Not all issues with your smile are visible. That’s why it’s important to pay attention when it comes to figuring out if you need braces or not. Sometimes, you may feel as though your teeth are straight, so there’s no need to seek the expertise of an orthodontist, but there may be issues under the surface that can cause trouble later. The good thing is there are signs to watch out for that indicate the need for orthodontic treatment. So, do you need braces? Here are four ways you can tell.
1. Your Teeth Don’t Line Up Properly
It can be a pretty clear indicator you need braces if you look in the mirror and see your bite doesn’t line up. You may have one of the following bite issues with your teeth:
- Underbite: Bottom teeth protrude past the upper teeth
- Overbite: Upper teeth extend over the bottom teeth
- Crossbite: Top and bottom teeth do not line up on the sides
- Open bite: Top and bottom teeth do not touch
You may also notice if your teeth are crooked, or if there’s too much space or not enough space between the teeth. These are all telltale signs something is amiss with your smile.
2. You Experience Jaw Pain or Discomfort
If you can feel your jaw shifting or making sounds, it may be a sign you need to seek the help of an orthodontic professional. Even though this isn’t always apparent and may not affect everyday life, not addressing issues with the jaw can have consequences later. Jaw issues may not be as obvious as alignment problems, but they’re still just as serious, if not more serious than issues with your bite. Pain or discomfort in the jaw area most often calls for the expertise of an orthodontist, and perhaps an oral surgeon. It’s best to correct this issue as soon as possible, so the problem doesn’t become worse over time.
3. You Have Difficulty Biting and Chewing
Problems with your bite can result in trouble with biting or chewing. Sometimes, when there’s an issue with the alignment of your teeth, you may overcompensate when you eat, causing premature wear of the teeth. If you are finding it difficult to correctly and comfortably bite and chew your food, it may mean your bite is off and orthodontic treatment is needed. The same goes for those who find themselves biting the sides of the mouth while eating, as this can also indicate a problem with your bite.
4. Speech Is Affected
Difficulty pronouncing certain words can indicate a problem with your bite. Seek the help of an orthodontist if you are noticing this in yourself or your child, so it can be addressed as soon as possible. In fixing these issues, especially in young patients, it will help alleviate problems with speech as they get older.
It isn’t always a cosmetic issue that calls for orthodontic treatment. That’s why it’s important to take notice if something is off with your daily habits, so you can be sure you’re addressing any problems with your teeth or jaw. With the help of orthodontic treatment, you’ll be able to correct your issue and be free of any discomfort or difficulties with everyday tasks in the future.
Please feel free to contact us for more information about this topic. At Crescent Orthodontics, our team is excited to help you achieve a beautiful smile!