Underbite in children: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment - PVPD

3 Effective Ways to Fix Your Underbite!

Are you or your child among the many people with less-than-ideal bites and not-so-perfect smiles? It sounds complicated and challenging, but believe us! Managing an underbite is relatively easy.

It happens when your lower teeth project more than your upper teeth on a closed mouth. 

Underbite Dental Occlusion: Misalignment of Lower Teeth

You shouldn’t worry too much, though. Treating an underbite is simple. Let’s guide you through the best treatments to fix your teeth and regain your confident smile. 

Read: Overbite Vs Normal Bite: Differences, Causes, And Treatment


The top teeth usually go over the bottom when your teeth fit together. But sometimes, things get mixed up, causing issues like an underbite. 

Illustration of underbite dental occlusion, showing misalignment of lower teeth

An underbite is when your bottom jaw sticks out more than the top, making your bottom teeth sit in front when you close your mouth. 

In dental terms, it’s also known as malocclusion or prognathism, another way of saying the lower jaw goes too far out. Sometimes, it’s a minor hiccup, not easily seen, but other times, it can be a bigger deal with the bottom jaw sticking way out.

Comparison of Dental Conditions: Bad Bite and Healthy Dental Scheme


Why do some people end up with an underbite? Let’s get a scoop into causes: 

i- Childhood Habits

Childhood habits can play a role. Things like sucking your thumb, using a pacifier for too long, pushing your teeth with your tongue, or sticking to a milk bottle past the baby years can mess with how your jaw develops.

iI- Genetics 

Sometimes, it’s in your genes! Your family’s jaw shape can travel through generations, so if someone in your family has an underbite, you might be more likely to get one, too.

III- Injuries

If you’ve had a serious face injury, it could mess up your jawbones. Surgeries can help fix broken jaws, but sometimes they don’t heal just right, leading to an underbite.

IV- Tumors

If you’ve got tumors on your jawbones or mouth, they can push your jaw forward, causing that underbite situation. 

Orthodontic various conditions - crowding, opposite occlusion, open bite, protrusion, cavities, dentition, and underbite.


You can recognize an underbite by these symptoms: 

  • Protruding Lower Jaw: The lower jaw sticks out more than the upper jaw.
  • Teeth Misalignment: When you close the mouth, the lower teeth get in front of the upper teeth. 
  • Biting and Chewing Issues: You may face biting and chewing difficulty.
  • Facial Asymmetry: The face may look uneven, with a more prominent lower part and a receding upper jaw.
  • Speech Changes: Speech difficulties or changes may occur because of the jaw misalignment affecting tongue positioning.
  • Jaw or Facial Pain: Discomfort or strain in the jaw joint. 

Underbite Vs Overbite – How to Differentiate? 

An overbite is when upper teeth project and partly or entirely hide lower teeth.

On the other hand, lower teeth protrude out in an underbite, which affects your visual appearance and is a significant cause of TMD, which is a teeth disorder. 

Treatment – What Choices Do You Have? 

Fixing an underbite is doable, even for adults. However, it’s extra effective when you tackle it during childhood or the pre-teen years because the jaw is more flexible then. 

But hey, if you’re an adult, don’t worry; treatment is still on the table.

Underbite Braces and Invisalign

Your dentist may recommend braces and Invisalign if you have mild underbites. They reposition your jaw and fix your teeth. Sometimes, even after your braces come off, you might need a retainer to make sure everything stays in place.

Elastics on Braces

These are little helpers that apply extra force to specific areas of your teeth. They attach to the brackets on your braces, and your doctor may reposition them to improve the result.


Now, for the severe cases, there’s surgery. If your underbite is playing hard to get, especially in adulthood, surgery might be your best option. It’s a last-resort solution when other treatments won’t prove effective. 

So, regardless of age, whether braces, elastics, or surgery, there’s a plan for every underbite. 

How to Fix an Underbite in a Child? 

Fixing an underbite during childhood is a good idea because the jaw is still pliable. In some kids, the underbite may go away on its own. 

But if it doesn’t improve with time, the parents must wait until the child is seven years old to take them for corrective treatments. These options include the following: 

1- Chin Cap

It is a small cap for your child’s chin and lower jaw. It helps guide the growth of the jaw in the right direction, preventing it from growing in the wrong shape.

2- Upper Jaw Expander

Your dentist positions a tiny gadget on your mouth’s roof.

It’s called a palatal expander. This tool gradually opens up your upper jaw, giving your teeth more room.

3- Facemask Therapy

Facemask therapy involves wearing a device on your face. It connects the muscles in your upper jaw to the skin by resting on your chin and forehead. These elastics pull your upper jaw forward, helping both upper and lower jaws align correctly. 

You wear the facemask for at least 16 hours daily for about a year to get the best results.

Final Thoughts!

An early diagnosis by a trained specialist orthodontist can effectively control underbite. You can consult the best orthodontists at Palm Valley Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics – Arizona.


Is it OK to have an underbite?

Mild underbites usually do not pose significant issues. Moderate to severe underbites can impact dental health, speech, and facial aesthetics.

You should consult a dentist or orthodontist to evaluate an underbite’s severity and potential effects.

How do they fix an under bite?

Dentists can correct underbites through various methods, such as braces, Invisalign, elastics, and, in severe cases, surgery.

Treatment can align the teeth and jaws for a balanced facial appearance. Your doctor will determine the best course of action based on your age, the degree of your underbite, and other considerations.

What is the cause of underbite?

Underbites can occur due to genetic factors, childhood habits (like thumb-sucking or pacifier use), facial injuries, or even the presence of a tumor on the jaw. 

Does underbite affect jawline?

Yes, underbites can impact the jawline by causing the lower jaw to protrude. This misalignment can lead to asymmetry and affect the overall facial profile. 

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