Buck Teeth – Avoid Braces with Overbite Correction

Overbites, also known as buck teeth, overjet, and malocclusion, can start to show as soon as your baby’s teeth begin to push through the gums. It can cause your child to have trouble when biting, chewing, and even talking. Some children can’t even take a bit from an apple due to having an overbite.

Buck teeth being treated with braces. Photo: Challiyan, Wikimedia Commons

Buck teeth being treated with braces.
Photo: Challiyan, Wikimedia Commons


It’s strange how one dental problem can have so many names that mean the same thing. Of course, this one dental problem has several different variations:

  • horizontal overbite or overjet – this dental problem occurs when the top teeth protrude too much.
  • vertical overbite – this dental problem occurs when the top teeth overlap the bottom teeth too much.
  • Both horizontal and vertical – some people can have both types of overbite.

Causes of Overbites

For the most part, there are two common reasons for having an overbite – habits and genetics. When you are trying to find the causes of overbites begin by looking at your family. What do their teeth look like? Have several of them worn braces? Do many still have overbites left untreated? If not, the next thing to do is to think back about the habits that have been formed from an early age. Take a look at the list below to see if you or your child have one or more of these habits that can cause buck teeth:

  • sucking thumb
  • finger sucking
  • biting nails
  • chewing on pencils
  • pushing the tongue against the back of the teeth throughout the day

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Overbite Correction

One of the best things you can do when overbite correction is needed is to stop any bad habits before they become an even bigger problem. Of course, if overbites run in the family, there will be little to do about it until the child is old enough to have the dental problem corrected with braces.

Another way an orthodontist may correct an overbite is by fitting the child with a retainer. Most people think retainers are prescribed after braces have been worn, but some orthodontist fit young children with retainers and neck or head gear early to correct an overbite as the teeth grow. This can be very successful and if done early enough and fitted properly.

If your orthodontist fits your child with a retainer early, your child’s teeth may grow straight and braces may be avoided. The retainer will still have to be worn at night to keep the teeth from shifting for many years to come just as if your child has had braces though.


Talk to your family dentists about the right time to see an orthodontists. Children as young as seven may be able to begin treatment. If you feel your child’s teeth are growing into an overbite or you hear people saying, “He is getting buck teeth”, don’t hesitate to make a dental appointment.

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