How Can Braces Correct a Bad Bite With No Overjet?

My daughter is in college and has a problem with her bite. Her front teeth hit directly over her lower teeth when she bites down, and she has no overjet. Her dentist told her she needs braces. How will her orthodontist help correct this problem?

Doctor Answers 5

Correcting and edge to edge bite

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You can use braces or Invisalign. The upper teeth will flare a few degrees forward and the lower teeth a few degrees towards the tongue. Rubber bands can be used as well as inter proximal reduction and a chain on the lower. Another possible is an upper appliance called a Nance with something called a reverse pull headgear, that is worn at night.

The best options depends on many factors that would be reviewed in a new patient exam.

Chesterfield Orthodontist

Correcting an edge-to-edge bite

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To correct the kind of bite you describe, her orthodontist will need to carefully make diagnsostic records to evaluate the cause of the problem.  Here are some examples:

  1. It can be skeletal in nature where the upper jaw bone is smaller in length than the lower. Although this might require jaw surgery if severe, sometimes we can move the teeth to mask the underlying bone issue by tipping the upper teeth forward and the lower teeth back.
  2. It could be that there is more crowding of the upper teeth than the lower.  Simply aligning the upper teeth with help to increase the overjet as they "round out" and move forward.
  3. It could be a tooth size discrepancy, meaning the proportion of upper teeth width compared to lowers is off a bit.  Commonly we see small upper lateral incisors, which lead to an edge to edge type bite.  In this case aligning the teeth and leaving space around the small lateral incisors helps to increase the overjet.  The laterals can then be restored by the dentist with bonding or veneers to a more proportional and esthetic size and shape.

These are the most common reasons for the bite your described.  Of course a consult with a good orthodontist will help to figure this out.  This is the kind of case many of us love to work with.

Good luck....Dr. Depew

Doug Depew, DMD
Atlanta Orthodontist

Correction edge to edge bite

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Without seeing all of her diagnostic records it is impossible to tell you how they will fix her bite.  In general it involves moving the upper teeth forward and the lower teeth backward...often with the use of elastic bands

Robert Waxler, DMD, MS
Saint Louis Orthodontist

How do you fix and underbite tendency

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The orthodontist may choose to use braces or Invisalign to correct this problem, but how he or she corrects the underbite tendency depends on if the nature of the correction involves dealing with a skeletal or dental problem. 

If your daughter has a severe skeletal issue where the top jaw is too far back, the bottom jaw too far forward, or a combination of the two, then she may require jaw surgery to correct her bite in combination with braces.

If the underbite tendency is from a dental problem where there is a tooth size discrepancy  (i.e. commonly on the upper, the lateral incisors may be too small causing the upper teeth to be too far back with a resultant edge-to-edge or underbite), then the way to address this would be to create space around affected small teeth to make them the right size, or to remove tooth structure from the opposite arch (lower teeth) with extraction or shaving of the teeth so they can be brought back towards the tongue as space closes.

All the above scenarios have a multitude of variables (i.e. degree of crowding, your daughters' profile, etc) that can alter the decision of the practitioner, so the best idea is to see the orthodontist for a specific treatment plan tailored to your daughter.

Mazyar Moshiri, DMD, MS
Saint Louis Orthodontist

Braces with no overjet

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It can be achieved by moving the lower teeth back or the upper teeth forward, depending on your bite. We like some overlap between upper and lower anteriors, otherwise your chances of wearing down your anterior teeth are much higher due to zero overbite.

Hasan Othman, DDS, MS, PhD
Lombard Orthodontist

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.