Some people are born with straight teeth that stay straight throughout their lives. Others require orthodontic treatment to have straight teeth and a good bite. How do you know if you need braces? How long will you need to wear braces? Can you straighten your teeth with Invisalign instead?
At our office, we check to see if you need braces or Invisalign to have the perfect smile. In some cases, it is quite obvious through crooked teeth or an overbite that braces are needed. However, other cases may require more inspection. You may have a crossbite that is not noticeable, but it can cause jaw pain and tooth erosion if not treated. Thus, it is best to get an orthodontist’s opinion early to decide if braces are needed.
Will My Child Have Teeth That Need Braces?
Orthodontic issues can begin at an early age, which is why the American Orthodontic Association recommends that your child see an orthodontist by age 7. By that time, most of the front baby teeth have come out, and the permanent teeth are coming in. We can x-ray your child’s mouth to see whether the rest of the teeth will have room to come in properly or whether they may need some breathing room with a little help from Ohana Orthodontics.
Though it’s rare to need to see an orthodontist before age 7, there may be signs your child will have orthodontic issues that need to be addressed right away. If you’re in the Canby, OR, area, visit Ohana Orthodontics if you spot these symptoms in your child:
- Your child’s jaw clicks or pops
- They tend to breathe through their mouths
- They frequently bite their cheek, lip or tongue accidentally
- They thrust their tongue against their teeth frequently
- Their baby teeth fall out too early
- Their permanent teeth begin to come in before the baby teeth fall out
- They suck their thumb or use a pacifier beyond age 2
- Their teeth don’t come together properly when they close their mouth
- Their teeth are crowded or crooked
- They have poor nutrition
- They have poor oral hygiene
- They have genetic or medicinal issues affecting their teeth
Do I Need Braces as an Adult?
Braces are not just for kids- adults are getting treatment with braces and Invisalign to correct dental issues. It’s never too late to get the smile of your dreams! Orthodontic treatment can help reduce damage to teeth caused by bad bites and improve issues like tooth decay and gum disease. Additionally, bad bites can lead to jaw pain, headaches, and neck aches.
Signs That You Need Braces
Crooked teeth is the most obvious symptom of dental issues that need repair, but braces can correct much more.
If you have any of these bad bites, consider treatment with braces.
- Overbite – An overbite is when the upper teeth sit forward of the lower teeth with a gap in between. It’s natural to be just in front of the lower teeth, but if there is a large gap, that is an overbite and can lead to bite issues and eventually jaw pain. This is one of the most common types of malocclusions, or bad bites.
- Crossbite – The upper back teeth (upper molars) do not sit properly on the lower teeth and instead sit inside the back teeth. This could be one tooth or many of them. A crossbite can cause jaw pain, excessive tooth wear and problems chewing, which could lead to digestive issues.
- Underbite – The opposite of an overbite where the lower teeth sit in front of the upper teeth in the front, sometimes with a gap. An underbite can cause biting and chewing problems, jaw pain and even breathing issues.
- Gap teeth – This issue is when you have a large gap between teeth that should sit flush with one another. It’s common in the front teeth but can happen elsewhere. Food can get stuck easily and cause accelerated tooth decay in these gaps.
Crowded teeth – This is an obvious one, when the teeth don’t have room to come in properly and instead come in sideways, in front of other teeth or behind them. This causes self-esteem issues as well as problems biting and chewing.
What Can I Expect Getting Braces?
Your first visit to the orthodontist will be for an evaluation and examination to determine exactly what kind of treatment is best for you. We offer free, no-obligation consultations for your first visit to Ohana Orthodontics! Once we’ve agreed on the best treatment, whether with braces or Invisalign clear aligners, we may begin your treatment by preparing your mouth for braces, or you might get braces right away.
For example, if you or your child has tongue thrusting issues, we may fit you with a tongue crib to train your tongue to sit back off your teeth and not push them forward. If you have a narrow palate (roof of your mouth), we may use a palate expander to make room for your teeth straightening out.
Once the preliminary treatment is done, we put on your braces or create your Invisalign clear aligners. You’ll wear these depending on how severe your dental issues are. In general, most people wear braces 12-24 months and clear aligners 9-15 months.
By the time your treatment ends, you’ll have a beautiful new smile with straight teeth and less pressure on your jaws. You may even notice a difference in your profile. It will be like a whole, new you!
If you’re in Canby, OR, let Ohana Orthodontics show you what braces can do for you and your family. Schedule an appointment to get started today!