Three Signs You Need Braces (Beyond A Crooked Smile)

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Most people who have crooked teeth know they can benefit from braces. However, that's hardly the only reason for needing to have your teeth straightened. There are a lot of ways that having crooked teeth and a misaligned jaw can impact your overall life, but the good news is that there's help. If you have one or more of these problems, braces may be helpful to you. 

Difficulty Eating

Overbites and underbites are two of the most common problems that orthodontists see in their practices. While crooked teeth can happen to anyone, either from teeth growing in wrong or bad habits pushing them out of position, like biting one's nails, overbites and underbites are typically genetic. In either condition, it leads to the upper and lower jaw no longer being properly aligned with each other.

In order for teeth to do their job properly, they need to have a matching set of teeth either directly under or above them. If the lower or upper jaw is far enough out of alignment, this may not work as well as it should. This can lead to problems when you bite down on food, especially with your front teeth. Biting through things may be difficult simply because your incisors aren't meeting properly. Think of it as a set of blunt scissors with one blade not quite touching the other the way it should. You may be able to tear or grind through something, but not properly cut like normal. 

Difficulty Speaking Clearly

One other issue people with under or overbites may experience is difficulty speaking clearly. You may have been told at more than one time in your life that you need to enunciate if you have this problem. But in reality, it may not be your fault.

In order for you to speak clearly, your tongue has to be involved. However, with a small lower jaw, your tongue may not be able to fully relax and extend the way others' can, which can lead to certain syllables not sounding right. Speech training can help with this, but another way to resolve the problem is to get rid of the root cause by getting braces.


Finally, many people experience TMJ disorders, also called TMDD, without realizing that their teeth and jaw may be to blame for the problem. While some people go through mandibular joint disorder due to genetic problems, having the lower and upper jaw not meet and rest together properly can put excessive strain on these joints. This can lead to pain, stiffness, and even a loss of joint cushioning in the long term. But by moving the lower or upper jaw so that the two are meeting correctly, the strain is removed, and the joint can relax and return to normal behavior.

Contact an orthodontist near you to learn more.