How to Know if You Need Braces

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Braces fix more than just crooked teeth.
Braces fix more than just crooked teeth. (Image: no more braces image by Kelly Kane from Fotolia.com)

There are a myriad of reasons, both cosmetic and health-related, that people choose to go through the discomfort of having braces. If the look of your smile causes you to consider braces, it is important to know that most of the time, crooked teeth do not cause long-term problems for most people. You can look for certain specific factors when determining if your health and well-being is affected by your smile.

Determine if your crooked teeth cause you pain. This includes headaches, back aches, and even pain in the joints of your jaw.

Check yourself for an under-bite: when the lower jaw is longer than the upper jaw, and juts forward. Clamp your teeth and smile into a mirror. If you can't see all of your upper front teeth, you may have an under-bite.

Check yourself for an over-bite. This is the opposite of an under-bite. You will not be able to see all of your front bottom teeth when you smile.

Determine if you frequently suffer from an upset stomach. This can be related to teeth that are not lined up properly, making it impossible to thoroughly chew your food.

Determine if you have breathing problems when you are sleeping. This is especially true in older persons, and can be caused by a poor palette construction.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you are self-conscious of your smile but have no health problems associated with your teeth, getting braces is a great way to boost your self-confidence.
  • Braces are expensive. Discuss payment plans in advance with your chosen orthodontist.

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