An underbite is a form of malocclusion, or “bad bite.” If you have an underbite, it could have significant effects on the health of your teeth. Luckily, an underbite can usually be completely resolved – at any age – with the right care.
What is an underbite?
With an underbite, the teeth of the lower dental arch are more prominent than those in the upper dental arch. They overlap, which causes a person’s bite to be uneven. The lower teeth may also be crowded or seem to protrude. An underbite can usually be diagnosed visually.
What Causes it?
In rare cases, childhood habits like thumb sucking can cause various kinds of malocclusions. For the most part, however, the jaw is simply too small for the teeth. Permanent teeth may erupt from the gums in such a way that makes them crowded and leads to a characteristic appearance.
Is There Any Way to Prevent it?
Most people exhibit a malocclusion from an early age. It’s impossible to prevent unless action is taken at that time. Luckily, an underbite can often be corrected using an orthodontic treatment in adulthood. The process typically takes only a few more months than it would take for children.
Why is it important to get an underbite corrected?
When you bite down, you exert an extraordinary amount of force. An underbite means all of that force is applied in an uneven way. This increases wear and tear on all the teeth, not just those affected by the malocclusion. It makes chipping, cracking, and breakage of teeth more likely.
Underbite treatment with Invisalign
Invisalign has been hailed as the “clear alternative” to ordinary braces. It consists of a set of clear plastic trays that gently adjust the alignment of the teeth over time. Invisalign is very discreet and the trays can even be removed for eating and brushing your teeth.
What is treatment like for this type of bite?
An underbite can be treated effectively using braces, including specialized types like Invisalign. The total length of treatment depends on the severity of the condition, the patient’s age, and the type of orthodontic appliance used. Results are usually achieved in 12-16 months.