Will I Need Braces?

Around the time of middle school, you will likely begin to see a lot of kids wearing braces. At that point, we start to wonder, will my child need braces? Here is what you need to know.

Not everyone needs braces, some people have naturally straight teeth with no problems. However, many of us do need braces whether for aesthetic reasons or due to overcrowding on our mouths. It is also possible you think your bite should be adjusted.

No matter the reason the first step in knowing whether or not you need braces is speaking to your dentist. They will able to refer you to an orthodontist that can talk to you about your options. Most people see an orthodontist for the first time between the age of seven and fourteen. While the earlier the better, it is not uncommon now for adults also to be seeing an orthodontist and having braces.

However, if you are impatient and want to get a general idea of the various signs you may need braces before talking to your dentist, here are some of the top signs you need braces:

  1. Crooked teeth. The main purpose of braces is often to make your teeth straighter. Therefore, if you can tell your teeth are not straight, you may need braces. Plus, it is interesting to note people who lose their baby teeth relatively early in life tend to need braces more often than people who do not. This is because their adult teeth were growing and coming in while they still had baby teeth or the adult teeth could have taken longer to grow in. As a result, the teeth may not have come in as straight or as normally as for people who lost their baby teeth later on.

  2. Crowded mouth. Another big reason people get braces is because their mouth is overcrowded. When your mouth is overcrowded, there are simply too many teeth in your mouth. This leads to an inability to clean the teeth properly and other dental issues. In some cases, teeth may have to be pulled to make room in your mouth. If this is the case, braces will be needed after to realign your teeth.

  3. Jaw shifts. Some people have an issue with their jaw moving or making sounds. This is a result of an issue with the formation of your teeth and jaw line. While less common, this is a problem that orthodontists can help address.

  4. Underbite, overbite, crossbite, and openbite. These four different problems are very similar and all have to do with the alignment and overlap of your teeth. An overbite is the vertical and horizontal overlap of the front teeth, which causes the front teeth to stick out farther than the bottom teeth. A crossbite is when the upper tooth is behind the lower tooth, and an underbite is when all of the upper front teeth are behind the front lower teeth. Finally, an open bite is when the front teeth do not touch. While these are all slightly different, they share some things in common. While you may want to get them fixed for aesthetic reasons, there problems all have other medical problems associated with them that would lead someone to need to be treated.

  5. Hard time chewing food. This may just seem like a nuisance, but it actually is bad for your teeth and overall health. Usually this is caused by the teeth being improperly aligned of there being large gaps between teeth. Braces can easily fix this problem.

These are just the top five signs you may need braces. Knowing whether or not to get braces is an important decision, one that should be done with the help of your dentist and orthodontist. To get help with this decision, contact an oral health care professional.

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