Sometimes, people need braces for cosmetic reasons. Others need them for medical ones. But how do you know whether you should be booking that appointment with your orthodontist or not? This is how.
The Obvious Reasons
Crowded or crooked teeth
Crowded or crooked teeth are also known as malocclusions and the most obvious way to see if you have it is by looking in the mirror. Are your teeth sitting sideways? Overlapping each other? Do some protrude more than others? Crowding is the most common problem braces fix. If looking in the mirror isn’t helping, try using dental floss. If it’s difficult to slide the floss between your teeth, chances are they’re too close to each other.
An impaired bite
Another fairly straightforward way to tell if you need braces is by examining your bite. When you bite down, your upper teeth and lower teeth should fit together. If one set protrudes significantly past the other, you may have what is called an overbite or an underbite which means it’s time to visit your dentist. There are also crossbites (upper teeth improperly placed inside the lower teeth) and overjets (when your lower front teeth do not touch your upper front teeth), both of which also require treatment.
Too much space between teeth
Crowding isn’t good for teeth. But large spaces between them aren’t good either. If you have missing teeth, large gaps between teeth of teeth that are too small, then you may need braces to correct the problem – before it impairs your bite and jaw function.
Now that we’ve explored the more common signs behind needing braces, let’s take a look at less well-known ones.
Getting food stuck in your teeth all the time
Everyone gets food stuck in their teeth at some point or the other (usually during a hot date or important meeting) but if it’s a recurring and constant problem for you, then it may be a sign that you need braces to get rid of the gaps between your teeth. Otherwise, they become a haven for bacteria and no one wants that.
Again, we all suffer from bad breath occasionally. Except actors in Hollywood the “morning-after”. But if people are cringing every time you open your mouth in their vicinity, it may be a sign of bacteria trapped between crooked or crowded teeth, or the presence of pockets between teeth.
How you speak
If you have a lisp, there are chances that misaligned teeth are causing it. Braces can eliminate your lisp by properly aligning your teeth and jaw.
Frequent jaw pain
A misaligned jaw can put way too much stress on your temporomandibular joints (the hinges that attach your jaw to your head). Frequent pain in this area might be a sign that you need to align your jaw properly and correct your bite.