Can Braces Correct an Underbite?



  • It is widely believed that orthodontics can help correct almost any problem with a person's teeth. From missing molars to crooked canines, orthodontics can help improve your smile. We know that braces can correct overbites, but what about underbites? This article will explore if braces can actually correct an underbite.

Underbites Defined

  • Underbites occur when the lower jaw causes the lower teeth to protrude past the upper teeth. The upper teeth, when the mouth is closed, will meet behind or "under" the upper front teeth. This is referred to by dentists as a class 3 malocclusion.

Braces and Teeth

  • Braces work by effectively "pushing" the teeth in a certain direction. The arch wires that are attached to braces try to stay straight. When they are put on teeth, they are bent. The heat from your mouth activates the wires and they start to push until they become straight, forcing your teeth to move.

The Answer

  • So the question remains: Can underbites be corrected by braces? The short answer, by and large, is no. There are known cases where braces with rubber bands can help correct slight underbites, so otypically surgery is required to fix underbites because the problem lies in the jaw. Corrections usually require orthognathic surgery, which involves a correction of the jawbone. Sometimes the surgery will involve moving the upper jaw forward and the lower jaw backward, depending on the severity of the teeth angles.

Second Opinion

  • You should always get a second, and sometimes third opinion before making a move to correct your smile. No need to overpay for a procedure to correct your underbite.

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