Buck teeth refers to a condition in which the upper teeth abnormally overlap the lower teeth. Some say they’re so-called because a male rabbit with its large teeth is known as a “buck.”
It’s not just that these teeth are extended and large (especially in contrast to the surrounding teeth). Sometimes, these teeth can also be abnormally protruded.
It is a type of malocclusion where the teeth aren’t properly aligned with each other. While mild cases of this problem may not require treatment, there are instances in which it can affect your oral health.
Among children, bucked teeth can also lead to mental health issues (because of bullying) as well as social problems. In this guide, you’ll learn more about what you can do to fix this problem and if there’s a way to prevent it.
What Are Buck Teeth?
More commonly, an overbite is referred to as buck teeth. It’s a type of malocclusion when the upper teeth extend over the lower ones (like biting over the lower teeth).
This problem can be quite severe, where the entire bottom teeth are covered by the front ones. And they may even go over your lips.
The upper teeth may even be in contact with the gums of the lower jaw. When it’s more severe, it’s known as a deep overbite.
However, it should be noted that an overbite isn’t the only malocclusion associated with buck teeth. Those who have this condition may also have an “overjet.” It’s when the upper teeth are projected a little too much in the front.
It’s possible for a person to have both an overbite and an overjet at the same time. Essentially, it means that their upper teeth will be covering their lower teeth (vertically in an overbite) and/or their upper teeth will also be abnormally projected (horizontally in an overjet).
While buck teeth can cause cosmetic concerns, they can also cause physical problems. According to a study published in The Saudi Dental Journal, both overbites and overjets can affect gum health. Additionally, people with buck teeth might also experience:
- Speech impediments
- Difficulty eating
- Difficulty keeping the mouth clean
- Accidental injuries and teeth damage
Celebrities With Buck Teeth
While buck teeth people are often ridiculed, some also find them adorable (especially in children) and even attractive. There are some popular celebrities who have buck teeth, such as:
- Matthew Lewis
- Laura Julie
- Morgan Freeman
- Freddie Mercury
- Kalki Koechlin
While some choose to keep their teeth as they are, there are many others who get dental work instead. For instance, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson had buck teeth during his childhood, but he got them fixed.
Are Buck Teeth Genetic?
Buck teeth can very well be inherited. Your genetics can influence the shape and size of your teeth. Additionally, it can impact the size and position of your jaw. Therefore, it can have a strong influence on the kind of teeth you end up with.
To get a better idea of this, you should consider looking at the teeth of your parents and relatives. If they have buck teeth and you do too, your genes might be involved.
What Causes Buck Teeth?
Besides genetics, the following may also give you buck teeth:
Thumb sucking is considered a parafunctional habit – behaviours that can affect oral health. This has also been associated with the development of buck teeth.
One study published in the Journal of Indian Society of Pedodontics and Preventive Dentistry found that those children who sucked their thumbs for more than 18 months had problems like open bite and overjets.
There are also reports of people who have overbite with a habit of thumb sucking. Your dentist will most likely look for ways to eliminate this habit before starting any treatment.
Tongue thrusting is another parafunctional habit that’s believed to contribute to the problem of buck teeth.
Overjet, in particular, has been reported in tongue thrusters because of the pressure they apply on the back of the teeth during swallowing. This habit may also cause an open bite and, in general, affect the alignment of the teeth.
If you’ve experienced an injury in which you lost your tooth or teeth, the space left behind by that can cause what’s known as “teeth shifting.”
Because of the blank space, the teeth will try to move into it, affecting the alignment of the teeth in the meantime. This may also end up giving you buck teeth.
Too many teeth may also cause malocclusion because of spacing issues. And because there might not be enough space in the back, your front teeth can get pushed out. Again, this can leave you with buck teeth.
Here, you should also note that pressure caused by a tumour or cyst in the mouth can also push the teeth out of their normal alignment.
Bonus: Do Pacifiers Cause Buck Teeth?
Dummies or pacifiers are believed to affect the alignment of teeth. According to a study published in Progress in Orthodontics, the use of pacifiers may be associated with an open bite (not the same as an overbite) and crossbite.
According to the Mayo Clinic, using pacifiers for a few years after the child is born is not going to cause long-term problems. However, if it’s used for a very long time, it can affect how the teeth are aligned.
How To Fix Buck Teeth?
While buck teeth don’t always require treatment, if it’s severe, you might be advised to get it treated.
Although some people also seek it because they want to improve the aesthetics of their buck teeth smile. No matter the case, you might have the following options:
Dental crowns is a type of dental prosthesis that can also be used to make an overbite less prominent.
To accommodate the crown, the dentist has to shave off a significant portion of your teeth, and this can essentially allow your dentist to reshape your smile.
Veneers may also help with an overbite. Since your dentist will shave your teeth and reshape them to place the veneers, you can minimise the appearance of an overbite.
However, they’re more likely to work better if you only have a minor problem.
Because buck teeth can develop due to different reasons, it’s possible that you might need surgery.
For instance, if it’s the shape and position of your jaw that’s giving you an overbite and/or an overjet, you might need jaw surgery to realign your jaw and teeth.
And, Can Braces Fix Buck Teeth?
Metal braces are usually the go-to treatments for buck teeth. Depending on the severity of your case, you might have to wear them for a couple of years or longer (but it can also be a few months). Also, a tooth extraction might be needed for it.
There’s no age limit when it comes to braces. You can get them as a child or even as an adult, but you’ll have to remain patient because it takes time.
Although if you don’t want to wear braces, you can also consider wearing clear aligners. But whether or not you’ll benefit from them depends on how severe your problem is. It can work for mild dental problems, but otherwise, braces will work better.
Here, you should also note that you might be recommended a palate expander treatment before getting braces. It’s used for widening the upper jaw.
Can Buck Teeth Be Filed Down?
Professional teeth shaving may be done by a dentist to reduce the size of the buck teeth. When they’re too large, they not only affect the aesthetics but also the overall bite.
So, while repositioning can help, it may also be necessary to shave the teeth a little so they can look normal.
Can You Fix Buck Teeth At Home?
You should not try to fix your buck teeth at home using nail filers or any other similar tools. You can end up with permanently damaged teeth with issues like pain and sensitivity.
Moreover, you can wear down the enamel of your teeth, which cannot regrow. And this will leave your teeth vulnerable to decay.
If you’re bothered by the appearance of your buck teeth, make sure to get in touch with a board-certified and experienced dentist or orthodontist.
How Much Does It Cost To Fix Buck Teeth?
The cost for fixing buck teeth depends on the kind of treatment you’re going to get.
In the UK, braces can cost £3,500 or more if you’re getting them privately. They’re available on the NHS as well for people under the age of 18 (and who the dentist feels needs this treatment).
Other than that, you can get dental crowns for £1,400 (for two teeth) and veneers for £1,500 (also for 2 teeth). But for a jaw surgery, you should expect to pay £10,000 or more.
In contrast, you can get these services for cheaper in Turkey because of the low cost of living and currency exchange.
For instance, you can get braces in Turkey for £1,200 (although back and forth travelling can be a bit of a hassle). But long-lasting treatments like crowns and veneers can be more suitable, which both cost around £200/tooth.
Jaw surgery will be expensive there as well but you might be able to save a couple of thousands of pounds.
How To Prevent Buck Teeth?
Buck teeth aren’t always preventable. For instance, if it’s genetic, there’s not much that you can do.
On the other hand, since oral habits like thumb-sucking, tongue thrusting, and even prolonged use of dummies may give you buck tuck, you should look for ways to eliminate them while your child is still quite young.
That might prevent the misalignment of their teeth.
People with buck teeth are often the target of many jokes. You’ll also find many buck teeth characters be the subject of much ridicule in the media. This kind of behaviour is completely unfair to those who actually have this problem.
Keep in mind that buck teeth can be genetic. And they might also develop due to certain childhood habits (over which people don’t have control). Still, if you don’t like how they look, there’s absolutely no shame in seeking treatment.
In fact, treatment is especially important if the buck teeth are causing other oral health problems. But in order to get an effective treatment plan for yourself (or your child), make sure to find a reputable and experienced dentist.
Reviewed and approved by Dr Izbel Aksit