Aligners and overbite vs overjet – What is what

So do you know your overbite from your overjet? And more importantly can aligners fix it?
We get a lot of people mixing the two and in this article you’ll get it all explained so you know exactly how aligners and overbite works and the same for overjet.

# Overjet, what does it look like

If you have any of these concerns, you have increased overjet:

Goofy teeth
Sticky out teeth
My teeth stick out too far
My front teeth are too far forward
My chin is too far back

#2 Overbite, what does it look like

If you have these issues, you have an increased overbite:

I have a deep bite
My lower teeth bite the roof of my mouth
My upper teeth completely cover / overlap my lower teeth
You cannot see my lower teeth when I bite

#3 What are the causes of overjet

Overjet is a discrepancy in the horizontal (sideways) relationship of your teeth / jaws.
It means your front teeth are too far forwards or your lower teeth are too far back.
It can mean if you fall over or are hit by something in your face during sports you are more at risk of your upper teeth being traumatised. Other than that there is no health issue about having an overjet.

It be caused by overdevelopment of your upper jaw, or underdevelopment of your lower jaw.
If your lower jaw is too small, and your chin is very far back then the “ideal” treatment is jaw surgery to bring your lower jaw forwards. If your upper teeth are too far forwards then if you really want your upper teeth to go backwards then a solution could be to extract 2 upper teeth – usually premolars then to use fixed braces to bring the teeth backwards.

It is important to understand that no brace can bring teeth backwards or a lower jaw forwards without some type of surgery – either jaw surgery or extracting teeth.
It’s possible to improve your smile and get straighter teeth. It is also possible to improve your overjet slightly with aligners if it’s the front teeth leaning forwards too much. This is why it’s important to have a consultation to understand exactly what the issue is and then to understand the options for improvement.

#4 What are the causes of overbite

Overbite is a discrepancy in the vertical relationship of your jaws, this means you bite too much – literally “over” bite. This means your upper teeth overlap and cover your lower teeth too much. This increases the rate at which your teeth wear / grind down. It can be associated with increased teeth grinding / bruxism. In extreme cases you can have a traumatic overbite, this is where the lower teeth hit and bite the gum in the root of your mouth. This isn’t good and can cause recession on the back of your teeth as well as weakening the teeth.
Overbite is generally caused by overeruption. This means the teeth move down too much, they “erupt too much”. This can be seen when you look at smile front on. If you can see the gum levels of some of the teeth, e.g the front two teeth are lower than the gums from the side two teeth then you can see that these teeth have moved down too much. This generally happens in teeth grinding cases where as the teeth edges wear down the lower teeth move upwards and the upper teeth move downwards to maintain contact with each other. This has the effect of worsening the overbite.

#5 Aligners and overjet

So now that we know about overjet comes the key question – can invisible aligners improve my overjet? There is no one size fit all answer here. It really depends on your exact case and the type of overjet you are talking about. This is why a consultation is so important. Aligners work by expanding the arch, through expansion more space can be created which can then be used to bring your front teeth back further. The limit to how far your front teeth can move back though is based on your natural jaw shape and size.

#6 Aligners and overbite

The same question arises about invisible aligners and overbite, Can invisible aligners fix my overbite? The answer is yes invisible aligners can improve your overbite, they are able to intrude your lower teeth and upper teeth, this reduces the amount the teeth overlap each other thus reducing your overbite.

For all these cases the first step is always to start with a free e-consultation to see if you are suitable and to read this article to get a better understanding of the causes of your issue. For a simple summary when thinking about teeth and jaws it’s easy to think about books and a shelf. If a shelf (e.g jaw) is too far forward the books (teeth) can only be moved on the shelf itself.

Aligners are a great solution to improve your smile as that’s what they are designed for. If you want to change your jaw or profile then other options such as surgery and fixed braces can be considered.

Not sure if this is for you? Read this first to learn more