more serious treatments.
Genetics can also be a contributing factor to buck teeth. If one or both of your parents have an overbite, then you may also develop one yourself. Genetics may also determine the shape of your jaw and how it fits with the rest of your face. This is usually something that needs to be corrected with braces or other orthodontic treatments.
If you have suffered from some sort of facial trauma, such as a sports injury or car accident, it can affect the alignment of your teeth and cause them to protrude. Anyone in this situation will likely require orthodontic treatments in order to realign the teeth back into their correct positions.
Teeth Grinding (Bruxism)
Bruxism is when someone grinds their teeth, often during sleep, which can cause the upper front teeth to stick out over time. Teeth grinding can be caused by stress or anxiety and should be treated with mouthguards or other treatments prescribed by your dentist.
Missing Or Crowded Teeth
Missing teeth can cause the remaining front teeth to shift forward and stick out. Crowded teeth are also a common issue that can cause buck teeth since there isn’t enough room for all of the teeth in the mouth, resulting in some of them sticking out.
How To Get Rid Of Buck Teeth (Overbite)
You might be thinking, "Is there a way to get rid of buck teeth?" The answer is yes! For children especially, correction is made much easier and more effective when treatment begins early on. There are several treatments available that can help people with buck teeth correct their overbite and improve the aesthetics of their smile.
Braces are the most common treatment for correcting buck teeth. During orthodontic treatment, braces are used to gradually move the teeth into their correct position and improve the alignment of your bite. Braces can be made from metal or ceramic, and they typically need to be worn for about 12-24 months (or longer in more serious cases) in order to achieve optimal results.
Invisalign is a type of clear aligner that is an alternative to traditional braces. It uses a series of clear plastic aligners that are custom-made for your mouth and gradually move the teeth into their correct position. This treatment is typically faster than braces, taking about 6-18 months to achieve optimal results.
Note that Invisalign is only suitable for people with mild to moderate buck teeth, as it does not have the same force as braces.
Overbite surgery is a surgical procedure that is used to correct severe cases of buck teeth. It involves reshaping the jaw and/or upper teeth to reduce the overbite and improve the alignment of your bite. This treatment is usually reserved for adults, as it requires cutting into the bone and can have long-term consequences.
Palate expansion is a non-surgical treatment that can be used to correct mild to moderate cases of buck teeth. The procedure involves the use of an expander, which is a device that is placed inside the mouth and gradually expands over time to widen the upper jaw, allowing for better alignment of the teeth.
Jaw surgery is a surgical procedure that involves reshaping the jaw in order to correct the position of the teeth and reduce an overbite. It can be used for severe cases of buck teeth and often requires a multi-stage approach, with braces being used after surgery to help improve bite alignment and aesthetics.
When the issue is overcrowding, tooth extraction might be the best solution. This procedure involves removing one or more teeth in order to make room for the other teeth to move into position and improve your bite.
Can You Fix An Overbite Naturally?
All in all, using natural methods to fix an overbite naturally can help, but it may take a while and require patience.
If your overbite is mild to moderate, you can start by making some lifestyle changes. These include:
- Practicing proper oral hygiene by brushing and flossing your teeth twice a day
- Eating a healthy, balanced diet
- Avoiding sugary foods and drinks
- Wearing an orthodontic retainer at night to help keep your teeth in place
Doing jaw exercises daily to help strengthen the muscles around your mouth
Nevertheless, more severe overbites may require professional treatment for correction. For those who want to avoid surgery, options include braces and retainers, which can be used to slowly shift the teeth into position over time.
Additionally, there are some orthodontic appliances that can help improve the alignment of your bite without surgery or extraction.
Overbite Health Risks
Although a mild overbite may not cause any problems, it's important to address severe cases of buck teeth as soon as possible to avoid any potential health risks.
Protruding teeth can put extra strain on the jaw joints and lead to joint pain, headaches, and other related issues. It can present challenges with breathing, speech problems, and oral health problems like tooth decay and gum disease.
Dental Hygiene Tips For People Who Have Buck Teeth
If you're not looking to invest in a more comprehensive treatment plan, you can still take some steps to help improve the appearance of your buck teeth. These include:
- Brush and floss regularly
- Use an orthodontic toothbrush or electric toothbrush for better plaque removal
- Avoid sugary snacks and drinks
- Regularly visit your dentist every 6 months for check-ups and cleaning
These simple tips will help keep the bacteria that cause cavities and plaque buildup away while maintaining a healthy and attractive smile.
Have more questions about buck teeth? Here are some of the most commonly asked questions about this condition.
How Do Braces Fix An Overbite?
Braces work by gradually shifting teeth into their correct positions, which can help to reduce the overbite. The braces are placed on the teeth, and a wire is used to hold them in place. This wire is tightened regularly over time, which causes the teeth to move gradually into the correct position. Elastics may also be used to help ensure the teeth are properly aligned.
When Should Treatment Begin?
Treatment for buck teeth should begin as soon as possible. The earlier the treatment starts, the easier it will be to correct and prevent any further problems.
Some orthodontists suggest that children should receive orthodontic care no later than age 13, which is normally when all of their permanent teeth have grown in.
How Long Does It Take To Fix An Overbite With Braces?
The amount of time it takes to fix an overbite with braces varies depending on the severity of the condition and the treatment plan. On average, most people can expect to have their braces on for at least 12 - 24 months.
Can Invisalign Fix An Overbite?
Invisalign is a popular teeth-straightening option that uses clear, removable aligners to gradually shift teeth into their correct position. While Invisalign can help reduce the overbite, it may not be as effective as traditional braces for more severe cases of buck teeth. Ultimately, your orthodontist will be able to determine whether or not Invisalign is an appropriate treatment option for you.
Do Overbites Get Worse With Age?
Yes, overbites can get worse with age. As you grow older, your teeth may start to shift out of alignment due to wear and tear or changes in the jawbone. It’s advised to keep up with regular orthodontic maintenance even after treatment is complete to prevent any worsening of an overbite.
What Happens If An Overbite Is Left Untreated?
If an overbite is left untreated, it can lead to many problems. These include difficulty chewing and speaking properly, as well as an increased risk for tooth decay and gum disease. An untreated overbite can also cause headaches, jaw pain, and neck pain.
What Is The Best Age To Fix An Overbite?
The best age to fix an overbite is before the age of 12. This is because the bones and teeth are still developing, so it is easier to move them into the correct position. After age 12, the bones and teeth have stopped growing, which makes it more difficult to fix an overbite.
Do Overbites Go Away After Braces?
Overbites can be completely corrected with braces. It may take several months for the teeth to completely realign, and it is vital to wear the retainer provided by the orthodontist after treatment in order to ensure that your teeth stay in place.
Do Overbites Change Your Face?
When the teeth are misaligned, this can cause the lower jaw to appear shorter and make it look like the chin is receding. This can also affect facial symmetry, as one side of your face may look different than the other due to an uneven bite.
Does An Overbite Affect Your Smile?
Protruding teeth can make it difficult to close the lips properly and may cause you to look like you’re smiling even when you're not. It can also lead to increased amounts of saliva in the mouth and difficulty speaking clearly.
Does An Overbite Go Away Over Time?
An overbite will unlikely go away on its own. The only way to correct it is through orthodontic treatment such as braces, Invisalign, or surgery.
Do Overbites Make Your Lips Bigger?
If you have an overbite and don’t get it treated, your lips may start to look more prominent due to the misalignment of the teeth. It won’t make your lips bigger, however.
Are Overbites Beautiful?
A slight overbite is considered common and attractive, but a severe overbite can affect the appearance of your teeth. If you are concerned about the aesthetic appearance of your overbite, it’s important to talk to your orthodontist about treatment options.
What Is The Fastest Way To Fix An Overbite?
The fastest way to fix an overbite is with braces. Braces are the most common treatment for buck teeth and can take as little as six months. Invisalign is another option, which uses clear plastic aligners instead of metal brackets and wires to gradually shift the teeth into place. But, because Invisalign isn’t as strong and can be taken out, it may take longer to see results.
Are Overbites Genetic?
Overbites can be hereditary. If your parents or other relatives have an overbite, you may be more likely to have one as well. Note that lifestyle habits such as thumb-sucking and prolonged pacifier use in children can increase the risk of developing an overbite.
How Long Do Braces Take To Work For An Overbite?
The length of time it takes for braces to work depends on the severity of the overbite. For mild cases, treatment can take as little as six months. However, more serious cases may require up to two years of treatment before the desired results are achieved.
Does Overbite Affect Speech?
Sometimes. Protruding teeth can cause some syllables to be mispronounced or slurred together, and they may also interfere with the proper pronunciation of certain letters.
Can You Fix An Overbite In 2 Months?
It is possible to fix an overbite in two months, but it depends on the severity of your case. In some cases, orthodontists may be able to correct mild overbites with a series of aligners or braces within two months. However, more severe cases may require longer treatment times and additional treatments such as jaw surgery.
Do Overbite Braces Hurt?
Your braces will use a mild force to move the teeth into position, and this shouldn’t cause any pain. Some patients may experience slight discomfort when their braces are tightened or adjusted each visit due to the tension, but the feeling should go away within a few days.
How Much Are Braces For Overbite?
The cost of braces for an overbite varies depending on the severity and the type of treatment required. In general, traditional metal braces can range from $3,000 to $7,000, while clear aligners such as Invisalign can cost between $3,000 to $8,000 on average.
Does Vaseline Fix An Overbite?
While it may help to lubricate your teeth and make them appear straighter, Vaseline does not have any lasting effects on the structure of your teeth and jaw. If you’re looking for a way to correct an overbite or improve the appearance of your smile, you should see a professional orthodontist who can provide you with the proper treatment.
What Causes An Overbite To Get Worse?
An overbite can get worse due to several factors, including genetics, poor oral hygiene and habits such as thumb-sucking. Some people are born with an overbite, while others may develop one later in life due to changes in their teeth or jaw structure.
Can A Cosmetic Dentist Fix An Overbite?
A cosmetic dentist may suggest different treatments, such as veneers or reshaping of the teeth to improve the alignment. But unlike traditional orthodontic treatment, these treatments are only temporary fixes and may not be as effective in correcting the overbite.