Braces are orthodontic dental devices that help correct the alignment of the teeth and the positioning of the bite. Usually, young teenagers get dental braces for early intervention to correct teeth misalignments and improper bites. But if you’re an adult looking to get braces, it’s never too late!
So how do you know when you need dental braces? Stick around, and we’ll let you know the tell-tale signs that you need braces and the best orthodontic treatment for you.
Five signs that you need braces
If you are experiencing any of the signs listed below, it may be time to schedule an appointment with your trusted dentist or orthodontist for a braces consultation.
#1. Gaps between the teeth
Spaces between the teeth are one of the most noticeable signs to consider getting dental braces. They look unsightly, so many patients want immediate treatment for them. While some people have small gaps, others have more significant gaps due to missing teeth. Braces are commonly recommended to correct teeth spacing issues.
#2. Teeth crowding
Another obvious sign that you need braces is overcrowded teeth. This is very visible when you smile or speak, as some teeth would be protruded or positioned behind other teeth. Teeth crowding may be due to genetics or uneven jaws.
Overcrowding of the teeth is notorious for causing dental decay and gum disease. This happens because it is difficult to clean and floss between the teeth as they are not correctly aligned. As a result, plaque builds up, and bacteria thrive. Treatment is with dental braces. If you have small jaws, your dentist may opt for tooth extraction before braces to make room for the proper positioning of the rest of your teeth.
#3. Abnormal bites
Mild bite issues do not pose risks and can be left untreated. But severe bite problems such as the excessive overlap of teeth (deep bite) or severe protrusion of the upper teeth (overjet) can cause many dental issues, including jaw joint disorders.
Patients may also observe rapid wearing down of teeth, jaw joint pain, and chronic headaches resulting from bite problems. With frequent dental check-ups, your dentist can quickly identify if you have an abnormal bite and provide treatment with dental braces.
#4. Clicking or pain in the jaw joints
Jaw joint pain is another sign that you have teeth misalignments and need braces. When the teeth are not in their correct position, the bite slides, and the jaw joints can be affected. If this is left untreated, it can result in temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD), which manifests as facial and ear pain, headaches, and stiffness of the jaws.
#5. Difficulty in chewing or speaking
You will most likely need braces if you feel pain in your jaws when you chew and speak. Severe bite problems can result in speech impediment and difficulty chewing, particularly if the jaw joints are already affected, and any movement causes pain. Some patients may also find it hard to pronounce certain words as the bite is off-kilter.
Why the need for braces?
If you have teeth misalignments and an abnormal bite, you can expect a roller-coaster of problems if you leave it untreated. On the contrary, when you get braces to correct your teeth and bite, you can enjoy these benefits:
• Straighter teeth
• Improved facial profile
• Boost in self-confidence
• Relieved pressure on the jaws for better jaw health
• Enhanced the speech
• Encouraged eating for improved overall health
• Prevention of tooth decay and gum disease
• Maintenance of good oral health
So how do braces work?
For the teeth to be in proper alignment, enough force must be applied to encourage tooth movement. With traditional metal braces, the force comes from the metal brackets on the teeth held together by an archwire. With the constant application of force and pressure, braces can move the teeth to their correct positions and improve your bite.
Your dentist can also manipulate the amount of force applied to each tooth using rubber bands and fixed appliances that help pull the tooth to the desired position.
Living with braces
Patients commonly feel some discomfort, especially with newly placed and adjusted braces. This is normal because the wires and brackets are working to move your teeth. After a few days, this should ease. At this time, a soft diet is recommended.
Traditional metal braces remain fixed in the mouth during the entirety of the treatment. Because of this, patients often have difficulty brushing and cleaning around their braces. Special interdental floss can be used to remove plaque and debris between teeth.
Regular dental visits are required to tighten the braces to ensure they continue to work. This may be as often as once a month or as prescribed by the dentist. Progress checks will also be required as you move towards a straighter smile.
Modern teeth straightening solution with clear aligners
Some people may find that living with braces can be inconvenient because of the changes that they have to incorporate into their lives. So to solve that dilemma and fix the alignment of your teeth, clear aligners are an excellent solution.
Clear aligners are a discreet and removable teeth straightening treatment for mild to moderate teeth misalignments. Instead of metal brackets, a series of plastic aligners move the teeth through a snug fit over the teeth. They are supplied in batches, with each aligner being replaced when it has done its job of moving specific teeth – usually every 14 days.
The aligners are removable, so there is no need for diet restrictions. Simply pop them off before eating, brush your teeth and rinse your aligner before placing it back in your mouth. Aligners must be worn for at least 22 hours, and with excellent compliance, you can see results in just a few months.
Introducing the most convenient and affordable clear aligners
Straight My Teeth offers the latest clear aligner technology that straightens your teeth at home in just 4 to 6 months. The entire process works like regular clear aligners, with the difference that your treatment is monitored remotely by a team of experienced dental professionals.
To get started on your Straight My Teeth journey today, take our free smile assessment so we can check if you are a suitable candidate for our high-quality clear aligners.
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Medically Reviewed by
Dr. Kishor Kumar Pradhan