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A common confusion among the masses is a misnaming of two different types of malocclusion that are both being called an “overbite.” Let us define the medical terms. First, there are many types of malocclusions or bad bites. One kind, that is commonly called an overbite among non-dentists is actually two different types.

An overbite is when the upper front teeth of a patient overlap the lower front teeth by an excessive amount. Pretty much everybody’s teeth overlap a tiny distance, but anytime the upper teeth overtake the bottom ones by one-third, it becomes problematic and may need orthodontic surgery. Overbites concern vertical distance. For instance, as when the overbite is so severe that the bottom front teeth actually touch the gums behind the upper front teeth.

The overjet concerns the horizontal distance of the front teeth sitting far forward of the lower front teeth making the patient have what is commonly called “buck teeth.” Sometimes this condition is so blatant that the lips have difficulty remaining closed.

Overjet malocclusions are more difficult to repair than overbites, and orthodontists recommend bringing your child in for an evaluation at the age of 7 so that malocclusions may be caught and fixed more easily. Treatment for any bite correction usually involves dental appliances and may require surgery and/or tooth extraction to manipulate the teeth into proper position.

If you would like more information about treating a malocclusion, call Dr. Glenn Ong-Veloso and our helpful team at Glenn Dental. Phone: 760-284-3060. Make an appointment or come by our office in Apple Valley, California.