While the need for braces is officially determined through an exam and consultation, certain signs can also be detected by patients at home. Symptoms that highlight the need for braces can be visible or functional. Here is a look at how to tell if you might benefit from orthodontic treatment.

Visible Symptoms

Bite irregularities often make the need for braces obvious. These irregularities can be manifested by an overbite, such as with buck teeth and receded chin, or by underbite, crossbite, overcrowding, or gaps. Among children, bite irregularities are sometimes associated with irregular patterns of losing baby teeth. Some individuals who need braces also have jaws that appear unusually proportioned to their overall facial structure. Crooked teeth are also a very common sign that a patient requires orthodontic work.

Functional Problems

Many orthodontic issues can affect the functioning of the teeth and jaws, resulting in pain and other symptoms. For example, irregular teeth often do not meet properly, resulting in strain to the jaw joints during chewing. Over time, this can lead to TMJ, or temporomandibular joint disorder. Problems chewing food effectively can also result from an irregular bite, potentially causing digestive problems. Finally, teeth that do not fit together correctly may slide back and forth against opposing teeth, resulting in uneven wear that can lead to tooth decay and sensitivity.

Several options are available for straightening teeth today. Although many patients still get braces during childhood, adults of all ages are gradually opting for orthodontics more often. You can schedule a consultation with Dr. Nazari, our braces dentist in Houston, to find out if you need braces and learn about your treatment options.

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