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Same-Day Starts, Braces, and Consultations Available!

Your Top-Rated Orthodontist in
Charleston, SC, For Braces & Invisalign

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An overbite is commonly referred to as “buck teeth”. It means that your front teeth on the top are too far in front of your bottom teeth. While a minor overbite is a common condition, severe overbites can cause many problems if left untreated, including tooth decay and jaw pain.

If you have young children, you may wonder how overbites form. If you suspect you or your child already has one, you may wonder what treatment options are available. Continue reading to learn about overbites, including what can cause them and how to treat them.

Want to find out if you or your child needs braces? Visit Reese Orthodontics in Charleston, SC for leading orthodontic care.

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Causes and Types of Overbites

Overbites can have several causes, some of which are due to genetics and others which are due to habits. These are classified as “skeletal overbites” and “dental overbites,” respectively.

Skeletal Overbite – A skeletal overbite occurs when a child’s teeth or jaw have a size discrepancy that causes misalignment. For example, if a child’s mouth is too large compared to the teeth, or the teeth are too large compared to the jaw, teeth can not only become crowded and crooked, but an overbite can form as well.

On a side note, an overbite can also be caused by trauma that knocks out baby teeth too soon. If not addressed by an orthodontist, adult teeth can come in incorrectly and result in a misalignment that can lead to an overbite.

Dental Overbite – A dental overbite occurs because of habits sustained in childhood. Any action that causes a child to repetitively push their tongue against the back of their front teeth can eventually lead to an overbite. As the child develops, this frequent pressure can cause the teeth to grow outward.

Habits that can cause a dental overbite or worsen a skeletal overbite include:

  • Prolonged pacifier and bottle use
  • Thumb- or finger-sucking (especially after age 3)
  • Nail-biting or chewing on hard objects like pencils or tongue depressors for prolonged periods
  • Sleep apnea in childhood, which causes irregular breathing that can contribute to unhealthy mouth movements
  • Grinding your teeth at any age

Conditions that Can Result from an Overbite

If left untreated, an overbite can be more than a cosmetic inconvenience. Over time, misaligned teeth or jaws can cause many oral health issues, including:

  • Gum disease and tooth decay
  • Jaw pain while chewing
  • Breathing conditions and speech problems

Consequently, these conditions, along with any difficulties opening or closing your mouth, are the main symptoms of an overbite.

Overbites can also be accompanied by crooked, misaligned, or crowded teeth, which come with their own set of issues. Crooked teeth are harder to clean, which can lead to cavities and gum disease. They can also gradually cause other structural issues, such as broken teeth and jaw pain, due to the uneven distribution of force when you bite or talk.

Treatment Options for Overbite

Thankfully, there are several treatment options available for an overbite. The most prevalent is braces, which orthodontists use to gradually move teeth into the correct alignment, fixing the overbite. Today, you can even get partial braces so that only the affected teeth receive treatment, which is easier for both doctors and patients.

Other treatments for an overbite include:

  • Retainers that gradually correct minor alignment issues
  • Extracting baby teeth or adult teeth to make enough space for the remaining teeth to move into their proper positions
  • GMDs or growth modification devices, which include palate expanders, and are sometimes used during a growth spurt to correct jaw alignment
  • Oral surgery, potentially indicated in adult patients with a severe overbite

How to Prevent an Overbite

If you’re concerned about developing or worsening an overbite, there are several things you can do while you assess your treatment options.

Firstly, once your children pass infancy, you should encourage them to stop sucking their thumbs, using sippy cups, and relying on pacifiers. A visit to a dentist and orthodontist around the time they turn 1 can save a lot of time and money later.

If you’re an adult, you can use a night guard to prevent teeth-grinding and to stop your tongue from thrusting your front teeth. Since overbites can be caused by trauma, maintaining a healthy oral regime and using a mouthguard when playing sports can give you extra protection against forming an overbite.

Choose Reese Orthodontics

If you’re an adult who is considering braces for yourself or your child, you need professional advice on your treatment and payment options. For orthodontic treatments in Charleston, SC, Reese Orthodontics offers the latest technology and treatment plans. Our advanced and comfortable orthodontic treatments can be customized to suit your needs. A consultation with Reese Orthodontics includes scans, a comprehensive exam, and a conversation with the orthodontist to discover which treatment options are right for you. 

Schedule an appointment with us today to stay ahead of your oral health and receive the best possible treatment in your area.

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Easy Ways To Get Started

If you want to learn more about our orthodontic practice - where we offer extensive experience with a Board Certified Orthodontist, where we offer a satisfaction guarantee, and where we offer flexible payment options - Reese Orthodontics is here to serve you.

"Dr. Reese and staff share an inviting personality with a clean and professional atmosphere. I am very happy with the service, the product and the final result. I would encourage any of my friends and family to consult with Dr. Reese around their Orthodontic needs."
- Austin H.
"It has been a great experience all around getting braces at Dr. Reese Orthodontics. It's a great office with wonderful and friendly staff. I am extremely happy with the results. Can't say enough good things about Dr. Reese and his staff. I highly recommend him!"
- Nicole S.
"Dr. Reese and his staff was referred to me by a friend, and I highly recommend them! They were friendly, professional, helpful and quick to respond. I could not be happier with the results of Invisalign. I wore them about 7 months and my teeth are as straight as can be. Thank you for the great care and results!"
- Dancy E.
"I chose the absolute perfect orthodontist to perfect my smile. Dr. Reese has a personality that calms you and removes the anxiety that may come with the process. Dr. Reese is a true artist. I am so excited with my new smile. Dr. Reese accomplished the goals I was looking for and I am forever grateful. Thank you Dr. Reese!!!"
- Melanie C.
"Just awesome! Dr. Reese is the one to go to. He knows what he's doing and is great at what he does. Makes you feel like family every time you go visit. I can't get over how great my smile looks now. Definitely recommended."
- Harsha P.
*The reviews listed are from actual patients of Reese Orthodontics.
Individual results may vary. Reviews are not claimed to represent results for everyone.
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Our Charleston
Orthodontic Office

2057 Charlie Hall Blvd. STE D
Charleston, SC 29414


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Dr. Reese McElveen, our award-winning orthodontist in Charleston, South Carolina has transformed the smiles of over 11,000 patients. Reese Orthodontics offers the most advanced orthodontic care for children and adults. Types of braces and orthodontic treatment include metal braces, clear braces, gold braces, Invisalign, Invisalign Teen, Damon Braces, SureSmile. Dr. Reese can even help you achieve your confident smile faster with AcceleDent.

Call 843.573.7279 today to schedule your appointment with our board certified orthodontist in Charleston, SC, at our conveniently located Charleston orthodontic office. Come experience Reese Orthodontics and you will see for yourself that we offer innovative and effective orthodontic care in Charleston, Downtown Charleston, West Ashley, James Island, Mount Pleasant, North Charleston, Johns Island, Goose Creek, Hanahan and Ladson, South Carolina (SC).