How to Know if You Need Braces

By Virginia Family Dentistry October 27, 2023

October is National Orthodontic Month, a time when the dental industry highlights the benefits and the importance of a healthy, confident smile through orthodontics. Gone are the days of getting braces as a simple right of passage for teens. People of all ages are realizing that braces and aligners do so much more for the mouth than just straightening a smile. According to the American Association of Orthodontics, 65% of people do not have well-aligned teeth and 4 million people in the U.S. need or already have braces. 

If you’re considering braces or have a child who might need them, read along to learn more.

 Why would I need braces or aligners?

There are lots of reasons why a person could need braces or aligners. Although getting braces is a big commitment, the treatment can provide a patient with lifelong benefits. Not only are these orthodontic appliances designed to straighten teeth, but they also help correct crowding, spacing, overbites, underbites, and crossbites. Fixing these issues can improve your overall oral health by:

  • Creating a more balanced bite – helps prevent teeth from grinding, chipping, and breaking
  • Making it easier to clean teeth – helps prevent gum recession and disease
  • Correcting problems created by harmful habits (i.e. thumb-sucking)
  • Creating better jaw alignment and proportion of facial balance – helps ease or prevent jaw pain 
  • Improving the appearance of teeth and smile
  • Improving self-esteem and confidence

At What Age Do You Get Braces?

The American Association of Orthodontics recommends being evaluated by an orthodontist around the age of 7. Evaluation at this age is important because the jaw is still growing and adult teeth are just starting to come in. While we may not start treatment at this time, it’s important to tackle any issues before they become more complicated. However, people of all ages can also reap the benefits of getting braces or aligners.  

What Are The Types of Braces?

There are several types of braces available today, including traditional metal braces (metal brackets), ceramic braces (clear brackets), lingual braces (permanently adhered to teeth), and clear aligners like Invisalign or our own brand, SmileUp. Your orthodontist will help you choose the option that best suits your needs and lifestyle.

Taking the First Step With Braces

Knowing if you need braces starts with a free one-hour consultation. Your orthodontist will examine your teeth and discuss your treatment goals. This information helps the doctor decide if treatment is needed, and if so, continue observations or suggest starting treatment. Begin your orthodontic journey by scheduling a free consultation with one of our orthodontists today.

Virginia Family Dentistry aims to provide lifelong patients with the most comprehensive dental care possible – all in one practice.