How do you know when to get braces? It’s an important question to ask, because if you wait too long, the problems that braces are meant to fix will only get worse. That might force you to wear braces for longer, or to live with a smile that never looks as good as it could. If you suspect that it might be time, or you want to stay ahead of the curve, use this guide to help you decide when to get braces.
Why Do You Need to Get Braces?
Braces are designed to slowly and subtly correct orthodontic problems. These can include overbites, underbites, incorrect jaw positioning, or disorders of the jaw joints. The goal of this treatment it to correct alignment issues, improve the appearance of the patient’s smile, and head off consequential orthodontic problems before they get worse. Both adults and children can wear braces, but it is much more common for children, and they are usually not applied until the patient is at least 10.
When to Get Braces for a Child?
Children don’t pay much attention to their teeth, and they are never excited about a major dental procedure, so it’s largely up to the parent to watch out for the signs that a child needs braces. Here are the most common:
- Early, late or otherwise irregular loss of baby teeth
- Struggles with chewing or biting
- Teeth that are crowded, misplaced or blocked out.
- A jaw that appears to shift or makes audible sounds
- Consistent biting of the teeth or mouth
- Teeth that either touch abnormally, or do not touch at all
- Unusual proportions between the teeth or jaw and the rest of the face
You should watch out for these signs, but ultimately leave it up to a dentist or orthodontist to tell you if your child needs braces.
When to Get Braces for an Adult?
Adults most commonly need braces because they didn’t get their orthodontic issues corrected as a kid. Over time they got worse, and if they are not treated now they can become severe.
The Orthodontists at Nuface can help. Many of the signs that you need to get braces are the same as they are for children, but there are a few that are unique to adults that you should watch out for:
- If it is uncomfortable when you chew, it suggests that your bite it not properly aligned.
- If you regularly get food stuck in your teeth/mouth, it could be because the gaps between you teeth are too large. This problem can exacerbate tooth decay.
- If you have speech issues, it could be due to problems with the position of your teeth and jaw.
- If you wake up often in the middle of the night, you airway might be restricted for orthodontic reasons, making it difficult to breath properly.
Once again, it’s essential to leave the final decision up to an orthodontist or dentist. Only their expertise can tell you if you truly need braces.