One morning you get caught up looking in the mirror while brushing your teeth. You might not have recognized before but your teeth are looking a bit crowded now. And you can’t help but feel like possibly some of those same teeth moved and now look a little crooked. Is this a sign that you might need braces? How can you know?
Braces can be a substantial oral hygiene factor which many people only consider an aesthetic device that will straighten your teeth. Figuring out if you require braces is the first step towards a more healthy smile.
Signs You Need Braces
Because braces are designed to align your teeth, the most prevalent signs that you might require braces are normally easy enough to see, especially when you’re looking in a mirror. But many symptoms of misaligned teeth won’t always be visible. Your orthodontist will be able to spot these symptoms when they do a complete exam of your teeth.
If you’re experiencing some of the following symptoms, you may need braces:
- Difficulty flossing: you should floss between your teeth at least once a day. If you’re having trouble getting the floss in between your teeth, your teeth may actually be the problem.
- Clicking sounds: Clicking noises when your jaw opens or closes could be a sign of alignment issues or crowding teeth.
- Noticeably crooked teeth: You might need braces if you are noticing this typical sign.
- Teeth that are visibly crowded: Several problems, including discomfort, can be caused by crowded teeth. Spacing teeth so that they are more comfortable is what braces are manufactured to do.
- Frequent pain: The jaw and mouth can also be put under stress by teeth that are misaligned. If you have consistent pain, especially after eating or waking up in the morning, braces may be able to help.
- Jaw that doesn’t close properly: If your teeth don’t fit together somewhat well even when you close your mouth, it’s probably because one or more of your teeth misaligned.
- You bite your tongue: If you find yourself regularly biting your cheeks or tongue, you could have a misalignment issue.
Some symptoms, especially for younger adolescents, include:
- Losing baby teeth early (or late): Sometimes, crowded mouths can make it more difficult for baby teeth to fully grow in or for new adult teeth to effectively push the baby teeth out.
- Thumb-sucking past age two: Thumb-sucking usually develops as a way of easing pain and discomfort associated with teething. Children will often suck their thumb for a longer time if they have pain from misaligned teeth.
It’s a wise decision to talk to your orthodontist about whether braces are a good choice for you because every mouth is different.
Can You Outgrow The Need For Braces?
Traditionally, most people think of braces as being related to adolescence, and that makes sense. Correcting alignment problems can be accomplished efficiently at that age. But adults account for 20% of braces and rising.
It’s not uncommon for people to still need braces as adults. As you get older, your teeth can still move and adjust. You may end up needing braces as you get older or your dental condition changes.
That’s why you should consult an orthodontist if you begin to have discomfort, pain, or jaw alignment problems. Adults who want teeth-straightening will have numerous possibilities, including traditional metal braces and more “invisible” clear plastic aligners.
Oral Hygiene is Improved by Braces
It’s important to find out what advantages you can get from braces once you’ve determined you need them. If you have difficulty flossing in between crowded teeth, for instance, bacteria and plaque can build up, resulting in gum disease and gingivitis. Crooked teeth can also be hard to clean, resulting in tooth decay and cavities.
Both tooth decay and gum disease can have serious repercussions for your oral health. That means that if need braces you will create severe oral health issues if you choose not to get them. And if your jaw is not precisely aligned, a painful condition known as TMJ can be the result.
Give us a call if you think you may need braces.