These 6 Signs Say You May Need Braces
Your teeth are one of the first things people notice when they first meet you.
A great smile can go a long way when meeting someone new and making a memorable impression. But if your teeth aren’t so perfect, you may have to consider talking to an orthodontist about whether or not you need braces.
But you might wonder, are there other signs that could indicate a reason for braces? And if you have children, are there things you should watch for to determine if you should consider braces for them?
Luckily there are several signs that could point you, or your children, in the direction of braces. Let’s discuss six signs to watch for and find out how braces can help you and your family improve your smiles and quality of life.
1. Your Teeth Are Overcrowded
Perhaps the most common problem that leads to orthodontic treatment is overcrowding of the teeth. This can happen when there isn’t enough space in the mouth to allow the teeth to line-up properly. Teeth can get tightly packed together and overlap one another, which isn’t only an aesthetic issue but can cause oral health problems as well.
When teeth are too close together, it can be difficult to brush and floss. Food becomes trapped in these areas which leads to cavities, bad breath, and gingivitis. It also gives plague lots of out-of-reach places to build-up and cause damage.
Plus, it can take just as much toll on one’s self-esteem when there are crowding and overlapping front teeth. The simple acts of smiling or talking can become embarrassing.
2. There Are Gaps Between Your Teeth
On the flip-side to that, gaps between the teeth indicate there could be too much room in the mouth.
This can be common in children who still have their baby teeth. As children’s jaws grow bigger but their baby teeth remain, the teeth become too small for the area which can cause the gaps to form temporarily until the adult teeth come in.
But if gaps remain between adult teeth, this could be a sign that there’s still a mismatch of jaw size and teeth size. While there’s usually no harm in having gaps, it does leave more gum surface exposed to potential gum disease.
It also can still be extremely embarrassing and cause self-esteem issues for those suffering from it. That’s where braces can come in to help close those gaps and improve the smile.
3. You Can’t Bite Properly
When you bite down, your teeth should fit comfortably together. And if yours doesn’t, you’re not alone. Over half of the population have some type of incorrect bite. But even if it happens to be common, it doesn’t mean you should let it go unchecked.
There are four different types of abnormal bites that people suffer from.
An overbite is characterized by the upper front teeth sticking out much further than the bottom teeth. The bottom jaw appears to be more set back compared to the top.
An underbite is seen when the bottom front teeth stick out further than the upper teeth. This is the direct opposite of an overbite.
A crossbite is when one or more upper teeth sit behind the lower teeth. In a normal bite, the top row of teeth always sits just in front of the lower teeth.
An open bite happens when the top teeth and the bottom teeth are unable to touch when the jaws are closed.
If not corrected, abnormal bites can cause an increased risk of trauma to the teeth, increased gum recession of the affected teeth, excessive wear of enamel, and complications with dental restorative work.
4. You Have Difficulty Chewing or Speaking
Some people notice that they have trouble chewing. Their jaws tend to go in a direction that they didn’t intend for them to go.
This can result in accidentally biting the inside of their cheek or hitting the roof of their mouth. Sometimes the teeth can collide unexpectedly which can be quite jarring and painful to the jaw.
A misalignment of the jaw is usually to blame for this. And it can also cause difficulty in talking and regular speech patterns. When the jaw is misaligned, forming words and controlling the direction of the jaw can make speech sound abnormal.
By correcting this misalignment with braces, people notice a dramatic improvement of their ability to chew, speak, and even swallow.
5. You Have Trouble with Jaw Pain
Jaw pain may not seem like a symptom that indicates braces are necessary, but it has more to do with it than you may think.
A misaligned jaw can cause continuous tension in the jaw. Or the jaw tends to slip out of place frequently. Yet another cause of pain can be grinding and clenching of the teeth at night in your sleep.
And all too frequently, pain in the jaw causes a chain reaction of other symptoms such as headaches, loss of sleep, and tension that radiates down through the neck and back.
With the help of braces, all of these painful symptoms can go away and improve your quality of life.
6. You Lost Baby Teeth Earlier or Later Than Typical
This is one sign you likely never thought of. How can the timing of losing your baby teeth effect whether or not you need braces now? It actually has a lot to do with it.
Usually, baby teeth are lost in the same order that they came in. And the adult teeth arrive within three months of losing that baby tooth. However, if baby teeth are lost out of order or is not replaced within that three-month window, that’s when the problems can occur.
Baby teeth are there to reserve room for the adult teeth. And when the timing of it all goes out of order or lasts too long, it can have a negative effect on the spacing of teeth. They can eventually come in crowded, with gaps, or crooked.
The Sooner You Know You Need Braces, The Better
Knowing what to watch for when it comes to deciding if you need braces or not can take the worry out of the decision-making process. But if you have any concerns, always talk to your orthodontist about your options and the best course of treatment for you.
Are you ready to make an appointment to discuss how braces can help you? Contact us today!