If you are between the ages of 12 and 17, it is likely that many—if not most—of your peers have braces. While less common for adults, thanks to more inconspicuous braces like Invisalign, many adults are making the decision to undergo orthodontic treatment as well. In fact, the Pennsylvania Dental Association estimates that approximately four million people in the U.S. are wearing braces at any one time. If you have been considering orthodontic treatment, here are five signs you may need braces.
- Problems chewing.
If you find that it is hard to properly chew your food, it may be because you have crooked, misaligned, or overcrowded teeth. In addition to making the teeth straighter and putting them in the correct position, braces also help bring the jaw into better alignment. When your teeth and jaw are better aligned, it is much easier to bite into and chew up your food.
- Bad breath.
Believe it or not, bad breath can actually be a side effect of crooked teeth. The reason for this is because when teeth are crooked and misaligned, it is easier for bacteria to hide in these hard-to-reach areas of the mouth. When bacteria linger, it causes bad breath. Crooked teeth can be hard to clean thoroughly because some areas are nearly impossible to reach, while it is much easier to adequately remove all the germs in your mouth with straight teeth by brushing and flossing every day.
- Missing teeth.
If you are missing teeth, you are a great candidate for braces. For people missing a tooth, the surrounding teeth will slowly shift into the empty space, and this can cause many dental and orthodontic problems in the future. In many cases, braces can help solve this problem by closing the gap that was created by the missing tooth.
- Jaw pain.
Braces don’t just help straighten out teeth, they also help align the jaw. A misaligned jaw is often the result of an uneven bite, so as braces straighten out your teeth, your bite is corrected and your jaw shifts into its proper position. A jaw that is not in its correct position not only causes discomfort, it can also cause facial asymmetry.
- Insecure about smile.
Finally, if you hesitate to smile or laugh because you feel insecure about crooked teeth, braces are a relatively easy and quick way to give yourself the confidence you’re looking for. Everyone deserves a confident smile, and braces can be the solution to give you the self-esteem you are looking for.
Keep in mind these are only five signs you may need braces. Your dentist is your first line-of-defense when it comes to next steps and getting a bright and beautiful smile. Please make an appointment with us today at Cornerstone Family Dentistry; we would love to help you with all of your dental and orthodontic needs!