If your teeth are slightly crooked or seem to be crowded, you may benefit from braces. However, orthodontic treatment is not an exact science and braces are not a one-size-fits-all solution. If you do require treatment, an orthodontist can work together with your dentist to determine the best solution. However, it may be helpful to look for a few signs that can alert you to a possible need for treatment so that you can speak to an orthodontist about your concerns.
Crowding is not the only issue that can cause problems. If teeth are too far apart due to missing teeth or small teeth, it can cause complications with jaw function. Spaces may also allow teeth to shift in the future, altering the bite as time goes on. Braces can help to close the gaps and keep teeth in place for optimal function and aesthetic appeal.
A shifting jaw may make sounds and can sometimes be painful. In children, this may be a sign of a developmental issue that can cause problems later. Braces can help to guide development so that the problem is corrected before real damage is done.
If you bite your cheeks often, it could be a sign of an overbite or underbite. In some cases, these issues may also cause your teeth to hit the roof of your mouth when you chew. Braces can help to shift the teeth and jaws back into alignment to correct an underbite or overbite.
Breathing through your mouth is often overlooked as a sign that you may need braces. However, mouth breathing can signify complications with the development of the teeth and jaws. An orthodontist may be able to assess whether mouth breathing has to do with development and alignment issues. If this is the case, braces may help to correct the issue or guide development.
If chewing is difficult, it may cause you to avoid eating certain foods or may make mealtimes stressful. This can be very inconvenient and can eventually affect your health. Braces can help to put the jaws and teeth into proper alignment, which can make eating more enjoyable and help to avoid complications.
It may seem obvious, but some people get used to the way their smile looks and don’t see crooked and uneven teeth as an issue. Crooked and uneven teeth can make dental care more difficult, though, which may cause problems with dental health. Crooked teeth may also affect the way that you think of yourself, causing you to smile less and be embarrassed about smiling. Braces can deflect these issues and help you attain a smile that you can be proud to show off.