Can Buck Teeth Be Fixed?
While underlying causes may vary, buck teeth can be corrected by targeted orthodontic treatment – leaving you with the straight and stunning smile you always dreamed of.
Protruding front teeth or ‘buck teeth’ are a type of malocclusion known as an overbite, where the upper teeth extend out over the lower teeth by at least 2 millimetres. The good news? While underlying causes may vary, buck teeth can be corrected by targeted orthodontic treatment – leaving you with the straight and stunning smile you always dreamed of.
What causes buck teeth?
Genetics can result in a jaw that’s uneven or irregularly sized, leading to an overbite. Meaning? Protruding front teeth are often hereditary, inherited from a family member or members with the same overbite or bucktooth smile. But there are other causes of buck teeth – many of them unhelpful habits from childhood that have caused teeth to gradually shift out of alignment. These include:
- Prolonged dummy use. Ideally, children should surrender the dummy by the age of two. Regular use beyond this can place undue pressure on the permanent teeth when they erupt, causing them to grow in at an irregular angle.
- Thumb sucking. Much like prolonged dummy use in children, extended thumb sucking can cause the front teeth to protrude abnormally.
- Tongue thrusting. While occasionally resting your tongue against your teeth won’t cause an overbite, repeated tongue thrusting over an extended period can lead to buck teeth in both children and adults.
- Irregular crowding or spacing of teeth. Crowded or missing teeth can cause your teeth to shift out of alignment, resulting in an overbite.
A medical growth in the mouth or jaw such as a tumour or cyst can also lead to buck teeth, but thankfully this is a much rarer occurrence.
Protruding teeth orthodontic treatment
Happily, protruding teeth can be corrected with targeted orthodontic treatment. Your specific treatment plan will depend on the severity of your malocclusion and the underlying alignment of your mouth and jaw. The orthodontic treatment options for buck teeth include:
- The most common orthodontic treatment for protruding front teeth is traditional metal or ceramic braces. Through exerting a gentle yet steady pressure on your teeth, braces correct your tooth alignment – fixing the issue of buck teeth.
- Palate expansion. Most commonly used in children or teenagers, a palatal expander device can gradually widen the upper jaw so that the adult teeth have sufficient room to grow in.
- Jaw surgery. For people with a severe overbite that is causing serious discomfort or medical issues such as headaches or breathing difficulties, orthognathic (jaw) surgery may be required. This surgery realigns the upper and lower jaw bones.
Can Invisalign fix protruding teeth?
Yes! With minor or moderate overbites, clear aligners such as Invisalign can effectively correct buck teeth. Your orthodontist will custom-design clear plastic trays to fit your precise tooth alignment, with different trays fitted as your teeth gradually align over time.
Can you fix protruding teeth at home?
Unfortunately, it’s impossible to fix protruding front teeth naturally at home. To shift buck teeth into the correct alignment and prevent permanent damage to the mouth and jaw, protruding teeth need to be treated by a specialist orthodontist. Your orthodontist will devise a safe and effective treatment plan tailored especially for you, ensuring your stunning newly-straightened smile lasts you long into the future.