If you’re wondering whether you or your child needs braces, you may have noticed some telltale signs. The easiest to spot is visibly crooked or crowded teeth. However, many patients do not realize the extent of the work they need done or the subtler signs that braces are needed to stay ahead of their oral health issues.
Here are 7 signs that may indicate braces as a potential orthodontic treatment for you or your child. If you think these signs apply to you, consider making an appointment with our team to discuss your options.
Want to find out if you or your child needs braces? Visit Reese Orthodontics in Charleston, SC for leading orthodontic care.
Sign #1: Crowded Teeth
Crowded teeth are the most visibly obvious sign that you need braces. Crowded teeth are indicated by teeth that have not had enough space to come in straight, possibly from a young age and likely worsening over time.
What causes crowded teeth? Many patients wonder why their teeth came in crooked, misaligned, or crowded while a family member’s did not. Genetics plays a huge role in how teeth come in, particularly whose side of the family you take after when it comes to your oral health.
However, genetics are not the end-all for causing crowded teeth. An excessive thumb-sucking habit may have changed the shape of your palette and affected how the teeth came in. Mouth trauma, diseases, or other accidents can cause teeth to crowd. Even naturally having an upper or lower jaw that is a different size than the other can cause teeth to come in crowded.
No matter what causes crowded teeth, when left untreated they can be hard to clean. This can eventually lead to plaque buildup, decay, gum disease, and even bone loss.
Sign #2: Underbite or Overbite
Overbites and underbites are another obvious sign that you need braces. When one row of teeth closes far in front or behind the other row of teeth, this is called an overbite or underbite, depending on which row is the issue. They are commonly caused by having jaws that are different in size.
Bite issues like these can increase your risk for mouth trauma, including tooth fractures. They can make chewing, biting, and even speaking difficult as well.
Sign #3: Open bite
Open bite, while not as common, is another bite issue that could indicate the need for braces. Open bite refers to when teeth do not close when you bite down. This is a jaw issue that can lead to problems with biting, eating, and even speaking.
Sign #4: Mouth fatigue
One of the subtler signs that you need braces is how your jaw feels, especially after eating. If your jaw feels constantly stressed, fatigued, or achy after chewing, you may have an alignment issue that braces can help correct.
People who notice that their jaw clicks or tires out while chewing may not immediately associate the issue with braces as a potential solution. However, if the fatigue is due to misalignment in your teeth, braces may be able to help.
Sign #5: Speech issues
Speech issues, especially in young children, can often be mistaken for other disorders. Frequently biting tongue or gums, slurring words, or having trouble eating may be treated as a behavioral problem at first. However, these issues could be due to misaligned teeth.
Orthodontists can assess speech issues to determine if the placement of the teeth is the cause. While biting your tongue every once in a while is an unfortunate side effect of being human, it shouldn’t happen too often.
Sign #6: Pain
Pain is not the natural state of your teeth. If your jaw aches or spikes in pain, especially while eating, you may require braces. Misalignment can easily cause your teeth to hurt due to your bite not lining up properly.
Sign #7: You hate your smile
An underrated sign that you need braces is how you feel about your smile. If you shy away from photographs, hate looking at yourself in the mirror, or just wish you had a nicer smile in general, you may benefit from braces.
There’s no reason to go on living with a smile you’re not proud of!
If you notice any of these signs that you need braces, you will need professional advice on your treatment and payment options. For orthodontic treatments in Charleston, SC, Reese Orthodontics offers the latest technology and treatment plans. Our advanced and comfortable orthodontic treatments can be customized to suit your needs. A consultation with Reese Orthodontics includes scans, a comprehensive exam, and a conversation with the orthodontist to discover which treatment options are right for you.
Schedule an appointment with us today to stay ahead of your oral health and receive the best possible treatment in your area.