Do I need braces? The question can pop up for any number of reasons. Maybe you’re unhappy with your smile, and have been thinking about braces for a long time. Maybe you’re experiencing pain or discomfort in your teeth or jaw. Maybe your teeth (or your kids’ teeth) are coming in, and look like they might need straightening. Maybe you are comparing braces to other forms of dental correction (retainers, Invisalign, etc.). Or maybe you just had a dentist recommend that you get braces, and you are wondering if you really need them.
Whatever spurs the question, it’s nice to have some answers. We’ve compiled here some signs that might indicate your dental health would benefit from braces.
Overcrowded or Crooked Teeth
This is the most common cause for braces – especially in children. Overcrowded teeth are a result of insufficient space. When teeth develop without enough space, they crowd together and often end up crooked or overlapping each other. If crowded teeth aren’t treated they can get worse over time, making the process of cleaning your teeth properly become more and more difficult.
It is important that overcrowding is treated, as over time, it can lead to plaque build-up, bad odors, tooth decay, and even gum disease. While it is easier to have overcrowding treated as a child, it is still possible to be fixed as an adult and prevent any further complications.
Just as teeth that are too close together pose a threat to your dental hygiene, so do teeth that are too far apart. Whether this is due to missing teeth, disproportionately small teeth, or naturally occurring gaps, many people choose to get braces to resolve the issue.
It is recommended that large gaps be treated by braces, as food particles are often caught in these spaces, allowing bacteria to grow and putting you at risk of damaged gums.
There are several ways in which your bite may be misaligned, and it is easy to discover whether you have bite issues. When you bite down and bring your teeth together, they should meet in the middle. If your upper teeth protrude in front of your lower teeth, you have an overbite. If it is the other way around, and your lower teeth extend past your upper teeth, you have an underbite. If when you bite down your upper and lower teeth do not meet at all, leaving a gap between them, this is an open bite.
Misaligned bites can lead to a build up in plaque and decaying foods, which can in turn lead to gum disease, abscesses, and even the loss of teeth. They can also cause difficulty in chewing and strained jaw muscles, which can cause frequent headaches.
Frequent and prolonged jaw discomfort, which is often caused by dental issues, can often lead to headaches and earaches. Having these dental problems resolved by braces can in turn lessen the severity of or completely remove to accompanying aches and pains.
TIP: Did you know that you don’t need a dentist’s recommendation in order to get braces? You can go straight to an orthodontist, who will be able to tell you whether or not you would benefit from braces, what might be involved in your treatment, and how to go about it.
If you or your child are suffering from any of these dental issues, contact us today at Solas Orthodontics to book a consultation and see what options are available to you.