• How to Know if You Need Braces
  • Signs You Need Braces

How to Know if You Need Braces

Braces have proven to be highly effective for straightening teeth and fixing other orthodontic problems. Braces can be used to treat many different oral conditions, beyond cosmetic reasons. Depending on your specific condition, braces may be the best option for your oral health and cosmetic appearance.

Seeing an Orthodontist


If you see your dentist every six months, then your dentist will be able to determine if a full evaluation for braces is needed. Your specific condition will determine the appropriate age to correct your problem. Some problems are best treated at an early age, even before the majority of baby teeth have been replaced by permanent teeth. In fact, the average age for a first visit to the orthodontist is seven years old. 1

However, other problems may have to be treated at a later age when all or most of the baby teeth have fallen out. It is becoming increasingly common for adults to wear braces or undergo other orthodontic treatment options. Correcting an orthodontic problem can make daily oral hygiene easier, resulting in better oral health.

Signs You Need Braces

Below is a list of orthodontic conditions that can be treated with braces:


  • Early, late, or irregular loss of baby teeth
  • Adult teeth came in late or delayed
  • Teeth that meet abnormally or not at all
  • Jaws and teeth are out of proportion to the rest of the face
  • Crowded, misplaced, or blocked-out teeth
  • Missing or extra teeth
  • An overbite or underbite
  • Jaw shifting or making sounds, which could signify a developmental issue with your teeth and jawline
  • Incorrect jaw position
  • A disorder of the jaw joint
  • Constantly biting the sides of your cheek or hitting the roof of your mouth
  • Having a difficult time chewing food
  • Having to breathe through your mouth on a regular basis

1. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends a first evaluation visit to the orthodontist no later than age 7.

Find out more about when to get braces, the different types, how much they cost and how to look after them.


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