Do I Need Braces? This is a question our orthodontists and dentists get on a daily basis. During typical cleanings and checkups your regular dentist should be able to tell you if braces may be something you need and refer you to an orthodontist. But it’s always best to take control of your oral health by keeping an eye out in-between your cleanings for signs you need braces. Our expert orthodontists have come up with 11 signs you can check for at home to answer the question, Do I Need Braces?

11 Signs You Need Braces:

  1. Crowding/Crooked Teeth
    The most common reason for braces in children and teens is overcrowding. When teeth are crowded, they become crooked which can make it hard to chew but can also make them hard to clean properly. Crowding & crookedness can make flossing almost impossible and won’t allow a toothbrush to reach certain areas of the teeth. This can lead to food and plaque being trapped causing decay and gum disease. Braces work to properly space the teeth so resulting in a more appealing and healthier smile.
    Crowded Teeth - Do I Need Braces
  1. Overbite
    This is a type of abnormal bite where your upper teeth overlap your lower teeth. We all have a slight overbite it only becomes abnormal when the upper teeth overlap too much of the bottom teeth. An easy way to tell you have an overbite is to look at your teeth in the mirror while you’re biting down. You should be able to see a good proportion of your lower teeth. If the majority of your lower teeth are hidden you may have an overbite.
    Overbite - Do I Need Braces?
  1. Underbite
    An underbite is another kind of abnormal bite, in this case your upper front teeth are behind your lower teeth. This is typically caused by a disproportionate jaw size and can create issues biting and chewing or an imbalanced facial appearance.
    Underbite - Do I Need Braces?
  1. Crossbite
    A cross bite is a misalignment of your teeth or jaw. When you bite down your upper and lower teeth on the sides of your mouth should align.  With a crossbite these teeth will not line up. This can cause uneven wear on your teeth. Braces help align the teeth or jaw to solve this problem.
    Crossbite - Do I Need Braces?
  1. Openbite
    An openbite is when your upper and lower front teeth do not touch. This can cause speech problem and problems biting food. An openbite is genetic but can also be caused by excessive pacifier use and thumb sucking as a child.
    Openbite - Do I Need Braces?
  1. Gaps In Between Teeth
    Gaps between your teeth is the opposite of overcrowding. This issue is mostly thought of as a cosmetic issue; however, that isn’t accurate. Gaps between your teeth can cause food to get stuck in-between leading to plaque buildup, tooth decay, and gum disease. Braces can help move these teeth closer together to fix this spacing problem.
    Widely Spaced - Do I Need Braces?
  1. Jaw Pain
    Not all orthodontic issues are easily visible, sometimes the first sign of needing braces is jaw pain. This typically means you have a serious bite issue and should see an orthodontist right away.
  1. Speech Issues
    A misalignment or other orthodontic issue can create speech issues such as lisps. If you are dealing with a speech issue it’s best to consult an orthodontist to see if your teeth are the cause.
  1. Misaligned Teeth
    One of the easiest to spot issues is misaligned teeth. Take a minute to look at your teeth in the mirror next time you brush. Do you have teeth that stick out and aren’t aligned with the rest of your teeth? Then you have misaligned teeth. Misaligned teeth can cause difficulty biting and chewing but can be easily fixed with braces.
  1. Overjet
    Commonly confused with an overbite, an overjet is when your upper front teeth point outwards protruding into your upper lip. This can cause issues with chewing, uneven wear on the teeth, and a higher risk of impact injuries to the upper front teeth.Overjet - Do I Need Braces?
  2. Bad Breath
    Surprisingly enough, bad breath can be a sign you need braces. Above we discussed how crowding, misalignment, and other orthodontic issues can make it hard to have good dental hygiene. If you have been brushing and flossing but still suffer from bad breath it may be a sign that food particles and bacteria are getting stuck between crowded and misaligned teeth. When these orthodontic issues create places where you cant reach by brushing and flossing food particles get trapped, begin to breakdown, and bacteria flourishes causing bad breath.

If you think you or your children have any of these issues schedule an appointment with our expert orthodontists. You may be tempted to keep putting off the issue but the longer you wait the bigger the problem could become. Book your orthodontist consultation now by calling 202-509-0801 or filling out our contact us form.