Prosthodontics, Implants, Cosmetic & Reconstructive Dentistry

How to Know If You Need Braces

Good oral health is as vital as your general wellbeing. A problem in your mouth will likely affect your general health. That is why it is advisable to consult a dentist whenever you feel something is wrong with your mouth. It could be that your teeth are crowded, misaligned, too spaced out, or you have a bad bite. These are severe dental issues that could result in more severe oral health problems if ignored.

Fortunately for you, dentists have a wide range of solutions to treat and correct some of these issues to improve your oral and general health. Among them are braces to correct abnormalities on your teeth that could result in oral health problems.

But how can you tell that you need braces?

There are tell-tale signs to watch out for, which will be discussed in this text. For more information and help with braces and other cosmetic dentistry solutions, contact a dental care specialist.

How to Know If You Need Braces

Everyone wishes for a fantastic smile. However, it is impossible to enjoy your smile if you have oral problems. For instance, a bad breath will make it impossible for you to smile and socialize with confidence. It might affect your esteem. That is why it is crucial to visit a dentist if you have an oral issue, however minor it might seem.

Dentists today have a wide range of solutions to the common oral health problems we experience every day. It is impossible not to find help if you engage the help of a competent dentist. Among the solutions you might find available today is the use of braces. It is a mistake to believe that braces are only for people without straight teeth. The truth is, braces are not worn for only cosmetic purposes. You might need braces because you have an orthodontic issue affecting your oral health and general wellbeing.

Do you have an oral problem and are wondering if you need braces?

Here are some of the signs that you might need to visit a dentist soon for braces. With these signs, you might well prepare yourself for what is ahead, considering that you will have to wear braces for twenty months or more. It will also give you enough time to learn all about braces for a more informed decision before visiting your dentist for the installation.

Crooked or Crowded Teeth

It helps to know the condition of your teeth, gums, and jaw at all times. An oral problem will manifest as a problem in one or more of these. Since braces are mainly to correct a problem with your teeth, you might want to examine the condition of your teeth to determine whether there is a problem with them that could be causing the oral problem you are experiencing.

Crooked or crowded teeth are the first tell-tale sign that you might need braces. They are also called malocclusions. A malocclusion could include overlapping teeth, teeth that seem sideways, and some teeth protruding significantly more than the others. It may appear as if you have more teeth in your mouth than usual. Dental crowding is among the problems that you might correct with braces.

If you want to be sure that your teeth are indeed overcrowded, use dental floss. If you have crowded teeth, it will be difficult for dental floss to reach between the teeth since your teeth are too close to each other.

Malocclusion may not seem like a big problem to many people, except in cases where some teeth seem oddly out of place. But it could be the cause of dental issues you have been battling for a long time. For instance, it becomes difficult to clean your teeth properly when they are crowded or too close to each other. Your brush will not reach those tiny spaces left by your teeth. Some food particles might remain there, causing bacterial growth. It also becomes a problem for a dentist to clean your teeth professionally when they are too crowded during your dental visits.

As a result, you start experiencing plaque buildup on those areas that remain uncleaned day in and day out. Plaque buildup is the onset of gingivitis, and periodontitis, which are dangerous oral problems that could affect your teeth and underlying structures. It might spread further to other parts of your body, impacting your general wellbeing.

Improperly cleaned teeth could also cause abnormal wearing of the enamel, tooth decay, and cavities. People with crowded or crooked teeth are at greater risk of suffering from these oral issues, especially periodontitis.

You may wonder what causes crooked/crowded teeth. Well, a lot of things come into play. For instance, some people have smaller jawbones that might not contain all the teeth. That causes the teeth to crowd and shift from their original position.

Other people experience dental crowding once their wisdom teeth start to develop. Since other developed teeth already occupy the gum, the developing wisdom teeth squeeze in any available space they can find, displacing other teeth. Eventually, the front teeth appear crooked since their bones and roots are not as strong as those of the teeth at the back.

Overly Spaced Teeth

Dental crowding is not the only problem you might have with your teeth appearance, necessitating the installation of braces. Your teeth could fit the jawbone perfectly but are more spaced than they should. You may experience this problem if you have more missing teeth, smaller teeth, or larger spaces between the teeth. That could be a significant cause for concern because of several reasons.

First, overly-spaced teeth will affect the normal functioning of your teeth and jaw, including your bite. A good bite occurs when the upper and lower jaw fall perfectly on each other when you take a bite. A bad bite will cause you numerous problems, including dental wear and tear, resulting in tooth injury.

Dental spacing is among the issues that braces could rectify. Braces pull the teeth together and hold them in place for the period you will have them on. It is an excellent way to do away with the excess space between teeth.

Some people have spaced-out teeth from birth. Your teeth might have been overly-spaced as a little child, but the spacing was lost as you continued to grow. Other people experience larger spaces between their teeth due to dental problems like gum disease. The inflammation caused by gum disease damages your gums and the tissues supporting your teeth. That could cause your teeth to weaken and space out. If the space between your teeth results from gum disease or any other dental issue, your dentist would recommend treatment first and only install braces once you have completely healed.

A Bad Bite

Your teeth are designed to fit together perfectly when you bite down. You have the same number, type, and size of teeth on your upper jaw as your lower jaw. Therefore, a perfect bite is normal. Anything less than perfect will be considered a bad bite and could cause the many oral health issues you have been experiencing.

If you have dental issues and are unsure whether you require braces, consider your bite first. Do this by biting down and gauging how perfect, or otherwise, your bite is. If you have spaces between your lower and upper jaw or your lower or upper teeth protrude more significantly than the others, you might have bite issues that must be corrected as soon as possible.

Here are some indications that you might have a bad bite, which braces can correct:

  • When you bite, your upper teeth protrude more than the lower ones, covering more of your lower teeth.

  • Your lower teeth protrude more than the upper ones when you bite, causing an underbite.

  • Your upper and lower teeth don't touch when you bite down, leaving some space between them. The space is referred to as an overjet.

  • Your upper teeth are not correctly positioned on the lower teeth, causing a crossbite. If not treated, a crossbite might result in facial asymmetry.

When you have a bad bite, it becomes increasingly hard to keep your teeth clean. Thus, you are likely to have more food particles remaining in between your teeth every day, which could decay and result in plaque buildup. As previously mentioned, this buildup is the cause of many severe dental issues, including cavities, dental abscesses, tooth loss, gingivitis, and periodontitis. Other problems you should worry about when you have a bad bite are:

  • Difficulties in keeping your mouth completely clean, leaving you with a bad breath, and at risk of bacteria infections

  • Difficulties in biting or chewing, which could cause soreness on your jaws, and sometimes gastrointestinal discomfort

  • The tightness and straining around the jaw muscles, leading to regular headaches

  • Excess overbites are likely to result in damaged gum tissues on the upper part of your mouth by the lower front teeth. That could make chewing quite tricky and sometimes very painful.

Other Symptoms to Consider

It is not easy to tell straight away whether braces could help your situation. Sometimes you must consider other symptoms that could tell the condition of your teeth. Some of these symptoms are:

How Easily Food Sticks In Your Teeth

Normal and healthy teeth will function well with minimal or no discomfort. Therefore, if you realize that you have more food remaining in between your teeth after every meal, it could indicate a problem requiring immediate treatment. Sometimes it could be hard to tell whether the spacing in your teeth is normal or abnormal. But how much food sticks in your teeth could indicate a problem with your dental spacing.

When you have more food stuck between teeth after every meal, it could be challenging to clean all the food particles every day, even with regular cleaning and flossing of teeth. Note that you will have more food stuck with every meal you take. You will have bacteria growing in your teeth in no time, which eventually could lead to major dental issues like cavities, gingivitis, and gum disease.

Braces are a perfect way to eliminate gaps and pockets between your teeth, which could trap bacteria and remaining food particles.

A Bad Breath

You might have bad breath if you fail to regularly clean and floss your teeth. However, a persistent or constant bad breath could indicate a more severe dental problem. If you have had a bad breath even with the regular cleaning and flossing routine recommended by dentists, it could be an indication that bacteria could have started growing in between your teeth.

It could be because you have crowded or crooked teeth that are difficult to keep clean however much you try. Even the tiniest food that remains in your teeth could result in the growth and spread of bacteria. If the problem is not treated immediately, the bacteria will grow and spread fast enough, causing pus pockets in your gums, inflammation, and other issues that result from gum disease, including weakened teeth.

Braces will correct the problem causing food particles to become trapped in your teeth, eliminating the bad breath and any possibility of bacteria growth in your mouth.

How You Speak

Sometimes a dental problem will not manifest in an issue within your mouth. It could be in the way you look or speak. Your teeth play a significant role in the way you pronounce words. Therefore, a malocclusion is likely to affect the way you speak.

Speech problems are sometimes associated with crooked/crowded teeth. The way your teeth appear could disrupt the harmony between your tongue, teeth, and jaws, vital in speech production. Eventually, it will affect the way you speak certain words.

Have you been pronouncing words differently, and you suspect that it could be because of your crooked or crowded teeth? It may be time to have that checked by an experienced dentist. Braces are great in aligning your jaw and teeth, ensuring that nothing gets in between your speech development.

Regular Jaw Pain

Jaw pain is a clear indication that something could be wrong with your teeth or supporting structures. When the pain becomes more frequent, you might want to find out what the problem could be. A misaligned jaw could be the reason for your chronic jaw pain. A misaligned jaw could pressurize your TMJs, resulting in jaw pain and sometimes headaches. Therefore, if you experience pain or soreness around your jaw due to a misaligned jaw, you might require braces to align the jaw correctly and correct the bad bite, both of which are causing unequal tension in your TMJ.

Braces will correct the problem, stop the pain, and help prevent any unforeseen oral issue that could occur after continuous tension in your TMJs.

Considering Having Braces

If you have considered all the above possibilities and strongly feel that you require braces, it may be time to start preparing for it. You might need to see a dentist for proper diagnosis and ensure that you do not have other underlying problems that might first require treatment. For instance, if the issue you are experiencing is due to an untreated oral problem like gum disease, your dentist will not recommend the installation of braces until you receive proper treatment for the underlying problem.

Additionally, you might want to keep in mind that you will have braces on for close to two years. Braces do not work on your teeth overnight; it takes time for misaligned teeth and jaws to return to their proper alignment. Therefore, come to terms with the idea of having to live with the braces on for that long before you can begin the treatment process.

You might want to hear the experience of someone who had braces in the past. They will help you understand how it feels and give you a few tips that could help you maintain a healthy mouth for the period you’ll have the braces.

Finally, speak to an experienced orthodontist about your oral problems and concerns regarding braces if you have any. A competent orthodontist will conduct a detailed examination of your teeth and the entire mouth to rule out other issues. He/she will also speak to you about other possible options to make sure you are making an informed decision. Once you decide to go for braces, the orthodontist will guide you through the process and be there for you through the recovery period.

Find Reliable Dental Care Services Near Me

Are you experiencing dental problems that could require the installation of braces in Tarzana?

Tarzana Dental Care is the place to go for all your dental needs. Our competent dentists and orthodontists are always ready to offer proper and detailed diagnosis and treatment for the issue you are experiencing, all at a fair price. Our goal is to prevent existing problems from becoming worse, restoring your smile and confidence. Call us at 818-708-3232 if you suspect you require braces, and let us walk the journey with you.