Over four million people in the US and Canada are receiving orthodontic treatment. With numbers like that, you may be wondering, "do I need braces?" Luckily, there are some pretty obvious signs that you need braces to straighten your teeth. There are also plenty of reasons to do it once you know you need straighter teeth. We've rounded up the most common orthodontic issues for you to compare to your own teeth and make a decision.
Signs That You Need Braces
The most obvious signs that you need braces are the visual ones. There are a few abnormal teeth positions that are visibly wrong and need to be corrected by braces. Here's what to look for.
Crowding is the most common orthodontal problem. It's a result of not having enough space in your mouth for your teeth. Look and see if some or many of your teeth are overlapping.
The opposite of crowing is gapping. If you have too much space, teeth won't touch each other to create a pleasant smile with straight teeth. While some celebrities use their unique tooth gap look to their advantage, there are risks and difficulties you can face with teeth gapping.
When your front teeth excessively overlap on your bottom teeth, you have an overbite. There are many risks involved with an overbite such as gum recession and tooth trauma because your front teeth are more vulnerable in this position.
An underbite is the opposite of an overbite. Although it's less common, this is when the bottom teeth overlap the top teeth in the front of your mouth. It's likely caused by an irregular jaw size and can lead to uncomfortable chewing. If you've been having trouble eating, look at the way your teeth naturally sit when you close your mouth to see if you have an underbite.
A crossbite is when some of your teeth overlap, but not all of them. Your teeth can be worn down by the constant grating of this abnormal bite. And if you wait too long to correct it with orthodontic braces, you may find that the damage is too far gone to repair your teeth, and you'll need to go through extensive dental surgery.
When you bite down, do all of your teeth touch? If not, you probably have an openbite. This tooth positioning makes talking and eating very difficult and can cause lower self-esteem.
Issues You May Face Without Braces
The obvious problem you'll have if you keep your crooked teeth is your crooked smile. Studies have shown that crooked teeth make people feel insecure and less likely to want to share their smiles. But did you know that there are also health risks associated with not fixing your orthodontic issues?
Difficulty Brushing and Flossing
If your teeth are crooked, and especially if they're overcrowded, it's going to be hard to reach all the sides of all of your teeth while brushing and flossing. Overcrowded teeth can also make things too tight for bristles and floss to get in.
Frequently Biting Your Tongue
Everything in your mouth is supposed to fit together in a specific way. When things, such as your teeth, are out of place everything else will feel in the way. This is why people who need braces find themselves frequently biting their tongue or cheeks accidentally. Not only does this lead to a lot of discomfort, but you may also end up with infections and sores in your mouth. At the very least you will find it uncomfortable to eat and speak.
Speaking of speaking, people with orthodontal problems often have a harder time speaking. You may have a full-blown speech impediment, or you could just find it hard to say certain sounds or get tired after speaking for a while. Your mouth has to do a lot of extra work to make the sounds necessary for speech in order to get around teeth in the wrong place. You'll likely find it a lot easier and less tiring to talk for long periods of time once your teeth are straight.
Fatigue From Chewing
Similarly, if you need braces, you may feel tired after chewing. Again, your teeth have a lot of extra work to do in order to chew properly. In some cases, your teeth could be so crooked that chewing is painful. If you find yourself opting for softer foods to avoid discomfort while eating, it's time to consider whether you need braces.
What To Do If You Need Braces
Now that you've determined that you need braces, what do you do next? Orthodontist office trips are expensive, and traditional braces can be unsightly - especially as an adult. Plus, you need to take the time out of your days for regular checkups and tightening. Who has the time anymore? Luckily, there are new options for handling crooked teeth. ALINGERCO straightens your teeth at home! It's an invisible braces system where you create your own impressions of your teeth. The ALINGERCO team comes up with a treatment plan for you, and then you receive clear braces in the mail. You don't have to worry about constant orthodontist visits, the unsightly look of braces on teeth, or the massive expense of traditional braces. ALINGERCO has payment plan options for every kind of budget.
Do I Need Braces? Yes! Let's Get Them!
If this list reminded you of your own teeth situation, then you know the answer to the question, "Do I need braces?" It's time to fix the problem before it gets worse. Feel more comfortable cleaning your teeth, talking, and eating. Get a smile that improves your self-esteem and leaves you dying to show it off. Get started on your smile journey with ALINGERCO. Take our free assessment to see if Alignerco invisible braces are right for you.
Orthodontic Facts. (n.d.). Canadian Association of Orthodontists. https://cao-aco.org/find-an-orthodontist/orthodontic-facts/
Celebrities With Gap Teeth. (n.d.). Ranker. https://www.ranker.com/list/celebrities-with-gap-teeth/celebrity-lists