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Do You Need Braces?

Braces are an orthodontic appliance designed to correctly align the teeth and jawbones. Not every person with slightly crooked teeth with need braces, but they can be very beneficial. Since braces are not installed until a patient’s mouth is more developed, it can be tricky to determine if younger children will need braces. Here are a few ways of telling if you or a family member will need braces.

Look at Your Teeth

This is the first step you should do. Examine to see if your teeth are overlapping each other, turning sideways, or sticking farther out than each other. All of these can be signs that you have crowded teeth that are not sitting properly in your jaw. You can also check for large gaps between your teeth. These gaps can harm your bite, but braces will fix them.

See What Happens When You Bite Down

In addition to spacing issues, braces can also be used to fix misaligned bites. The ideal bite is one where the upper teeth are set just slightly farther out than the lower teeth. Bite down firmly and see if either your upper or lower teeth are extending significantly past each other.

Consider Your Pains

Try to remember if you frequently get headaches, jaw pains, or sore teeth. These symptoms might not be extremely noticeable, but they are signs that the jaw and teeth are not working together.

Think About Your Oral Hygiene

Do you regularly suffer from bad breath or have problems with cavities and gum disease? If any of these issues happen even though you frequently brush and floss your teeth, it may be because crowded teeth are trapping bacteria in places where you cannot clean it away. Having oral issues even though you practice good hygiene can mean that your crooked teeth are interfering with tooth cleanings.

Try Chewing Food

In addition to making smiles look more appealing, braces are important because they help people to chew correctly. Therefore, the biggest sign of needing braces will be difficulty chewing your food. If you have trouble biting down on items or have to hold your mouth in strange positions to grind up food, you definitely need braces. Many people who need braces regularly bite their tongue or cheeks because they are having trouble chewing.

Since it can be difficult to figure out whether or not you need braces, it can be helpful to get advice from a professional. Talk to your dentist if you think braces might be needed or if you have any more questions about the teeth straightening process. This can often be very helpful because your dentist can refer you to a talented orthodontist in the area.