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How to Know if You Need Braces

adult with braces

For many people, braces have played a large role in their dental health and appearance throughout the years. While not everyone is born with that “perfect” smile, braces can do a lot of the leg work to get you there.

Although they come with some temporary annoyances, braces can do wonders for boosting self-confidence and improving your oral health down the road.

But how do you know if you need braces? If you have crooked teeth, gaps between your teeth, or a misaligned bite, you may be wondering whether it would be beneficial to get checked out for braces.

Today, we’ll go over the basics of when and why someone might need orthodontics treatment—including common tell-tale signs and symptoms that usually lead people to seek out orthodontic care.


Overbites are one of the most common reasons why people need to get braces. An overbite is easily identifiable and can be seen when the top teeth protrude out over the bottom teeth.

This can be caused by a few different factors including genetics, bad habits (such as thumb sucking), or certain oral injuries. An overbite can lead to a number of problems, including pain in the jaw and difficulty chewing. If you have an overbite, your orthodontist will conduct an x-ray so they can determine if you need braces to correct the problem.


The opposite of an overbite, an underbite is when the bottom teeth protrude out in front of the top teeth. This can also be caused by any number of factors including genetics, bad oral habits, or facial injury.

An underbite can lead to a host of similar problems, including pain in the jaw and difficulty chewing. Just like with an overbite, braces can be used to correct underbites as well. For both overbites and underbites, it is best to seek treatment from an orthodontist early on to avoid any painful issues you may encounter down the road as a result of them.

Crooked Teeth

Crooked teeth are yet another common reason why people may need to get braces. Just like with overbites and underbites, crooked teeth can become crooked for a number of reasons that include genetics, thumb sucking, or facial injury.

Crooked teeth can result in a number of problems if they are not dealt with early on. These can include pain in the jaw and difficulty chewing. If you have crooked teeth, your orthodontist may recommend braces to straighten and align your teeth.

Gaps in Teeth

Gaps in teeth can also be fixed by braces. The braces essentially work to pull the teeth together and close the gap.

Significantly large gaps between teeth are usually caused by one of two things: genetics or tooth loss. If you have gaps in your teeth, you may feel self-conscious about your smile or find it difficult to chew some foods properly. In some cases, gaps between teeth can also lead to gum disease along with increased bacteria and plaque buildup over time.

If you have gaps in your teeth, you will likely need braces to help close them up. This process usually takes somewhere between 6-8 months, but can be longer for more serious gaps.

Crowded Teeth

Crowding occurs when your teeth grow too close to one another and overlap, twist or misalign. Crowded teeth are another common reason why people may need braces. The braces work to apply pressure and separate the teeth. Teeth can become crowded for a number of reasons, including genetics or excessive thumb-sucking.

Just like with other dental conditions, crowded teeth can cause a number of problems later on in life, including pain in the jaw, difficulty chewing and a higher risk of getting cavities. In more severe cases, crowded teeth can also lead to painful migraines. If you have crowded teeth, you may need braces to correct the problem, depending on the severity.

Get Braces in Johnson City, TN

There are a number of visible signs that you can look out for to determine if you or your child needs to be assessed for braces. It’s recommended that you visit an orthodontist if you notice any significant overbite, underbite, gaps or crowding of the teeth.

Local Orthodontics is the most complete Orthodontics practice in John City, TN and the surrounding areas. Our specialists are focused on providing a friendly, personalized treatment experience to each patient.

To learn more, schedule a consultation with us today.