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Buck Teeth: Causes, Health Risks, and How to Fix It

Posted in Adults, Braces, British Columbia, Clear Aligners, General, Invisalign, Orthodontics, Tips & Advice

Patients with buck teeth, also known as overbite, are commonly seen by orthodontists. The cause of buck teeth can be hereditary, but there are also some habits that can lead to this condition. In this post, our BC orthodontists discuss what causes buck teeth, and how people of all ages can help prevent it.

What Causes Buck Teeth or an Overbite

Overbite teeth is a common dental issue that many people experience. While it can often be seen as just a small physical flaw, it can lead to serious health concerns if it is not treated. Below, our BC orthodontists share the different causes of overbite, some of which can be easily prevented whether you are a child, teen, or adult.

Thumb-Sucking & Prolonged Usage of a Pacifier

Thumb-sucking is a common cause of buck teeth. The force of the sucking can impact the mouth, teeth, and palate alignment. Children will often grow out of this habit around the age of 2 to 4 years old, but if they don't, parents should do their best to put an end to the habit.

If the thumb-sucking continues past the age of 3 or 4, or while the permanent teeth are beginning to erupt, the pressure created by the sucking and the finger can lead to the permanent teeth coming in at an odd angle.

In the same way that thumb-sucking can cause an overbite, the same goes for using a pacifier. If a child continues to suck on a pacifier past the age of 3 or 4, the suction will have the same impact as if they were sucking on their thumb. An overbite caused by a pacifier has a higher risk than that of thumb-sucking.

Tongue Thrusting

Tongue thrusting is described as an abnormal tongue position and deviation from the traditional swallowing pattern. If the tongue thrusts against the teeth for short spurts at a time, it shouldn't have too big of an impact on the positioning of the teeth. However, if the tongue is consistently resting against the front teeth, the habit may result in a malocclusion.

Tongue thrust occurs when the tongue presses too far forward in the mouth. While this usually results in an open bite, it can also result in an overbite or buck teeth. The condition is most often seen in children, but it can carry on into adulthood.

This habit can be caused by several things, including chronically swollen adenoids or tonsils and poor swallowing habits. Stress can also cause tongue-thrusting, while some people thrust their tongue during sleep.

What to Do If You Have a Broken Retainer

Overbite or buck teeth can occur naturally and be hereditary. If this is the case, there's nothing parents can do to prevent their children from having buck teeth.

The only thing you can do at this point is to schedule a visit with an orthodontist once you notice your child's jaw and/or permanent teeth appear to be crooked. It is recommended that children visit the orthodontist by the time they're 7 years old, whether or not they seem to have an issue.

An orthodontist will most likely be able to determine what your child's bite will look like. If it seems like your child will have an issue after the initial consultation, the orthodontist can develop a treatment plan to correct the bite and get ready for braces that would be applied between the ages of 8 and 14.

Health Risks Caused by Buck Teeth

The risks associated with overbite will depend on the level of severity. A few commonly occurring issues include:

  • Jaw pain
  • Teeth grinding
  • Breathing issues
  • Severe headaches
  • Speech impediment
  • Worn out tooth enamel
  • Discomfort while chewing
  • Increased risk of gum disease

How to Fix Buck Teeth

Fixing buck teeth or an overbite is pretty straightforward and our BC orthodontists treat this condition all of the time. After meeting with your orthodontist, they will be able to suggest the best treatment options for you. Braces or Invisalign clear aligners can treat an overbite, and your orthodontist will pick an option based on the severity, your age, and your lifestyle.

Are you or your child showing signs of an overbite or buck teeth? Contact our BC Orthodontists to have the issue diagnosed and treated.

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