Q:

How do braces work to correct an overbite?

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Quick Answer

An appliance called a Forsus is commonly attached to orthodontic braces to correct an overbite, explains Robert P. Buck, DDS. The appliance consists of a spring coil rod that gradually pulls the upper teeth backward while pushing the lower teeth forward.

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Full Answer

One end of the Forsus connects to the upper first molar band of the individual's braces, while the other end connects to the lower archwire, notes Miller Orthodontics. For the duration of the treatment, the patient must take care not to open the mouth too wide to keep the appliance from breaking. This technique for correcting an overbite is often most effective in adolescents because their mouths are still growing. It's more challenging to correct overbites in older people whose mouths are fully formed; they may require jaw surgery to address the problem.

Headgear is also sometimes used to correct an overbite, explains Miller Orthodontics. This treatment requires a patient to wear an appliance that wraps around the face and places pressure on the upper teeth and jaw for a certain number of hours daily. Some young people find it hard to comply with wearing their headgear as advised, making the Forsus appliance a more successful option for them because it is not removable.

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