Protruding front teeth, also known as “buck teeth,” are a common problem which can cause young people to hide their smile. It is important to find an orthodontist who can provide early treatment to prevent schoolyard bullying and the other negative impacts of this condition.
Choosing the best braces and the right time to begin treatment will boost confidence, prevent injuries, and improve overall health. Let’s find out what causes this condition and how braces can correct it.
What Causes Buck Teeth?
Protruding front teeth can be caused by bone structure or dental issues, and they may be made worse by certain activities. Some of the primary buck teeth causes include:
• Genetics. This is a hereditary condition that probably runs in the family. This means it cannot be prevented, but it can be made worse by other factors.
• Jaw Growth Rate. During rapid growth spurts, the upper jaw advances over the lower teeth. The misaligned molars may provide further pressure on the front teeth, moving them forward.
• Large Teeth. Sometimes the front teeth are larger than normal, causing the appearance of protrusion, when, in fact, the bite is fairly well-aligned.
• Thumb-Sucking and Pacifier Use. After the permanent teeth appear, these childhood habits can change tooth positions and jaw alignment.
• Jaw Clenching and Tooth Grinding. The grinding pressure of these unconscious habits may crack teeth, change how the teeth come together, or provide pressure that pushes the front teeth forward.
• Tongue Thrusting. This is another habitual behavior where the tongue pushes against the front teeth when swallowing, gradually moving them forward from constant repetition.
What Problems Do Buck Teeth Cause?
The best orthodontist advice is usually to correct protruding front teeth early to avoid issues such as:
• A greater risk of breaking the front teeth during sports or play.
• Breathing difficulties and headaches.
• Problems chewing and subsequent issues with digestion.
• Bullying and the stress associated with it.
• Changes to speech and pronunciation, which may also result in teasing.
• Excessive tooth wear and decay.
At What Age Should You Get Braces for Buck Teeth?
The ideal time to begin protruding front teeth correction may be when children are 7-11 years old, as part of a two-phase treatment plan. A single phase plan might start at 12-16 years of age.1
While starting treatment early has been shown to reduce the chances of damage to the front teeth,1 teens and even adults can get braces to correct buck teeth and other serious bite problems. It is never too late to decide life is better with a smile!
Should You Fix Your Own Buck Teeth?
While browsing online to see examples of protruding teeth before and after braces, you may come across some at-home remedies and do-it-yourself ideas to fix buck teeth. Please don’t try these! Orthodontics is the science of moving teeth and bone. There is no safe replacement for expert care from an orthodontist who treats you like family.
Is It Just a Phase?
When children have a mix of baby and permanent teeth, it may be hard to tell if they will grow in to those two front teeth. If you have concerns, find an orthodontist to evaluate your child’s maturing smile and put those worries to rest.
At Labbe Family Orthodontics, we look forward to your first consultation and can help you decide if this is the right time for braces. We may be your nearest orthodontist with offices in Annapolis, Crofton/Gambrills, Bowie, and Greenbelt. Visit with us to find out why we are the best!