If you have upper front teeth which are protruding, what can you do? What causes buck teeth? Is there a way you can prevent them and what is the best way to treat this common condition?
Why do some people have buck teeth?
The causes of upper front teeth protruding (commonly known as buck teeth) have both dental (relating to your teeth position) and skeletal (relating to your jaw size) origination.
Skeletal causes of buck teeth
If the top teeth stick out beyond the bottom teeth the skeletal cause is either:
- the upper jaw is too large
- the lower jaw is too small
In either case this will usually step the top teeth in front of the bottom teeth and make them look sticking out or buck.
Dental causes of buck teeth
In this type of cause the actual bone of the jaw is not problem, it is the teeth which are in the wrong position. Again, there are a number of reasons why this may be the case:
- Congenital misalignment of teeth. Sometimes teeth just erupt in the wrong place!
- Habits causing teeth to move. The classic cause of buck teeth in adults is thumb sucking as a child. When a child sucks their thumb it pushes the thumb up into the roof of the mouth in a forward motion. This continuous pressure in the forward motion actually moves the bone and the teeth causing the teeth to stick out. Tongue thrusting is also a habit which some people develop, but the tongue is quite a strong muscle and continuous pushing forwards on the roof of the mouth behind the upper front teeth can again move the entire structure forwards making the teeth protrude.
Either cause of buck teeth gives rise to a condition known as an open bite where the top teeth don’t meet the bottom teeth.
Preventing buck teeth
It is in fact possible to prevent buck teeth in some situations, sometimes a specialist orthodontist will be able to examine a young child, notice habits and early tooth position and be able to make an educated diagnosis that the child will grow up to have buck teeth. If this is the case then sometimes early intervention preventive orthodontics can stop this happening.
If the cause of buck teeth is either tongue thrusting or thumb sucking then this can also be prevented. There are a range of options available to help someone stop sucking their thumb.
Purchase a thumbsucking glove. These can be made to look appealing to the child so they may like wearing them, however they prevent the child getting a seal around their thumb therefore meaning they can’t get the same pressure when thumb sucking.
Opt for an anti-thumb sucking dental device. these devices can be uncomfortable to wear sometimes however any cases of extreme thumbsucking where the child is moving the bone and teeth considerably they may be the best course of action to prevent buck teeth.
Gentle reminders. Of course, there are also gentler options to stop a child sucking their teeth including gentle reminders, sticker charts and other forms of childhood incentive.
Even if your child is only moving their baby teeth by some sucking they may actually be moving the roots and jawbones around their permanent teeth as well because these will already be formed inside the jawbone which will also be moved by the thumb sucking process.
Treatments for protruding front teeth
It definitely is possible to fix buck teeth using a variety of orthodontic treatments in a carefully constructed treatment plan, often involving the upper and lower teeth.
If the cause of the protruding front teeth is dental braces can often help. Sometimes the braces will pull the protruding front teeth back, in this instance very often an extraction of the 1st premolar (the 1st back tooth) is required in order to make space to bring the top teeth back.
In other situations orthodontics can be used to push the lower teeth forwards to meet of the top teeth, it really depends on where the problem lay!
If the cause of the protruding front teeth is skeletal orthodontic braces may be an option however you may also require surgery. This can be surgery to either extend the size of the lower jaw or reduce the size of the upper jaw, this is quite an expensive and complex treatment and is usually carried out in a specialist hospital environment under the supervision of a specialist Orthognathic surgeon.
Can Invisalign fix protruding front teeth
There is no straightforward answer to this is it really depends on the cause of your protruding front teeth. If the cause is purely dental, in other words it’s just your teeth which are in the wrong position rather than the entire jaw then yes, Invisalign invisible braces can fix protruding front teeth.
Can protruding teeth be fixed without braces?
The only way that protruding upper teeth could be fixed without braces is to use some form of restorative treatment on the lower teeth. It is sometimes possible to build up the lower teeth using dental bonding, crowns or dental veneers in order to meet the top teeth. Of course, if the top teeth stick out so much that the patient can’t close their mouth due to the protrusion of the teeth then bringing the lower teeth to meet them would not be a sensible option.
If this is the case then only braces or perhaps surgery could correct the protruding upper teeth.
Is it possible to push back front two teeth only?
Sometimes patients have only a couple of protruding teeth, if it’s just a couple of teeth that stick out then the cause is likely to be dental and braces really can help in this situation. However, careful measurements will need to be made prior to treatment to make sure that there is actually enough space to bring the crooked teeth back into a more favourable position. Sometimes extraction of the 1st premolar is required in order to make enough space to bring all of the front teeth back into neat alignment.
How long will it take for braces to straighten my teeth?
Most orthodontic braces take between 6 months and 2 years in order to straighten crooked teeth, one of the real advantages of Invisalign is that the whole treatment is calculated at the beginning and you receive a 3-D virtual simulation of what your teeth will look like once treatment is complete. At the beginning of treatment you will be told exactly how long the treatment should take assuming you wear the aligners for the required amount of time each day.
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