Six Signs You May Need Braces

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Are you embarrassed to smile because of your crooked teeth? When you consume crunchy foods, do you feel discomfort or pain in your teeth or jaw? These might be indicators that it’s time to consider braces. 

A straight and beautiful smile is not only aesthetically appealing, but it also helps to maintain good oral health. While some people are born with perfectly aligned teeth, many need orthodontic treatment to rectify dental misalignments. 

Braces are a popular remedy for such issues. Over 4 million people in America are unsatisfied with their smiles and seek a little dental makeover. While your trusted orthodontist is the ultimate authority on deciding the best treatment, arming yourself with the right knowledge is always a good idea.

So, let’s look at six warning signs that indicate you may need braces, what steps to take, and how efficiently an orthodontic treatment can alleviate your dental concerns.

Crooked or Crowded Teeth

If you notice that your teeth have been misaligned or crowded, it clearly indicates that you need braces. Crooked teeth not only affect your smile’s appearance but can also give rise to functional problems. 

When teeth are not correctly aligned, they form nooks and crevices that are difficult to reach with regular brushing and flossing. This creates an ideal environment for plaque and food particles to build up, giving bacteria an optimal breeding ground. Bacterial accumulation can cause tooth decay and cavities over time, putting your oral health in danger.

Furthermore, misaligned teeth make cleaning between teeth and along the gumline more difficult, increasing your risk of gum disease. If left untreated, gum disease, or periodontal disease, can cause inflammation, bleeding gums, and tooth loss.

If crooked or crowded teeth prevent you from proudly displaying your pearly whites, consider braces treatment for a beautiful smile and perfectly straight teeth. Orthodontists can correct misalignment and reduce the likelihood of these dental disorders by gently shifting your teeth into their right places. Braces not only straighten your teeth, but they also enhance your dental hygiene by making it simpler to clean them properly.

Gaps between Teeth

Seeing visible gaps between your teeth might indicate that you need braces to correct the problem. These diastemas can develop as a result of a variety of reasons, such as:

  • Aberrant jawbone growth
  • Tooth loss
  • Oversized teeth

Many people are self-conscious about these spaces, which may lead them to avoid smiling or being anxious about their teeth. However, the influence goes beyond looks.

Biting and chewing food can prove difficult with large gaps between teeth. Food particles tend to become lodged in these gaps, giving rise to plaque development and tooth damage. Furthermore, the misalignment induced by these gaps can strain the jaw joints, causing discomfort, pain, and possibly temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ).

The good news is that braces can save the day! Braces move teeth towards the ideal alignment by delivering gentle and constant pressure, gradually closing gaps. This pressure causes the teeth to migrate closer together over time, resulting in a more uniform grin.

Frequent Mouth Breathing

Although it may not be directly connected to teeth, if you find yourself breathing via your mouth rather than your nose frequently, this might indicate misaligned teeth. The discomfort of closing your mouth to breathe through your nose signals that you may have tooth alignment concerns.

While mouth breathing is not necessarily caused by dental problems, if you observe that you or your adolescent has difficulty closing the mouth or prefers to breathe through the mouth, it may be worth contacting an orthodontist to discuss the potential of braces.

Orthodontic treatment for fixing teeth alignment can possibly improve nasal airflow and overall dental health. An orthodontist can assess the condition and suggest the best course of action for better breathing patterns and achieving a healthier, more balanced smile.

Overbite or Underbite

An overbite occurs when the upper front teeth overlap the lower front teeth excessively, whereas an underbite occurs when the lower teeth protrude beyond the upper teeth. These biting abnormalities might have a visual impact on the symmetry and balance of your smile. Because of the misalignment, the top or lower teeth may look more prominent, affecting your face and smile.

Aside from aesthetic considerations, bite abnormalities can influence your oral health, like:

  • An overbite or underbite can cause chewing and jaw alignment issues. When the upper or lower teeth do not contact properly while biting or chewing, the jaw joints and muscles are strained, resulting in discomfort, jaw pain, and difficulty completing daily tasks such as eating and speaking.
  • Bite irregularities can result in an unequal distribution of biting forces, resulting in excessive wear and tear on some teeth. This can lead to tooth decay, enamel erosion, and increased sensitivity.

Jaw Pain and Shifts

If you hear clicking, creaking, or have jaw pain, it might be due to dental misalignment. While it’s easy to disregard minor jaw discomfort, consulting with your orthodontist or dentist about it is critical. 

Straightening your teeth and correcting your bite can help relieve jaw discomfort significantly. Furthermore, jaw discomfort sometimes signals a more serious problem that demands immediate care. To be safe, get counsel from a dental specialist and handle the condition as soon as possible. Taking proactive efforts towards a healthy smile might result in long-term relief and better dental health.

Early Loss of Baby Teeth

If your child loses primary (baby) teeth at a young age, it can influence their adult teeth. In such circumstances, there is a greater chance that the permanent teeth will not develop properly or may not grow at all. Braces can help to resolve this issue by ensuring that the growing permanent teeth are straight and aligned.

Orthodontists can use braces to influence the growth and alignment of incoming adult teeth. This preventive method helps to generate the essential room for permanent teeth to grow properly, reducing the likelihood of crowding, misalignment, or missing teeth.


Recognizing signs that you may require braces is the first step towards a healthier, more visually attractive smile. Braces can address many dental misalignments, from crooked teeth and bite abnormalities to gaps and functional issues. If you see any of these indicators in your oral health, you should see an orthodontist who can examine your specific issues and offer the best orthodontic treatment for you. Remember that prompt intervention can prevent you from future oral health problems and put you on the path to a confident smile.


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