Warning Signs That You Need Braces
Do you avoid smiling because of misaligned teeth? Does your teeth or jaw hurt when you chew or bite hard foods? These may be a few indications that you need braces. While your orthodontist can help you determine the right treatment path, it is always a good idea to empower yourself by arming yourself with the correct information. Here are a few warning signs that you need braces or Invisalign treatment, what to do, and how to get started prepping for the process. If you are interested in learning more about Invisalign treatment, Dr. Zhu (a Pleasant Hill Dentist in CA), has a great article that will help you learn more about that.
1) Difficulty Biting or Painful Biting
When you start to eat your meal, you may notice that it is difficult, or even painful to bite down. This happens primarily with hard-to-chew foods like apples or sticky candy. Some people notice that they are continually biting the side of their cheek or tongue when they eat. The misalignment of your teeth may be causing this type of disordered eating.
2) Inconsistent or Excessive Gaps in Teeth
When you have too much space in-between your teeth, it can be a straightforward sign that braces are on the horizon. Leaving large gaps in your smile can put you at risk for tooth decay, jaw misalignment, and eating difficulties. Food may easily get trapped in the gaps, causing gum irrigation and on-going pain. Braces can help lessen these gaps and prevent future problems.
3) Crooked or Crowded Teeth
When you have a malocclusion (crooked or crowded teeth), you will need braces to create more space and realign your bite. One way to tell if you are at risk for crowding is to floss regularly. If you are having a hard time flossing between certain teeth, you likely have a space issue that needs to be addressed with braces. If left untreated, a malocclusion can turn into an impacted tooth which may have to be pulled or lead to costly surgery.
3) Pain or Clicking in the Jaw
If you are experiencing clicking, creaking, or jaw pain, it may be because of tooth misalignment. While it can be very easy to write-off occasional jaw pain, it is essential to bring up to your orthodontist or dentist. Pain in the jaw can be significantly lessened by straightening out your teeth and correcting your bite. Jaw pain can also be a symptom of a more pressing issue that needs to be addressed immediately. Better to be on the safe side and seek the advice of a dental professional.
4) Protruding Teeth
If you have protruding teeth that stick beyond your lips, you will need braces to put them back into alignment. While protruding teeth are tough on a person’s self-esteem, they also put an individual at high-risk for a dental injury. Teeth that aren’t protected by the lips can easily be knocked out during an accidental fall.
What Do I Do If I Need Braces?
If you have discovered that you have any of the warning signs that you need braces, you may be asking yourself, “Ok, what now?” The first step is to make an appointment with your orthodontist. They will be able to examine your teeth and your bite to see if you are a good candidate for braces. They may ask you about your chewing, any pain you are experiencing in the mouth or jaw.
What If I Can’t Afford Braces?
Most dental insurance plans will cover some portion of braces, as long as your licensed orthodontist recommends it. Make sure to talk to your dental insurance company ahead of time to determine if you have coverage for braces, and what any out-of-pocket expenses you may need to cover. Most dental offices have financing options to help families and individuals afford braces. The best investment you can make is in yourself and your smile.
Research What Type of Braces You Need
From traditional metal to invisible braces, there are several types to choose from. However, you will need to speak with your orthodontist to see if you are a candidate for specific options. Every kind of braces1 have their own pros and cons and may not align with your smile goals. Do some preliminary research on your own, write down any questions or concerns, and then bring it to your orthodontist’s office to discuss your options.
Need Braces? Contact Our Office Today
If you are just starting your journey to a better smile, you may not have an orthodontist you can trust. The best way to find a professional and trustworthy orthodontist is to come to their office and talk to their staff, their hygienists, and see if they are a good fit for your needs. We see countless patients that come in with the warning signs of needing braces. Our office2 is happy to sit down with you and discuss your options and how to move forward.