Close to half of all people will need braces at some point in their lives. Misaligned teeth can cause tooth decay, jaw pain, speech impediments, headaches, and corrosion of the enamel. They can also lead to lower self-esteem and lost opportunities. But if your teeth don’t have anything super obvious going on, do you need braces? Here are some common but more subtle signs that indicate that you might need braces.
The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends flossing every day to clean the spaces between your teeth. Daily flossing helps prevent tooth decay and gum disease and, along with brushing twice daily, it is a vital part of your oral hygiene routine. One sign that you might need braces is difficulty flossing. If there are areas of your mouth where your floss tends to catch and stick, those teeth might be too crowded. Overcrowding is commonly corrected with braces.
Difficulties with forming certain sounds can be caused by several factors. If you or your child have a minor speech impediment and you have already eliminated the possibility of other causes such as hearing loss, brain injury, and autism, you might want to get an orthodontic evaluation. Sometimes, speech disorders are simply a matter of mechanics. When the mouth doesn’t open and close properly, it can lead to difficulties with forming certain sounds correctly.
Your temporomandibular joints (TMJ) connect your jaw to the bottom of your skull on both sides of your face. The muscles near the TMJ allow you to open and close your mouth. At least 15% of adults suffer from TMJ pain, which happens when the joint is out of place. With TMJ pain, you might experience pain whenever you open and close your mouth. The pain might even travel to your ears, causing frequent earaches. Additionally, TMJ issues can inhibit your ability to close your mouth properly. If you suffer from TMJ pain, you might need braces to correct the underlying issue.
If you aren’t sure whether or not you need braces, go ahead and schedule a consultation with an orthodontist. It never hurts to get checked out, and many orthodontists offer free consultations. You are worth it! Many of the best parts of life depend upon a healthy mouth: eating delicious food, talking to friends and family, and laughing and smiling.
There are many reasons why you might need braces in addition to the ones already mentioned. To learn about orthodontic issues that could require braces, click here! If you think you might need braces, contact us at Sonneveld Orthodontics today!