What is an Overbite?

An overbite refers to a large horizontal overlap of the upper front teeth over the lower front teeth.

If your finger can fit between the upper and lower front teeth, it is more than likely you have an overbite. 

An overbite may also be referred to as a jaw overbite. This is often due to a smaller lower jaw. By managing jaw problems in early childhood, it can allow for jaw growth to be easily redirected. Therefore, resulting in healthier teeth, a balanced bite and facial harmony. 

Why does an overbite need to be corrected?

  • Upper front teeth are more prone to being chipped or knocked during play or sports. 
  • Permanent and/ or abnormal wear of the gums behind the upper front teeth and the lower front teeth. This is due to heavy bite pressure on the corners of certain front teeth.
  • Long term breathing through the mouth from large overbites, can increase the likelihood of gum inflammation and gingivitis if not cleaned properly.

What are the treatment options?

  • In children: Jaw guidance appliance called twin blocks or waiting until till more adult teeth are through.
  • In early to mid teenagers: Jaw guidance appliance may still be successful to correct smaller lower jaws. Overbites caused by protruded upper teeth can be treated through braces, Invisalign or other clear aligners to straighten the teeth.
  • In late teenagers to adults: Braces, Invisalign  or other clear aligners, or hidden braces would be used to straighten the teeth.


  • Large overbites are best treated early before the eruption of all adult teeth. In boys it is younger than 13 years old and in girls it is younger than 11 years old. 

  • If your child requires treatment for an overbite, it is best to first discuss you and your child’s needs, concerns and enthusiasm towards any orthodontic appliance. 

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