An overbite is a common orthodontic problem where the upper front teeth excessively overlap the lower front teeth. Overbite severity can vary, and many people seek orthodontic treatment to correct the condition and achieve a properly aligned bite. 

Treating an overbite can sometimes be a slow process, and the duration of treatment depends on several factors. This article covers the factors that influence the treatment timeline for an overbite and will help give you a general understanding of how long it may take.

Overbite severity

One of the most significant factors in overbite treatment duration is the severity of the overbite. A mild or moderate overbite will take less time to fix than a severe overbite. In mild cases, treatment could take as little as six months. A more severe case could take up to two years. Every overbite is different and could take shorter or longer than that. 

A mild overbite also gives the patient more choices in treatment. They could choose from different types of braces or aligners, and if treatment duration is important, they could make a selection based on that. If you have a severe overbite, treatment options are more limited. There may be only one or two ways to adequately address the overbite, meaning you have less of a say over how long the treatment will last.


Age plays a big role in overbite treatment duration. Children and teenagers have jaws and teeth that are still developing, and this development may make it easier to guide them into position, requiring a shorter treatment duration. In fact, many orthodontists consider a child’s growth spurt to be the optimal time for treatment. Braces can harness the natural growth to create more room and versatility, often cutting down on treatment time.

Adults and older people can still receive effective overbite correction, but it may take a little bit longer. As you age, your bone structure gets denser. This makes the entire movement process slower.

Treatment method

The treatment approach chosen by your orthodontist can impact the duration of overbite correction. Traditional braces and clear aligners are common methods used to treat overbites. Traditional braces consist of brackets and wires that apply continuous pressure to move the teeth into the desired position gradually. To address an overbite, aligners use a series of custom-made clear trays to achieve tooth movement. The complexity of the case and the type of treatment chosen can influence the treatment duration.

Patient compliance

Following the orthodontist’s instructions is the best way to avoid complications and slowdowns during overbite treatment. Failure to comply with the orthodontist’s treatment plan can unnecessarily prolong the treatment. If the plan calls for wearing your aligners for 22 hours per day, there is no wiggle room. You have to wear them for 22 hours a day, or you’ll risk taking two steps back for every step forward.

Additional orthodontic issues

Sometimes, your overbite may be part of several other orthodontic issues. You may have poor teeth spacing or other misalignments. Treatment duration could be longer to address these other issues. Talk to your orthodontist about all perceived problems to ensure that your overbite treatment goes as smoothly as possible.

Bottom line

Remember that every overbite is unique, and there is no set timeline for treatment duration. Braces or aligners can take as little as 6 months, but usually longer, depending on the case and your care provider. Only your orthodontist can provide an accurate estimate of the treatment duration after evaluating your specific overbite condition. Learn how invisible aligners cost and start your journey toward a brighter smile today.