Braces correct crooked teeth, a problem we can all see in the mirror. Did you know that braces can also fix other problems as well that may not be so obvious? So, how do you know if you really need braces?
At Reese Orthodontics, we will work with you to figure out if you or your child have common orthodontic problems that can be fixed with braces. Cosmetic issues like crowded and crooked teeth can be easily seen, but other problems with your bite and jaw may not be as apparent. Read on to learn how to know if you need braces and all the problems that this common orthodontic appliance can address.
Want to find out if you or your child needs braces? Visit Reese Orthodontics in Charleston, SC for leading orthodontic care.
You may see obvious signs that you need braces, or you may be wondering if your jaw pain can be fixed by a trip to your orthodontist. Here are some of the major problems that braces can treat:
Crooked or Crowded Teeth
Crooked or crowded teeth represent the most common reason people opt for braces treatment. In children, braces can help prevent teeth from crowding later. The advantage of early treatment is that crowding continues to get worse over time, meaning that braces have less work to do the earlier you get them.
In adults, crowded teeth can make it more difficult to effectively brush and floss, which can lead to additional problems. As a result, gum disease, bad breath, and tooth decay can be caused indirectly by crowded teeth. This means that in addition to cosmetic reasons to get braces, braces can also help to protect against these oral health issues.
When your bite is off, it can cause all kinds of problems with your jaw alignment. This can make it harder to eat, wear out your teeth, and even lead to headaches. The muscles in your jaw play a part in neck and head tension, meaning that bite imbalances can also lead to headaches and neck pain.
Two of the most common bite problems are overbite and underbite:
- Overbite means that your front teeth are too far forward compared to the bottom.
- Underbite is the opposite. This means that your bottom teeth are too far forward compared to your top teeth.
Both of these bite issues can lead to tooth fractures and eating problems—and both can be addressed with braces.
Another clear sign that you need braces is the presence of prominent tooth gaps. While not a functional problem, tooth gaps may not be your favorite look! Braces can help you straighten your teeth and close unwanted gaps.
How to Tell if You Need Braces
You may be able to identify the above conditions right away. However, signs and symptoms related to bite and jaw imbalances may not be as obvious. Here are some symptoms that may inspire you to ask your orthodontist about getting braces for yourself or your child:
- Visibly crowded teeth that make it hard to brush or floss
- Speech impediments
- Clicking jaw, especially while chewing
- Tired or sore jaw after eating
- Frequently biting your tongue
- Teeth that don’t touch when your mouth is closed
- Having too many or too few teeth
- Difficulty chewing or breathing (especially in children)
If you see these issues in yourself or your child, you may need braces. These problems can signify bite issues, abnormal jaw shape or size, crowded or missing teeth, or other functional issues that braces can address. You don’t have to live with jaw pain! Braces may be able to help.
When to Get Braces
When should you get braces? Does it make a difference if you get braces as a child or an adult? Here’s what you need to know:
Braces as a Child
With braces, early treatment can lead to better outcomes. This is why you should make an appointment with your orthodontist for children while they’re still in elementary school. The American Orthodontic Association recommends all children be seen by age 7. This allows you to identify problems with their bite, jaw, or teeth before they cause structural issues.
That way, you can get them started on braces treatment in middle school when they’re still young enough to be growing but have already lost all their baby teeth.
Braces as an Adult
If your parents didn’t treat your orthodontic problems early, however, you may be wondering if it’s worth it to get braces as an adult. Just because you’ve been putting off bite correction your whole life does not mean you should continue to do so.
As you get older, your jaw still grows, and your teeth still move. This means that if you need bite correction now, your problems will only continue to get worse if you hold off on treatment. Your overbite or underbite will begin to wear down your teeth and hurt your jaw. Your crowded teeth will make you more susceptible to oral diseases by impeding your brushing and flossing routine.
The bottom line? Even as an adult, it’s never too late to visit your orthodontist and get started on your braces treatment!
Make an Appointment with Reese Orthodontics
Do you need braces? If you are seeking an orthodontist in Charleston, SC for yourself, your child, or another loved one, Reese Orthodontics offers advanced technology and treatment options for the most comfortable and effective orthodontic experience. Don’t put off getting braces any longer. If you have issues, they will continue to worsen as you age without proper treatment. Schedule an appointment with us today!