There is a term that is often used in our office, though you’ll never hear a team member at Shirck Orthodontics say it: “buck teeth.” Our patients and parents use it to refer to upper front teeth that obviously stick out, somewhat similar to a beaver. In addition to aesthetic concerns, buck teeth can also cause all sorts of oral health problems and even make dental injuries more likely, so it’s very important to have them straightened sooner rather than later. Why are the teeth sticking out in the first place? What is the best way to fix them? Find out more in today’s blog from your orthodontist in Westerville.
What Causes “Buck Teeth”?
A person may develop buck teeth due to one of the following reasons:
- The shape of their upper jaw causes the front teeth to naturally stick out.
- The upper teeth may be crowded, which has forced the front teeth forward.
- Childhood habits like thumb-sucking or tongue-thrusting have moved the teeth.
- The bite may be misaligned, causing all of the upper teeth to be positioned in front of the lower teeth.
The Potential Problems of Buck Teeth
In addition to making someone feel self-conscious about their smile, buck teeth also increase the risk of several oral health issues:
- Exposed front teeth are more likely to chip or be injured in an accident (particularly while playing sports).
- A person may develop a speech impediment such as a whistle or lisp.
- Prominent front teeth can make it more difficult for someone to keep their lips together, meaning a person is more likely to breathe through their mouth, which heightens the chances of cavities and gum disease.
What Can Be Done About Buck Teeth
If you notice that you or your child has buck teeth, then your first call should be to an orthodontist. By giving a patient an exam, they can determine why the teeth are misaligned in the first place and then recommend the appropriate treatment. With buck teeth, the orthodontic process may involve only shifting the teeth, adjusting the entire bite, or both. These kinds of changes can be accomplished using both metal braces and Invisalign, meaning patients of all ages can get a treatment that perfectly suits their situation. For severe cases, such as a very prominent overbite, surgery might be needed to alter the position of one or more of the jawbones. Fortunately, this isn’t necessary for most patients.
The phrase “buck teeth” might sound somewhat cute, but living with them certainly isn’t fun! Thankfully, the team at Shirck Orthodontics has helped countless patients of all ages fix this problem quickly and comfortably so they can enjoy a lifetime of confident, healthy smiles. To learn more about what our team could do for you or your child, call today to schedule a FREE consultation.
About the Author
Dr. Jeffrey Shirck is a board-certified orthodontist based in Westerville. A proud graduate of The Ohio State University, he and his team use the latest orthodontic techniques combined with personalized service to help patients get exactly what they need and achieve amazing results. He’s always happy to welcome new patients into our practice and put them on the path toward a beautiful, healthy smile.