Keeping up with our bodies is a lot like maintaining a vehicle. You have to change the oil, rotate and change the tires, replace the transmission fluid, and take dozens of other maintenance steps. Similarly, we have to maintain ourselves. We have to take medicine when we're sick, visit the doctor for a physical, and keep up with our dental care. When things get out of alignment, you have to make adjustments to correct issues at the source. When it comes to overbite, you want to make sure you are not merely correcting it cosmetically; you need to take steps to help ensure it doesn't happen again. Here is what you need to know about overbite and how it might be related to tongue thrust.
What is an Overite?
Overbite and overbite refer to the same condition where a person's top teeth stick out over the bottom teeth. With an overbite, your teeth never fully close together. This can affect the way you speak, the way you chew, and potentially even the way you breathe. Overbite can often be caused by tongue thrust.
What is Tongue Thrust?
Each time you swallow, your tongue exerts up to six pounds of pressure wherever it pushes during the swallow.. As you swallow, your tongue should press on the roof of your mouth, just behind your upper teeth. "Tongue thrust" occurs when your tongue pushes against the back of your teeth or protrudes between your teeth as you swallow.
How Does Tongue Thrust Cause Overite?
The average person swallows 2000-4000 times each day. If your tongue is resting against your top teeth, you are putting upwards of six pounds of pressure on them every time you swallow. Over time, this can result in pushing the top teeth outward, leading to an overbite.
How to Correct Overite and Tongue Thrust
Braces are likely the best way to treat the overbite itself, but your dentist/orthodontist will be able to answer whether or not that is the right direction to go. If you end up needing braces, they can be costly. It may be quite a financial investment to straighten your teeth with braces. However, when the braces are removed, if you still have tongue thrust, it is powerful enough to cause the overbite to return. So, before the braces come off, you need to correct the tongue thrust.
Our Correct My Tongue Thrust Program walks you through a series of exercises that will help you strengthen your tongue. You will retrain your tongue to fit correctly in your mouth and give yourself the best chance at preventing the return of overbite and overbite. Check out our seven-week program if you're ready to fix your tongue thrust today.