How to Know if You Need Braces

Many people choose to use braces to achieve a straight smile. Whether you’re in the typical age group that gets braces during their teen years or you’re already well into adulthood, you can still benefit from having braces. But how exactly do you know if orthodontic treatment is right for you?

You Have Crooked Teeth

Let’s start with the basics. Hands down the most common reason people choose to get braces is because they want to improve the look of their smile. Issues like crowding, excess gaps, and malocclusions can create an appearance that people find less than ideal. People have crooked teeth for different reasons, with genetics being the most common factor. Many people inherit narrow jaws that don’t allow for the ideal space for teeth to grow in, resulting in crowding. For others, bad childhood habits, such as extended thumb-sucking or pacifier use, or injuries to the mouth cause teeth to grow in crooked.

You Have an Uncomfortable Bite

You may smile proudly and be totally happy with your naturally straight smile, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t problems braces can fix. If you constantly are biting your cheeks when eating, can’t seem to bite down evenly, or need to adjust your jaw to smile normally, these are all signs that there are problems with your bite. Ideally, your upper teeth should neatly fit over your lower teeth when you bite down, covering the top of your lower front teeth. Your lower teeth should also rest slightly behind and inside your upper jaw. When there are irregularities in the size and shape of the jaw, it can make biting down uncomfortable.

You also may have a hard time biting comfortably due to some teeth being higher than others. This problem can make eating harder than it needs to be and also puts the teeth that stick out at a greater risk of wearing down.

You Are Constantly Getting Cavities

You may be steadfast in your oral hygiene habits, but still find yourself needing fillings or crowns on a regular basis. This is because crooked teeth, even if they don’t show up in your smile, easily trap food in hard-to-reach places. When teeth are crooked or crowded, they can create little nooks and crannies that can be incredibly difficult to clean out, even with regular flossing. This dramatically increases your risk for plaque and tartar buildup, which decays your teeth and causes cavities. This isn’t to say your oral hygiene habits are all in vain, but you will certainly be rewarded more for your efforts with teeth that have been straightened with braces.

If you’re hesitant to get braces due to the stories you’ve heard about discomfort and eating restrictions, we can tell you the process is well worth it. Braces are smaller, faster-working, and more comfortable than ever, so there’s not much to worry about. Plus, at Smith Orthodontics, we offer great alternatives to traditional braces, such as the Invisalign clear aligner system. Our advanced scanning technology also gets rid of the need for messy and uncomfortable impression and can give you an idea of what your results will be in minutes.

Contact Smith Orthodontics today to schedule a no-pressure, complimentary consultation.