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Does Underbite Correction Always Require Braces?

By Manjari Bansal
In an underbite, the lower front teeth sit in front of the upper ones. Learn how the condition can be corrected without using braces.

If your lower front teeth sit in front of your upper front teeth, you might have an underbite. Although braces are the traditional method for underbite correction, there are other, more-convenient options too. Find out more about alternatives to braces for correcting an underbite.

Underbite Treatment Options

“Most patients with an underbite experience the upper and lower front teeth contracting each other in a traumatic way that can be very uncomfortable,” Joshua Perlman, DMD, cosmetic dentist and owner of NYC Smile Spa in New York, tells WebMD Connect to Care.

“However, metal braces can also be uncomfortable and not the most attractive option. A great alternative to metal braces for treating an underbite is clear aligner orthodontics,” Perlman says.

Clear aligners are custom-made trays that fit on your teeth and move them slowly into the right position. They are very convenient to use, as they are removable and virtually invisible. You can take them out while eating, brushing, flossing, or during short periods for social occasions.

Treatment with clear aligners involves initial assessments like x-rays, photographs, or digital scans. Based on your diagnostics, a series of aligners are created. Each set has to be worn for 1-2 weeks and at least 22 hours a day before you’ll move on to the next set, until you achieve your desired smile.

For underbite correction, “another alternative to metal braces is cosmetic bonding and/or porcelain veneers which improve the overall esthetic of a smile and can be used if the back molar teeth are aligned properly,” Perlman says.

“Cosmetic treatment options for underbites are only recommended in mild cases,” Christopher Young, DDS, a dentist at Young Family Dental, tells WebMD Connect to Care.

“If your underbite is caused by your teeth and not the jaw, then cosmetic dentistry can be an easy fix. While these will help make your smile more aesthetically pleasing, it doesn't necessarily correct the issue at its core,” Young adds.

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