Overjet is one of the common bite disorder types. It is characterized by malocclusion of teeth that occurs as a result of the excessive development of the upper jaw or underdevelopment of the lower one, or due to both of these factors simultaneously. A person with overjet has his or her upper teeth protrude prominently. The chin appears to be very small which gives one’s face an expression of dissatisfaction or surprise.
Why does overjet develop?
Overjet may develop for a number of reasons. The most common one is heredity. The second is an abnormal development of jaws in the course of fetus formation. Yet another one is improper artificial feeding. When a baby is fed from a bottle, food goes into his/her mouth easily and chewing muscles cease to work. This slows down development of the jaws and often results in teeth misalignment.
Another noteworthy reason for overjet development is a premature loss of baby teeth, their underdevelopment or growing in the wrong places. In the absence of teeth, the work of both jaws is disturbed. In order to avoid these problems, carefully monitor the health of your oral cavity and treat caries in a timely manner. Likewise, it is essential to restore the missing teeth as soon as you can.
How to treat overjet
In most cases, orthodontic treatment effectively fixes overjet and returns teeth and jaws in their correct position. The best time to treat overjet is as soon as possible. Excellent results are observed in young patients. Children and teens are still in the process of jaw development so timely and correct interference can spare lots of headache in the future.
A popular method for overjet correction is braces. In more complicated cases, other orthodontic appliances may be called for which your orthodontist will be able to advise you on.
In some cases, when a patient has a crowding condition, a few teeth must be removed in order to have enough space to align the teeth properly. Again, your orthodontist will recommend the best course of action as not everyone will need to do this.
How long does it take to treat overjet?
Duration of the treatment as well as the treatment itself are highly individual. Everything depends on your dental condition, age and whether you’re a responsible patient. For young children, it may take just a few months or up to a year to correct overjet. For adults wearing braces, the process is estimated in years. However, you shouldn’t be afraid of the long-term commitment. It’s better to take action and fix the condition you’re not happy about than regret about it all the time.
As for which brace system to choose, everything depends on your personal preference, budget and recommendation of your orthodontist. You can choose to weal metal, ceramic, sapphire, lingual or Invisalign braces. The latter are invisible on one’s teeth and are increasingly popular.