There are a variety of dental concerns that our patients come to us with – one of the most common being an underbite. In today’s blog, we’re going to run through what an underbite actually is, how to identify an underbite in yourself or your child, and some of the treatment options available for this kind of dental condition.
What is an Underbite?
An underbite is the term that a dentist will use to describe the lower jaw protruding past the upper jaw, meaning your bottom teeth ‘bite’ further than your top teeth. This is, essentially, the opposite of an overbite.
This can be caused by childhood habits, like thumb sucking, poor oral health (also causing tooth decay) and long-term bottle-feeding. It can also be caused by chronic mouth breathing or simply by genetics.
How to Identify an Underbite?
If you think you or your child may have an underbite then it’s fairly simple to confirm. Stand in front of a mirror, and smile wide so both top and bottom teeth are visible.
Ensure your teeth are touching, but are comfortable. If the bottom teeth protrude further than your top teeth then you do have an underbite.
As for the severity of your condition, take notice of whether your bottom teeth overlap or cover part of your upper teeth. If so, then it may be considered a severe underbite.
Treatment for an Underbite?
So, now you know what an underbite is and how to identify at home if you might need orthodontic intervention, let’s talk about the possible treatment routes.
Of course the specific details of your orthodontic treatment will depend on the extent of your underbite, but it could include one of the following:
- Elastics – these are attached to both your bottom and top braces, and are designed to correct your bite while the braces work on straightening your teeth.
- The DamonTM System Wires – these are used to comfortably widen the arches in your mouth. Here at AOS, we use this system in place of traditional palate expanders which can be more painful.
- Aligners – if the underbite is minor, an aligner may be sufficient to correct your bite.
Ultimately, the takeaway here is that we can correct an underbite – you could even have a smile you love in as short as 12 months. Reach out today and we can help you get started on the journey to a confident smile.