You may think you need braces simply to straighten crooked teeth. And, in part, that’s true. It is important to identify symptoms with your teeth early on to ensure the straightest and healthiest smile possible. In fact, we recommend children coming in for a consultation by seven years old, so we can determine if any action is needed immediately, or in the future.

But orthodontic issues can also have a negative impact on your overall oral health if left unaided. Here are five additional reasons why you may need braces.

The 3 Types of Braces we Offer for Teens

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1. Overbite

In a perfect world, there should only be a millimeter or two of an overlap between your top teeth and bottom teeth. An overbite occurs if your top teeth land too far ahead of your bottom teeth. If you don’t correct an overbite with braces, you may experience clenching that results in an aching jaw or grinding teeth at night. Your top teeth are also much more prone to trauma or injury with an overbite. Fixing an overbite may result in your face looking different as a result (in a good way!), because it changes the shape of your smile.

2. Underbite

An underbite is the opposite of an overbite, meaning the bottom teeth protrude farther out than the top teeth. It may lead to aches and pains in your jaw, imbalanced facial appearance, and difficulty biting and chewing. Correcting an underbite can also change your appearance, as it changes the shape of your smile and jaw.

3. Crossbite

A crossbite, which occurs when your back teeth are misaligned, can cause wear and tear on your teeth. Sometimes, it can also lead to bone loss or gum disease.

4. Crowded Teeth

Crowded teeth are the most common reason children need orthodontic treatment. Crowding means there isn’t enough room in your mouth for all of your teeth. Your smile may look straight in the front, but your back teeth are overcrowded. This can result in crooked teeth that are almost impossible to clean, creating a buildup of plaque and increased risk of gum disease and bone loss. Correcting crowded teeth makes it easier to floss, brush and maintain good oral health.

5. Cosmetic Reasons

You may not be experiencing any of the above issues, but you do still want a straighter smile. Braces can certainly help with that! Straightening your teeth is good for your oral health, no matter the reason. In fact, braces will set you up with a healthy smile for the rest of your life and that can help sustain your overall health.

Are you or your child currently experiencing any of the issues we listed above? If so — or if you are unsure — we’d encourage you to schedule a free consultation to see if you need braces. We can take a look and make a recommendation. Orthodontic treatment not only straightens teeth, but helps avoid future oral pain, prevent health issues, and reduce the risk of cavities and gum disease. We look forward to hearing from you!

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